3 Tips for Negotiating a .NET Salary

negotiating salary

As the .NET ecosystem continues to grow, so too does the earning potential for many .NET developers.

But to get the best possible .NET salary, you can’t depend solely on the fact that developers are in demand. You need to be able to negotiate your way to a level of compensation that is appropriate for your skills and experience. These three tips can help:

1. Highlight the value of your technical skill set.

When negotiating a .NET salary, be sure to underscore any relevant “nice to have” skills you possess in addition to the must-have skills outlined in the job description. For example, XAML can be used to write for Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Phone or Silverlight, and each target has its own nuances. Showing that your particular XAML experience aligns with an employer’s specific needs will help you make your case for earning a higher .NET salary.

It’s important to connect the dots between required skills and any related skills you have that were not included in the job posting. For instance, if employers are looking for someone with ASP.NET MVC experience, explain how your expertise in LINQ, OLAP or cryptography can complement the position. Keep an eye to future needs, as well: If your knowledge of the Bootstrap framework is not essential to the employer at this time, explain how that skill set may become useful as the company expands.

2. Sell potential employers on the depth of your expertise.

A standard line in many job postings is “Salary commensurate with ….” Emphasize the following aspects of your professional background to help make the case that your unique blend of training and soft skills merit a higher .NET salary:

  • Training: Degrees and certifications help demonstrate your mastery of and dedication to development. During a .NET salary negotiation, explain how you are staying current in your field; for example, perhaps you are pursuing recertification as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD).
  • Years of experience: There are some things that can only be learned outside of the classroom. Be sure to explain how the years you have spent working in business (and perhaps, doing your own development projects on the side) have taught you shortcuts, tricks of the trade and other workflow efficiencies.
  • Interpersonal abilities: In addition to your technical skills, emphasize soft skills and other valuable attributes you’d bring to the job, such as the ability to collaborate, strong written and oral communication skills, and initiative. You may have touched on these skills during the interview process, but bring them up again during the .NET salary negotiation and offer more examples of how your interpersonal abilities have benefited past employers.

3. Know the market.

Having a clear picture of your true market value is essential for negotiating a higher .NET salary. Resources like the Robert Half Technology 2015 Salary Guide contain a wealth of information to help you understand your market value as a skilled technology professional. Robert Half Technology also provides a Salary Calculator to help you determine starting salary for a particular role based on your location.

As a developer, you have in-demand skills. You owe it to yourself and your career to make the case for a higher .NET salary, so don’t be afraid to negotiate.

What strategies have you used on your way to a higher .NET salary? Please share your ideas in the comments section.