Salary Negotiation Series – Part 3: Playing Russian Roulette


Read Part 1

Read Part 2

negotThanks to a Negotiation class taken in college and the book, “How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job,” I am automatically programmed to attempt to negotiate salary for every position offered to me.  After receiving a job order, I go on auto-pilot and immediately go into salary negotiation-mode. Last year, I received an employment offer from a well-known company with full benefits and a competitive salary. Regardless of the offer, I still attempted to negotiate salary with the recruiter—however, this time, it nearly backfired on me. Check out this telephone conversation about my Russian Roulette game.

Recruiter: Congratulations! You have been hired by our company. We offer full benefits and your salary will be $X per year.

Aceey: Thank you! I am excited about this new position, however, is the current salary negotiable?

Recruiter: Well, I would need to speak with Corporate and your manager to determine that. Let me give you a call back.


Recruiter: Aceey, I spoke with Corporate and they gave me a mouthful. You have three choices:

1. You can choose to keep your current salary offered. This amount is guaranteed if you do not attempt the negotiation process.

2. You may choose to begin a negotiation process and there could be two outcomes:

a.) You may be awarded the salary amount requested.

b.)You will not be awarded the salary amount requested, AND the job offer will be forfeited.

TIMEOUT! At this moment I had already received one other offer from another company and was awaiting an offer from a 3rd company. You need to have 3-5 simultaneous offers from companies so that you can pick which one is best for you (salary, culture, location, etc.,).

Another reason why you want so many job offers at one time is when you run into situations like the one above! Always negotiate salary. If they recant the job offer, NO WORRIES!

I chose to not negotiate this time, not because I was scared, but because I planned on negotiating salary for another position. Plus I knew my other offers would guarantee a higher salary. I gave this company a break (something that I actually do not recommend but I was tired that day, lol)….

Aceey:  Thank you. I am choosing to recant my request for salary negotiation and will accept the salary amount previously provided.

A couple of days later, the third company gave me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. What happened after I recanted my offer for the particular position above is a WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY!

This ends the Salary Negotiation Series! Read books on salary negotiation and talk with recruiters and employers in your chosen fields! It will advance not only increase your pay, but may also enhance your career! Be blessed!


How to Make the Job Interviewer Love You! Preparing For Your Job Interviews


After sending in those awesome resumes that you learned how to make by visiting my first blog post on getting the job interview, it’s time to start preparing for your interviews, regardless if you have an interview scheduled or not. Before they call you for your interview (and they will call, because you are fabulous), I wanted to provide some tips that are often overlooked by most job-hunting assistance websites. These are honest, straight-forward tips to put you in the point-of-view of the interviewer.

When an interviewer calls to set up and interview with you there are a couple of assertive things that you should do so that you are not being set up for failure.

Appointment Time and Date

Refrain from appointment dates on Mondays and Fridays and afternoon appointment times . Why? Because, on Monday, interviewers are groggy and swamped with work that accumulated over the past week. They were probably having a blast on Saturday and Sunday, and probably aren’t thinking coherently (think about how you are on a Monday, BAM). They want the interview to be done– over with—so that they can actually do whatever it is that they do when they are not interviewing you. Also, I don’t recommend setting an appointment on a Friday. On Fridays, we all have that nonchalant “Whateverrr” attitude. On a Friday, the interviewer is not listening to you—they are thinking what they have to do after they leave from interviewing you—like going to the ATM and picking up the kids from school. They just got paid and want to go shopping!

The best appointment days are Tuesdays through Thursdays. The interviewer is most focused on those days. That way they can pay more attention to you so that you can make your awesome impression on the company. 😀

The time chosen for your interview is equally important. I strongly suggest agreeing to a morning interview. Why?  Because of something we call “The Itis!”

Dave Chappelle's diagram of what "The Itis" does to the body. “The Itis (pronounced “eye-tiss“) is something that is rarely talked about in the business world and I am unsure why, because it affects everything that we do after lunchtime. What’s “The Itis?” It’s that feeling you get after eating a meal filled with refined carbs, fried foods, and rich pastries. You feel full, sluggish, lethargic, sleepy. They can’t think well enough to actually take you seriously if they have “The Itis” so be wary of accepting an interview time after 12:00 p.m. (Youtube Link: Dave Chappelle actually gave the world a wonderful explanation of “The Itis” on his television show).

After negotiating appointment times, make sure that you ask them for more information about the location of the interview. Here are some of the questions I like to ask so that I can be prepared:

– What color is the building that I should be looking for? Are there any landmarks that can help me find the building quickly?

– What floor should I go to?

– Is there anything I need to know about parking?

– Who should I contact if I have any other questions or if I get lost?

It’s also a good idea go to your interview site the day before to be aware of any construction, delays, parking fees, etc.

Attire and Appearance

Note: This is for interviewees who will be in an office type setting. Dress like you already have the job. Dress as if you were doing the interview.

Macy's Kasper Suit, Notched Collar Three Piece Pencil Skirt Suit

Retail price of this suit is about $280.00-- I paid $7.99 for a brand new, similar suit at Goodwill.

The suit: The business suit is an investment. I do what I can to be sure I have quality business suits for interviewing. I’ve noticed that a lot of clothing stores don’t even have business suits, let alone business casual wear! Because of this, I’ve seen a lot of interviewees come to their interviews wearing just about anything (i.e., low-cut blouses with tight low-rise rayon pants).

If you have the funds, go to your nearest department store and invest in a business suit. Some stores like Burlington Coat Factory will even provide alterations for your suit for a nominal fee! If you don’t have a lot of money to purchase one retail, be of good cheer: I have found the best business suits at thrift stores—sometimes brand new, with the original price tags still on. I recently purchased a brand new business suit at Goodwill with a retail value of $178.00 for only $7.99! After purchasing my bargains, all I have to do is dry clean them and I am in “hiring mode!”

Ladies, please be sure to not have a high skirt—when in doubt, wear slacks. Gentlemen, a three-piece suit is not necessary but a tie is. The internet is awesome because they have websites available such as “How to tie a tie for your job interview.”

The "blazer" trick worked for Marge!

The "blazer" trick worked for Marge!

Wear a blazer. The blazer invokes authority… walk in it by always having your blazer on. This is a trick that I learned from the real estate industry and a guest speaker at a management honors fraternity meeting.  (Side note, notice that a lot of guys are wearing blazers with their tee-shirts and jeans at clubs, outings, music videos? They’re trying to boost themselves and look “authoritative.” lol).

Ladies: I totally recommend wearing makeup if you already wear it! I have read so many business news articles reporting that women that wear make-up end up making more money than the ladies that do not. I do not recommend the over-the-top items like shimmer lip gloss or full-false eyelashes. If you have long hair, put it in a ponytail or half-ponytail because you don’t want your hair to distract. Pantyhose or airbrush hose is a must, especially if you are wearing a skirt. Nails should not be long, and not be in outrageous colors or designs. I recommend wear closed toe heels/pumps for your footwear.

Always shine your shoes the night before, being sure that the heels are not worn and not in need of repair.

Everybody: wear no pierced jewelry other than ones in the ear, ladies (sorry, Gentlemen, no earrings please). Discreetly cover your tattoos. It is requested that perfume not be worn to the interview. We interviewers have sensitive noses. Chances are, we are going to be in a small room with you, closed off, and we need all the fresh air we can get because we’re nervous (see below). Don’t forget to use dental floss before going to the interview. It makes such a difference for your breath when you floss daily. If you smoke, try not to smoke before your interview.

Clean your car before your interview. This is especially important for someone interviewing for a position that requires travel. Put yourselves in the interviewer’s shoes again: “Why would I want to hire someone for a traveling job if they don’t have their personal items and lives in order in their own vehicle?” Get your car washed, clean it out, and put in a new air freshener the day before your interview. Little things like this boost up your confidence and have you walking to the interviewer’s door with the assertive demeanor guaranteed to get you the position.

Make the Interviewer’s Job Easier!

"The Scream" by Edward Munch

Interviewers are terrified at the thought of interviewing!

Interviewers are afraid of you! They’re scared—they don’t know what to expect. They don’t know what the acronym of their company name stands for. They don’t know who’s getting the next promotion. Interviewers are nervous too! So do your interviewer a favor by coming to the interview prepared. Search for website titles “Questions to ask during a job interview” and be sure to do your homework about the company, including a search for recent news articles about the company. Then tie all that in to how you can make the company even better (that’s what you’re going to be there for, right? 😉  ) You’ll be so comfortable and assertive that your interviewer will remember you. You just won’t be another resume on the desk. Congratulations, you’ve made your interviewer’s job easier by giving them what they want.

What to bring with you to the interview so that you can make your scared interviewer feel at ease:


Retail value this portfolio is $18.99. I purchased a similar portfolio for about $7.00 at my nearest Big Lots!

– Professional-looking portfolio to carry your documents 

– Pen & paper to take notes during the interview

– Hard copies of previous successes (certificates, transcripts, statistics of goals accomplished, etc)

– A list of references

Southworth Business Paper

Ask your local printing service to use "Resume Paper" or "Business Paper" to print out your resumes so that it can stand out from other resumes on your interviewer's desk.

– …and a few copies of your resume printed on heavy resume paper. Be sure to have one for yourself and least three additional copies (sometimes during the interview, they fail to mention that a panel will meet with you). This is how you can have your resume stand out from everyone else. Most of the time we interviewers see a dot matrix or non-formatted copy of your resume because it usually screened online first. Printing out your resume in a readable format, on heavier paper helps us know that you are taking the interview seriously! This is especially important for  federal job interviews. Make sure your resume has been proofread and revised to meet the objectives of the job.

Last, be sure to get a good night’s sleep before your interview. We can tell if you didn’t by looking at your bloodshot eyes, lol. Again, be confident, be assertive, and know pretend that you have the job before you have the job. You got this! God bless!

Phil 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Grabbing Those Job Interviews!


Aceey with her "Work" gameface on.

After gaining countless interviews in the past 5 years and improving my resume skills training in several career fields, I’d thought it would be helpful to post some tips on how to get more interviews from online job postings so that my friends can get in on it too. These skills could turn your $8.00/hr job into a job that can get you out of debt in a year! Even if you have a job, it’s always good to stay marketable in the game. It does not matter what kind of economy we’re in, you can still get job interviews! (If you want a federal job, I will post tips on that too, in the future).

Step 1 – Search for positions in your area.
If you’re not the best at networking, go to and click “Advanced Search.”

  • Choose option “Show Jobs of Type – Full Time” or pick whatever type you’d like.
  • Choose the option “Show Jobs From – Employer Sites Only.”
  • Choose option – “Exclude Staffing Agencies.” Staffing Agencies are great! However, you want to skip the middleman because eventually you WILL be hired and you WILL ask to negotiate salary. (I have faith in you).
  • Choose your location. For me, location is everything because I don’t like long commutes or sitting in traffic. Example: I would choose a radius within 5 miles from a zip code. The zip code doesn’t have to be your own. If I wanted to work in the financial district I would search for the area on a zip code map and search only in that specific zip code. And yes, I have had job interviews in my own zip code before!
  • AGE: Choose “Jobs Published Since Yesterday.” You want to get the most recent jobs posted in your face. If not enough jobs pop up in this option, choose “Within the past three days.” You don’t want to choose “Anytime” because the list would overwhelm you. Make sure you display 50 jobs at a time sorted by date. You want to grab the jobs that are the newest! Be the first person that the interviewer sees and try to make them see that you are the best candidate so they don’t have to waste time to interview more people.
  • Save the jobs you see that are relevant to your job experience and qualifications. Don’t apply for them just yet!

Step 2- Make a different resume for every job you apply for.
Sounds tedious, unnecessary, and boring right? I know, but it’s very important to tailor your resume to fit the job description and qualifications. WHY? Because 95% of resumes that are submitted online are read by a computer program that only reads keywords. After the computer program deletes the resumes that do not have the keywords needed, a human comes into play.

For instance, I saw a job posting the other day. Here’s a snippet:

Job Posting: Associate Career Services Advisor – Atlanta, GATracking Code 11611-1343

Required Skills

  • Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from students, regulatory agencies, or members of the community
  • Ability to write speeches and articles that conform to prescribed style and format
  • Knowledge of Word Processing software; Spreadsheet software, Database Software and Contact Management systems

Required Experience

  • Associate’s Degree required, Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • Minimum 1 year work experience in relatable field or equivalent combination of education and experience

Wow! Basically, anyone with a degree can apply for this position. Doesn’t even matter what degree it is! And if you don’t have a degree, if you have experience doing stuff on a computer (hey, if you found my blog, you know how to use one) you can apply for this position! If you want the interview for this position, add all those keywords in your resume, provided that you meet the minimum requirements. Example:


Associate Career Services Advisor Tracking Code: 11611-1343


  • Previous Work Experience In Secondary Education Administration– Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from students, regulatory agencies, and members of the community. Familiar with job searching techniques and interviewing skills.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing– Emphasis on Business Communication, Marketing Research, and Personal Selling.
  • Proficient Computer Skills– Knowledge of Word Processing and Spreadsheet software, Database Software and Contact Management systems; average typing speed: over 65 words per minute. Detail oriented with solid data entry and analytical skills.
  • Excellent Verbal and Written Communication and Grammatical Skills– Ability to write speeches and articles that conform to prescribed style and format. Experience in answering high traffic telephone lines; skilled in communicating with clients in a fast-paced environment.

*Items are bolded, italicized and colored, to emphasize I’ve taken it verbatim from the job description.

-Adding the job name and the tracking number/job ID not only proves that you read the job description and took time to make a resume for the position, but it will also automatically go in the “IN” resumes that would be eventually read by a human being. Do what you can to make it easy for the HR person to choose you so they don’t have to waste their time reading other resumes.

-Of course have your functional/chronological resume section handy and be sure to use action verbs. Add volunteer experience if it’s relevant. For instance, for the job posted, if I assisted refugees in finding a job or shadowing them on their first day at work, I would most certainly add that in my resume.

-If you are unemployed, find something to make the days go by! Volunteer at a nearby non-profit, volunteer at your kid’s school (trust me, teachers need a ton of help, and the PTA does too), gain more skills. When I was unemployed, one of the first things I did was take an online course for a software database for college campuses. I also purchased a Pharmacy Technician Trainee License (you can do this too, depending on the state) and started studying for the Pharmacy Technician License while looking for work. Adding that on my resume proved that I did not let grass grow under my feet while I needed a job. While unemployed, I began working out—it built up my confidence and gave me a better incentive to purchase more business suits!

Step 3- Start Applying… one opening at a time.

-Be honest in your job history. However, if your last job didn’t last more than 6 months, I don’t recommend you adding it to the application.

-If there is a cover letter section, fill it out! Check online for cover letter tips.

Be sure to save a resume that is specific to each job that you apply for. Don’t count the applications, MAKE THEM COUNT! It’s better for you to apply for 3 jobs in one day that you know you’re going to nail the interview for than applying for 27 jobs a day just for the heck of it. I think of the Apostle Paul when he mentioned “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air (1 Cor 9:26).” Be specific in your approach and don’t shadowbox your way in your job search. And even if you don’t get the job, getting a call for an interview is a confidence booster!

You can do this! By the way, I applied for the above job posting in my state and immediately received a call for a phone interview … then nailed the phone interview… then received a call for a face-to-face job interview and knocked the job interview out the box. You got this! God bless!