Job seekers - and employers - need all the help they can get for salary negotiations. The Web offers many tools, including surveys, calculators, pay-scale charts, and advice on mistakes to avoid.
Negotiating salary. About.com's site for job hunters recommends that, whether you are looking for work or trying to negotiate a raise, you need to do some research to decide what numbers are realistic - essentially to answer the question: What are you worth? There are lots of links to salary calculators and surveys.
Salary wizard. You can poke around here for six-figure jobs. Employers and human resources people can use the site to determine practical expectations for the salaries they offer. The site has many other features, including a self-test meant to prepare workers who are looking ahead to performance reviews, and a job-search tool that delivers results from job-listing sites, such as Yahoo Hot Jobs and GetTheJob.
Pay scale. Thousands of people have turned over private information about their pay stubs at this site just to get a peek at other people's earnings. While doing likewise, we made some unsettling discoveries. For one, minutes after we registered on the site, and agreed to receive more information about graduate studies that might improve our lot, a college recruiter called to sign us up for classes.
Uncle's pay. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management provides a slew of charts here that reflect government pay scales in law enforcement, judicial, scientific and professional jobs, as well as positions in other categories.
Here is the federal Web site for job seekers:
Negotiating mistakes. Here is a list, excerpted from a 1997 book, Dynamite Salary Negotiations, of mistakes to avoid in salary negotiations. The mistakes include: "Don't know how much you're really worth," "Lie about your past salary," and "Negotiate salary and benefits over the telephone."