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20 Clock Hours

This certification, Certified Salary Negotiation Specialist (CSNS) is meant to arm career professionals at any level to help clients to negotiate smarter and with more success. It will cover topics such as creating and protecting leverage, dealing with salary questions on online applications and during the interview, working with recruiters, analyzing an offer and conducting a successful negotiation. Tips for negotiation in special circumstances are provided. The course will conclude with a discussion call with the instructor. 

Helpful resources are provided as are tips for negotiation in special circumstances. Content will be provided via text, videos, articles from experienced professionals, lecturettes, and interviews. Throughout the course, the participant will create and build upon a case study on one of their own clients. The case study will be presented to the instructor, Karen James Chopra, career counselor and former international trade negotiator, in a final conference call.

Participants who successfully complete the course, will earn 20 continuing education credits in addition to the CSNS certification from Career Planning Academy. You have 6 months to complete the course.


Understand the social and economic context for workplace and salary negotiations.
Understand the key concepts underlying effective workplace negotiations: Anchoring Bias, Implicit Biases, Emotional Activation and Leverage.
Create and use leverage graphs to assist clients in understanding the optimal time to negotiate.
Direct clients in conducting research to prepare for negotiations.
Help clients on dodging salary questions in interviews, as well as on what to do when the dodges don’t work.
Understand client’s options for handling salary questions included in online applications.

Help clients navigate relationships with executive recruiters.
Prepare clients to receive job offers in a way that facilitates the negotiation process.
Council clients through the salary negotiation process.
Understand the employer’s perspective on salary negotiations.
Be conversant with the legal issues affecting job interviews, salary  and workplace negotiations.
Know how to adapt negotiation concepts and techniques to support clients in workplace negotiations for raises, promotions etc.

Negotiating is a critical workplace skill. Workers who don’t effectively negotiate miss out on more than just money and benefits. They lose opportunities to craft jobs and schedules in ways that maximize their job satisfaction. They don’t get raises and promotions even when they have earned them. They settle for skimpy severance packages. Counseling clients to be confident negotiators in the workplace has the power to transform careers.

Your Instructor: Karen James Chopra
Karen James Chopra, LPC, MCC, NCC, CCC is the founder of Chopra Consulting for Consultants (, which helps therapists, counselors, coaches and other consultants create thriving businesses.  She also has a well-established career counseling private practice in Washington, D.C. (, and has helped hundreds of clients with career exploration, job search and career management.  A former U.S. Government trade negotiator, she is the author of Coaching Career Clients on Salary and Other Workplace Negotiations and numerous other articles on the business and practice of career counseling. MCDA has honored her with both their Outstanding Career Practitioner and Lifetime Achievement awards. She received her M.A. in Community Counseling from the George Washington University, and her B.A. from the University of Virginia.   She also has a master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.


At the end of this course you will be able to:
Describe current labor market conditions and current wage gaps for women and minorities.
Articulate how better negotiating skills can help clients overcome systemic wage inequities.
Describe how common mental biases, especially anchoring and implicit bias, affect workplace negotiations.
Explain how emotional activation can limit the ability to negotiate effectively.
Define leverage and name at least two ways to create and protect leverage.
Identify when clients possess maximum leverage in a salary negotiation.  
Identify at least three online resources of salary data.
Describe the process for asking contacts about salary information.
Explain the protocol of every interview.
Describe the “salary dodge three-step” process for dodging salary questions.
Identify at least two other ways to handle salary questions in an interview.
Identify two  ways to handle salary questions in online forms.
Describe how to determine the salary range that should be listed in an online application.
Describe the differences between types of recruiters.
Explain when a client should share salary requirements with a recruiter.
Know what clients should say when an offer is received.
Understand the concept of “pocketabilty” and when to use it.
Describe the process for evaluating a job offer.
Articulate the reasons that clients should not negotiate via email or voicemail.
Describe the process of negotiating a job offer with an employer.
Explain the importance of getting every offer in writing.
Describe the employer perspective on salary negotiations.
Identify at least three items that employers can offer besides salary.
List the types of questions that employers cannot ask in an interview.
Describe ways to handle illegal interview questions.
Describe the sources of leverage an employee has after accepting a job offer.
Explain how to apply salary negotiation concepts to other workplace negotiations.