Many advise applicants to steer clear of the “salary discussion” until their prospective employer has brought it up first. “Keep that stuff at an arm’s length or maybe several arms” they say, but they are woefully wrong. While the timid of this world have convinced you that the meek shall inherit the raise, hard social science begs to differ. According to this article from CNN Money, making jokes about desiring an exorbitant salary gives you an advantage in salary negotiations. In the study, a hypothetical applicant makes a joke about wanting a one million dollar salary and receives a higher initial salary than the vanilla job candidate across the board. The theory is that the employer’s fixation on this higher value will actually drive up the salary that they offer you. From what I’ve been reading lately, it seems as if standing out is gaining more and more importance in this crowded world of ours. The bottom line is that making a joke disarms the interviewer and brings things to a more personal level. Don’t get too chummy (NO DEAD BABY JOKES) but keep in mind that a cheerful disposition will set you apart from the morose candidate every time. To read the full article and see how to boost your starting salary, click the link below.