How To Negotiate Your Salary As A New Graduate

College Graduate PhotoSo you’re a recent college graduate seeking your first full time job. As such, are you willing to accept any salary that a company offers you? You’re probably excited just to be offered a job and don’t want to rock the boat, right? I bet you’re thinking to yourself that you’re in no position to negotiate a salary. Well, you’re wrong.

Most people are too afraid to negotiate their salaries and while you may feel that it won’t affect you right now (you’re just happy to have a job offer, especially in the current state of the economy), not negotiating your salary can impact your salaries in future years. Having worked alongside hundreds of graduate job seekers the most common response I get as to why a new graduate did not negotiate their salary is because they were afraid the employer might take their job offer away. I can tell you that this cannot be further from the truth. The hiring process is a long and time consuming process (also a costly process – think about how many hours go into the selection process), and a company is not going to take back their job offer because you want to negotiate your job salary. In fact, employers actually expect to negotiate salaries and as such often offer lower salaries than what they can pay for the role.

My advice is simple. Don’t wait until you have been in the job for 1 to 2 years before you ask for a pay rise. Negotiate your job offer. You have nothing to lose!

Researching is the key to negotiating:

We all want to be paid as much money as possible. This goes without saying. However, the key to negotiating is to present a valid case as to why you deserve a higher salary. Before you begin your negotiation you need to know your market value. What is the market rate for your type of position? Using online salary tools is a great way to find out what other graduates in similar roles and similar geographic areas are getting paid. This is important as comparing your salary as someone who may live in a large city to a person living in a remote area will be different. In addition to using salary tools, use your own networks, speak with people within the industry, contact your career services office at your university and search forums and blogs.

When the time comes to begin the negotiations, be confident and be prepared to justify your worth. Back up your negotiation with examples. Most importantly, just be yourself. Remember that the interview process is not just about the hiring manager finding out if you’re a good fit for their organization, but it is also about finding out if the company is a good fit for you.

Negotiating can be an uncomfortable and frightening experience, but once it’s over and you have secured a higher salary you will be smiling all the way to the bank!

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Student & Graduate