Our previous posts talked about tips to landing your first job, and common mistakes graduates make during the job search and application process. I am assuming you have armed yourself with these tips as you try and land your first job, and that is why we are now going to discuss salary negotiation tips.

salary negotiation

You might be over the moon with the news that your application was accepted. However, you cannot start your job without ensuring that everything is in place. Salary is an important part of any job, as it is important that you are getting paid in accordance with what you have to offer.

The salary negotiation tips I will give you below will allow you to get the best salary without seeming greedy.

Research the number you should aim for in salary negotiation

There is nothing worse than negotiating for salary when you have no idea what number you should be aiming for.
Make sure to take time and do some research on the fair market value (salary range) for your job position in your region 1. Additionally, research the company so that you can learn about recent job turnover statistics and budget cuts, as this will help you determine your chances of negotiating your salary.
P.S. If your current job position has been open for a long time, you may have added leverage when negotiating salary.

Show the quantitative value of your job skills

Having a job is simply trading labor for money, and therefore important to show how your skills and experience will convert into a return on investment for the company.
Show your value through solid examples e.g. ideas and schemes you implemented at your previous job or internship, and how they improved the company where you worked 2. This makes you very desirable to your potential employer.

Don’t make demands

Remembering that you an entry-level graduate and not a world revered expert, you should not make any demands during the negotiation process.
Instead, approach the salary negotiation with a respectful yet firm demeanor, and remember never to beg.

Discuss perks and benefits

Salary negotiations should not just be about money, as many employers offer more than that. Perks and benefits that you can take advantage of include health coverage, tuition reimbursement, telecommuting options, vacation time, work from home options, and savings plans.
With a good amount of perks, and benefits you can accept a smaller salary.

Let your employer make the first move in salary negotiation

It is important to keep your desired salary amount to yourself until your employer has mentioned what they are offering. Once your employer has given you an idea of the salary range they are willing to offer, then you can make your counter-offer.

Other tips include the following:

  • Keep the negotiations conflict-free
  • Negotiate your salary before you accept the job
  • Do not reveal your previous salary amount
  • Always remain confident
  • Don’t rush negotiations
  • Choose your words carefully

Contrary to popular belief, graduates do have negotiating power when it comes to salary. Though you probably won’t get a dramatic increase from your initial salary offer, these tips will leave you better off.
Best of luck with your salary negotiation.

P.S. If you are applying for a government or military job, or a job with an oversupply of candidates, you might lose your negotiating power.


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One comment on “Salary Negotiation Tips for Graduates

  • I’ve been wondering, what if the salary range that I’m trying to negotiate is lower than what the employers are willing to offer? Will that affect my salary prospects?

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