Negotiating Salary

Congratulations, graduate! You’ve landed your first job offer, and now it’s time to negotiate your salary. Negotiating your salary can feel intimidating, but it’s an important step in ensuring that you are paid fairly and are able to start your career off on the right foot. Here are some tips and guidance to help you navigate the salary negotiation process:

  1. Do Your Research: Before you start negotiating, it’s important to know what the average salary is for someone in your field and with your level of experience. Websites like Glassdoor and Payscale can provide you some idea of salary but you need to be sure it is narrowed down regionally. What is offered in one area may be much higher than another due to the cost of living adjustments. You can also reach out to friends or acquaintances who work in your industry and ask them about their experiences with salary negotiations. Your career advisor can also help you!
  2. Know Your Worth: Once you have an idea of what the average salary is for your position, you need to evaluate your own worth. What skills and qualifications do you bring to the table that set you apart from other candidates? What value can you provide to the company? Use this information to determine a salary range that you believe is fair and reasonable.
  3. Try to say “It’s Negotiable”: that way, you hope that the employer will give you the salary info first versus you trying to give it your best guess. If saying negotiable doesn’t work, ask them a questions: “Now that you have met me and have seen my qualifications and skills, what do you believe is a fair offer?” This puts the pressure on the employer to answer with the salary budget they have in mind. If the employer still does not give you a salary range, then give your researched range.
  4. Be Confident: Negotiating your salary can be nerve-wracking, but it’s important to be confident in your abilities and the value you can provide to the company. Remember, the worst they can say is no but make sure your request is reasonable.
  5. Practice Your Pitch: It’s important to practice your negotiation pitch ahead of time. Write down your main talking points and practice them out loud with a friend or family member. This will help you feel more prepared and confident when you actually sit down to negotiate.
  6. Be Flexible: While it’s important to have a salary range in mind, it’s also important to be flexible. The company may not be able to meet your exact salary requirements, but they may be able to offer other benefits, such as flexible hours or additional vacation time.
  7. Keep the Conversation Professional: While negotiating your salary, it’s important to keep the conversation professional. Avoid getting emotional or making demands. Instead, focus on the value you can provide to the company and why you believe you deserve a higher salary.
  8. Consider the Whole Package: When negotiating your salary, it’s important to consider the whole package. This includes benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks. These benefits can add up to a significant amount of money over time, so don’t overlook them.

Negotiating your salary can be nerve-wracking, but it’s an important step in starting your career off on the right foot. By doing your research, knowing your worth, and being confident in your abilities, you can successfully negotiate a fair and reasonable salary. Good luck!

By Candice Melton
Candice Melton University Director of Career Services