It is a wonderful experience to have graduated and an even better feeling to have received your first job offer. Unfortunately many graduates lack negotiation skills and are unsure of whether to accept an offer or negotiate the terms, particularly the salary. In fact, most employees expect you to negotiate and it is a sign of your professionalism and ambition that you do so. The important thing to remember is that you must do it in a professional, courteous manner; this will start your new business relationship on the right foot. To ensure you get the best offer possible it is essential to follow these tips:
1. Assess your first offer
Never accept the first offer, no matter how desperate you are for a job. Tell your prospective employer than you need time to think about the offer and consult with your family. You should always confirm how long they are prepared to wait for you to consider the offer. The longer they are prepared to wait the stronger your position as it is a sign that they want you.
2. Negotiate with poise and determination
This can only be engaged in after you have received your job offer. Successful negotiation depends upon being prepared and you will only be fully prepared once you have received an offer and had the opportunity to examine it. If you are pressed for a figure during an interview it is advisable to simply say “I would expect to get a fair market rate”.
3. Don’t bargain over the phone
The phone has its place in business but this is not the way to handle a business negotiation. You need to be able to see the other party and gauge their response. This is simply not possible over the phone. If you are offered the job over the phone state that you are delighted to have been given such an opportunity and that you need to arrange a meeting to go over a few points.
It is essential to attend your meeting with all the facts to hand. You must know and be able to back up the average earnings of others in similar positions to yourself. There are many websites which can assist with pay grades for specific industries.
You should never offer information regarding what you would accept as a salary. You may be surprised to discover how much a company is willing to pay and you can only find this out when you let them make the first offer. You can then either accept or, if the offer is low present them with your counter argument and the facts to back it up.
5. The counteroffer
You must know what you are willing to accept before you enter the meeting. You should also know what you very bottom figure is and then you should aim for a figure approximately 10% above your target rate. It is important to remember that you are negotiating a complete package. The salary is only part of it; benefits can make a substantial difference to what you are being offered.
6. Past compensation
It is possible that you have been working for someone else and it is very easy to base your new wage on what you received before. However, this may make your demands unreasonable or far too low. You should always seek to establish what a fair wage is for the market you are entering and base your demands on this. Any past earnings are not relevant.
7. Settle on the final offer
Once your employer has made an acceptable offer you should not pursue this further. It may well be seen as greedy or pushy to ask for more than the figure you know is fair. In line with this if your employer is unable to meet your current demands then it is possible tom look at increasing your benefits or establishing what criteria need to change for you to be able to get the extra. You can then set about changing these items before you ask again.
New grads should negotiate their first salary package, even if they don’t have work experience. Even if a company can’t provide you with better financial incentives, at least you have a chance to get something and make the work environment a lot more pleasant and relaxing.
Christopher Austin is the writer to this article. He is a regular contributor at many sites and mainly focuses on business related topics. Also he recommends http://www.thegappartnership.com/ where you can get negotiation experts and Practitioners in consultancy and development.