Hacks that will help recent college grads negotiate salary like a pro

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BusinessClassAn article by contributor Christopher Austin.

As an entry-level worker or college grad, it’s natural to feel like you’re in no position to negotiate salary terms. Even if you don’t feel like you have any influence or your experience is limited, there are ways you can still make yourself appear valuable in front of hiring managers. Mastering negotiations is easier than you think. If you believe that you have the power to bargain, then you have it.

Be bold and walk into a business negotiation with as much confidence as possible. Salary negotiations are always considered such a delicate matter. Yet with a bit of research you can land the salary package that you deserve. As a new grad all you have to do is support your value with solid arguments. Here are some hacks that might help bargain the salary of your dreams.

Research is fundamental

Research is a fundamental part of a job interview with a company. The more you know the higher chances you have to land a good position. Nothing beats information, not even experience. As a new grad you should know this. Every job opening demands at the very least a college degree. Research the average pay for the position you’re interviewing for, and use that number as a starting point in the negotiation. Check with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and find your location. Ask at the recruitment office of your college about last year’s salary survey of a graduate.

Experts argue that your research should be focused on the position you’re interviewing for. Understand the company mission, their values and expectations. Also, answer yourself the following question: what can you offer that others can’t?

Make your case

As an entry-level worker or fresh graduate, you must be able to make your case in order to receive credit and thus negotiate a better position. Your lack of experience might not get you a better paid package, but it can get you non-financial incentives or at the very least a pay-for-performance compensation plan. According to the author of the book “How to Negotiate Like a Pro”, Mary Greenwood, a recent grad should adhere to 3 important things when negotiating a salary package:

  • Be updated with new developments in their work field and master all cutting-edge courses taken as a student
  • Be flexible when it comes to location (possible relocation, travel, etc.)
  • Have social media experience

As opposed to people in their 40s, younger people are more aware of advanced technology. This can help you get a job even if you lack experience. When speaking with the hiring manager, do mention your ability to use social media, web analytics, SaaS software and additional business tools. These abilities could make you stand out as many companies today seek tech savvy talent.

BusinessPresentationNegotiate total cash compensation

New grads should negotiate a total cash compensation package. Apart from a regular paycheck, you should assess what other things the company can provide. For example, if the new employee would like to keep studying, is the company offering any tuition reimbursement? This sort of programs can cost thousands, so that’s why it is important to bargain for a complete compensation package.

Be careful though! Everything may be negotiable but recent grads must approach the topic with extreme care. The hiring manager or future employer must know that you’re being extremely grateful for the offer on the table. Engage in a conversation and build a relationship. Strike for win-win and you’ll have better chances of landing the job of your dreams.

CareerFairWait for an offer

Recent grads are advised to wait until the hiring manager makes them an offer. Think of it like this: out of hundreds of resumes seen and candidates interviewed, they’ve picked you. This means they want you. After they’ve made an offer, you can start to negotiate. Don’t aim too high and see the job position as an opportunity to learn and develop some work experience.

Many recent college grads assume they’re entitled to get more just because they just got out of business school. They make the mistake of ditching entry-level positions and aiming too high. The best thing you can do when bargaining a salary package is not to be greedy. Be open to learning new things and always keep in mind that work experience will help you score a better paid position in the future.

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.


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