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Methodologies to Negotiate a Salary as a New Grad

graduate negotiationsMethodologies to Negotiate a Salary as a New Grad

We often hear that employers are willing to negotiate a salary with job applications, especially when these applicants are students. However, the problem is not the employer but the student who’s afraid to negotiate. In an attempt to get the new job they feel intimidated due to their lack of experience. Why do you think the market is packed with consultants making a fortune by helping people learn to negotiate a salary? It’s simple: the whole process is challenging and most candidates need coaching when it comes to agreeing to a negotiation. Rather than just agree and say “OK” to a salary, it better to say “hmm”.

Famous career consultant and author of “Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 in a Minute” Jack Chapman, tells that the above mentioned strategy can greatly help experienced people negotiate a better wage. So what if you’re a new grad? Does an inexperienced student can’t get better paid jobs?


Negotiation basics

Students should know that they can talk about salary demands only after they’ve been offered the job. Proper negotiations demand research prior to attending the interview. Try to find out how much money the company pays in general and thus you’ll avoid accepting a salary that’s way below your experience level. Talk about salary requirements after you’ve been offered the job, or try to see if the employer likes you and if he thinks you might fit in the company; allow the employer enough time to state if the salary is flexible or not. Don’t agree to the terms immediately, and ask for a day or two to reflect. The employer will see that you’re not desperate to get the job and he will know that you won’t accept an offer that doesn’t reflect your true value. If he wants you, he’ll call you!


Negotiation methodologies

We mentioned that students should never go to an interview without performing some research on the company first. Identify your priorities to know whether you can trade a certain aspect for something else. Take a look at other businesses that have a similar dimension and work in the same field. During the interview, talk about yourself and about your education, training, and skills that may be relevant to the job you want to obtain. Don’t forget to point out abilities that differentiate you from other applicants.

Try to be enthusiastic while negotiating salary but don’t exaggerate. If you’re really interested in that job, make certain the employer sees it. Talk about the things you can bring in the company and why they should see you as a potential worker. Avoid discussing the reasons why you need the job, mainly when they involve house or car payments.

Keep things professional

You have to build a relationship between yourself and the employer, so try not to be pushy and over-ambitious. Don’t give ultimatums because you’re not the boss. In fact, you might ruin your chances of getting that job. Instead, you should be friendly and reasonable when stating your wishes. When the employer asks about salary requirements, try not to give irrelevant explanations.


Don’t judge a job after its salary

As students we don’t have mortgages to pay and kids to feed, so we’re mostly interested in the money when we apply for a job. That’s wrong! Good jobs come in packages, and we’re talking here about bonuses, insurance, raises, and more. Remember that you’re a student so you can’t expect an executive salary of $100,000 per year at the age of 20.

Get to know your interests, necessities, career objectives, and alternatives when attending a job interview. You’re a newbie so you might not be offered the highest salary, but what really matters is the job’s potential. Will it help your career? Does it have a future? Would you be willing to do it forever? Ask yourself those questions before accepting a job.

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About GregDillon

Greg is the founder of strategy consultancy GD | Inspires and spends his days strategising for various design agencies and clients around the world - see more at He is also a prolific entrepreneur having launched - a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic. Feel free to email him at: or follow on Twitter @StratTalking

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