Congratulations, you got an offer! That’s great news and here’s more: negotiating the details of an offer is part of the process of getting hired. One important thing to remember is that entry-level jobs are not always open for salary negotiation but that doesn’t mean that you can’t work with an employer to make sure you get a combination of salary and benefits that will work for you.
In order to make the process as easy and effective as possible, here are some things to remember as you negotiate.
Do your research.
Do you know the going salary for an entry-level job in customer service? What about for a computer science major with several internships under her belt? If you’re not sure of the answers, it’s time to do some research. Luckily, there are several sites that can help make the process both quick and easy. To get a better idea of the average salary for a specific job or industry, head over to Glassdoor. In addition to providing detailed salary information for entry-level roles, Glassdoor also has a breakdown of how salaries vary by city. This is great news for graduates who are looking to relocate or those who are comparing several different jobs at once.
After you’ve gotten a good grasp of the salary range for your dream job, dig a little deeper by finding out more about the company you’re negotiating with. Our company pages are a great resource for this type of information, and they can offer you fantastic insight into your potential employer.
Know your value.
Whether you’re coming to the negotiation straight from a well-paid internship or starting from scratch without much professional experience, you don’t need to tell potential employers what you earned at previous part-time jobs. Not even if they ask directly. Instead, use your research to come up with a salary that’s within the range for an entry-level job in your chosen field, and tell the hiring manager that you’re looking for a salary within that range.
The conversation will usually go something like this:
Hiring Manager: “Let’s talk a little bit about the salary for this position.”
You: “Great! Based on my experience and skillset, I’m looking for a salary in the $35,000-$40,000 range. I think that I would be a great fit for the role and would love to discuss compensation if that salary is in line with what you had in mind.”
Be confident but not cagey. Employers appreciate you coming to the table informed and enthusiastic, but they’re likely to be put off if you’re too aggressive or hesitant during the negotiation process.
Don’t get discouraged if the offer is lower than you expect.
If you do receive an offer that’s lower than you expected, your first impulse might be to panic. Don’t. While salary negotiation isn’t possible with some entry-level roles (like investment banking or consulting), a lower often doesn’t always mean that your potential employer. This is where your research will come in handy. In addition to giving you the confidence to negotiate effectively, it will also give you the opportunity to see what other perks the job might offer. For example, if you’re looking for a role that allows for great work-life balance or you really like the company culture, those benefits are likely to also play a role in your decision. Think about the offer as a whole and see how you can work with the employer to make it fit your needs.
Be grateful, not entitled.
One of the most important aspects of negotiating a job offer is saying thank you as soon as you receive it. Receiving an offer is a great sign that an employer sees your potential and believes that you would be a good fit for the role. Here’s how to show your excitement and keep the conversation going:
“Thank you for the offer, I’m really excited about the prospect of joining the team! I appreciate the current offer of $35,000 but based on my skills and experience, I was expecting an offer in the $40,000 range. Can we look at a salary of $40,000 for this position?”
Negotiating a job offer can feel a little intimidating, especially if it’s your first one. The best way to maximize results is to go into the process flexible and informed. And if you need a little extra boost of confidence, remember that the person on the other side of the table wants to work with you and they’re invested in helping you succeed.
Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How Do I Get a Job in Another City or State? and find answers to common interview questions such as Would You Work Holidays And/Or Weekends?