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How to negotiate your salary on your new job after college.

It is possible to negotiate for your salary when getting a new job. Just follow these tips for how to go about it.

For most new college graduates, the idea of negotiating salary on your new job may sound crazy and most are just happy to have a job after graduating school. However it is possible to negotiate your salary and it's actually encouraged. Most college grads don't do this but many recruiters will privately say that your should never accept a job offer without negotiating your salary.

There are some compelling reasons why you should negotiate. First, doing this will give you a lot of credibility because they feel that you know your worth to the company and will probably be a good employee.

It will gain you more respect, for example if you are a woman working in a male dominated field. If they accept your negotiation, you will also get more money and that cannot hurt. It will also put you in a better position for more promotions down the road in future.

Now the question comes, how do you go about negotiating?

In addition to the advice below, please see this Youtube Video for great tips about negotiating for salary.

The key to any negotiation is to consider your alternatives. You should use the concepts of BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement).

BATNA is simply what you are going to do if the deal falls through. Any agreement you can reach that is better than your best alternative is positive from your perspective. If the other party will not agree to something that is better than your best alternative, you should go with the alternative instead.

Your employer will also be using BATNA concept, so try to find an agreement that benefits both sides and both feel there is a mutual benefit. Try to show them how hiring you will be more beneficial to them than hiring an alternative person by showcasing your skills and strengths.

You need to have a feel of the economic situation and if the employer has many other options for finding many employees. If you feel that you have special skills that they will not likely be able to find elsewhere, then you can demand more salary, otherwise you should try to not demand a lot more than they are offering.

Many companies offer students an internship and train them. Most internships have a fixed wage rate and there is no option for negotiating. However when you get a real position in that company, you are more valuable to them because they have already trained you and want to offer you a job. So you can now negotiate for a higher salary.

You however need to be careful when trying to negotiate. Some applicants try to hold out for more money and ended up losing the job over it. You can always ask if the offer is negotiable, but if they tell you it's not, it's probably not worth calling their bluff. Remember that the only reason they should pay you more money, is if it's worth it to them and there is a credible threat that somebody else will give you a better offer. If they have someone to replace you, or they know you don't have anyone to replace them, there is no negotiation.

In many large companies, it is usually not easy to negotiate your entry level salary because salaries are typically set by annual salary survey reports. As a new grad, you're entry level. You have no leverage. No company wants to have one person at the lowest level being paid more than their peers, or worse, people who have been around longer.

That said, a lot of job hunters advice that a new employee should always ask for 10% more than the offered rate because most companies first offer is about 10% less than the top end for that position. They may agree to give you say a 5% or more but this is still a good deal for a starter. However make sure to negotiate after the job has been offered.


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