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How to Negotiate an Entry-Level Job Offer, Get a Higher Salary as a New Grad

In a time that some experts call the “golden age” of job seekers, one would expect recent college graduates to be optimistic about their career prospects. In some ways, they are: four out of five college graduates are confident they’ll get a job offer that matches their career goals, according to a recent survey.

Yet when it comes to who has the upper hand in negotiations for entry-level jobs, employers and potential employees are on two different wavelengths. Despite their overall confidence, 58% of recent and upcoming graduates say the employer has the advantage. Meanwhile, 57% of employers say entry-level candidates do.

So, are graduates underselling their prospects? Perhaps as a collective, but individually, they may be missing an important tool to get what they want in early career negotiations.

“The first thing is attitude. If we go into these negotiations scared or worried, we’re going to undermine ourselves because we’re afraid to ask what we’re worth,” says Hannah Williams, founder of Salary Transparent Street, a social media series in which Williams asks strangers on the street to discuss their salaries.

“You can determine exactly what you should earn based on your experience, position, industry, and location,” she continues. “When you have that number, you have confidence, which makes for a successful negotiation.”

Salary: numbers are “the most valuable information”

With the rising costs of goods and services, housing and everything in between, salary is probably the number one concern for most new entrants to the job market. And, frustratingly, it’s still common practice in many industries not to disclose salary information in job postings.

This can lead to situations where you end up being grossly underpaid for work you are qualified to do.

“How to sell yourself and how to negotiate are things they don’t teach you in college,” Williams says. “And if you don’t know what you should be earning, companies have no ethical or moral incentive to pay you fairly. They can earn more by paying you less.”

That’s why it’s essential to gather as much salary information as possible for any potential position, career experts say.

Video by Stephen Parkhurst

“There are websites, such as Glassdoor and PayScale, that provide workers with information about what people are earning. But looking at them alone, it’s hard to know what people in your position, your group are earning. age and your level of experience,” Bankrate analyst Sarah Foster recently told Grow.

“You need more than one source,” Williams says. “This market research is important, but the second element is talking to people in your network. If you have a contact who lives near you and does the same thing, you need to talk. It’s not a competition. “

Remote work: be transparent about what you want

The top “decisive factor” listed by graduates in the Monster survey: remote or hybrid work, with 38% of graduates saying they would quit a job if such flexibility were not offered.

The ability to spend at least part of your time working from home will not necessarily be listed on the job description. If this is something that is close to your heart, it would be wise to start trading from the start.

“Be upfront about what you’re looking for, the same way you’d want an employer to be honest with you. You wouldn’t want to come to the end of the interview process and have them say, ‘five days a week.’ Did we mention that? “Said Salemi.

“I will be transparent but open. You can go into more detail as the conversations progress.”

Video by Courtney Stith

The employer may tell you that they think it’s important for you to work in the office to speed up your work and assimilate you into the office culture. In that case, don’t be afraid to negotiate a trial period in the office followed by a more hybrid model, Salemi says. “You might ask, ‘Is it possible that after the first 90 days, if I’m successful, we can move to one day working remotely?'” she says.

If a company says no? “So you know where you are. Tell them if they reconsider, they can contact you,” Salemi says. “Companies continue to hire and need valuable talent. There are so many more doors you can open.”

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