If you have just graduated or about to graduate college this year, congratulations! You have achieved a wonderful accomplishment! No doubt, you have high hopes to land on your dream job and enjoy the compensation you deserve. If you have good grades with an impressive resume, greater job opportunities await. However, getting the salary rate you deserve can sometimes depend on how you well you answer that essential question: “What is your salary expectation?”
In this article, let’s talk about some tips on how you can negotiate a better compensation package with your first job.
Do your research. First of all, you should know how much the industry pays for people in the position you are applying for. You should well understand that your experience as a job seeker can be a major factor when it comes to compensation. In addition, salary brackets for the same position may vary depending on the location.
Consider the benefits. It’s not always about the figures. Some companies may offer a slightly lower salary accompanied with great benefits. For example, what kind of health insurance does the company offer? What about the 403(b) or 401(k) benefits? Will your employer match your contribution? Some employers do offer more than 1% of your retirement contributions. Check the company’s human resources Website so you can be informed about the benefits you can expect if you do get hired. Then you may consider if the deal is worth accepting.
Do not give a definite number. The hiring officer will ask you regarding your salary expectation. How should you answer? To avoid giving the wrong answer, it’s best not to give a specific salary figure. If you answer too low, a potential employer may get the impression that you are not confident about your skills. On the other hand, if you give a very high salary expectation, the hiring officer may not be willing to give such compensation and opt to hire other another.
A safe answer would be to give a range of what the industry pays for the position and say that you expect to receive the same compensation. Once again, you should do your homework first regarding how much the current pay is for the particular position you are applying for.
Ask questions. During the interview, you also have the opportunity to inquire so don’t be afraid to ask questions. For instance, you can ask the hiring officer if they offer bonuses or salary increases based on performance. As a newly-hired employee, your starting salary may be low but if you have something to look forward to, such as an immediate raise based on how well you do your job, then you can decide whether or not you should accept the job offer.
Negotiate. If you know that you are qualified and the hiring officer is offering you the job, you should try to negotiate for a better compensation package before you accept the offer. Let the hiring officer know that you are considering other offers as well. In some cases, a company that cannot afford to give a very high salary can make up by giving additional work days-off or other non-monetary privileges. This is the perfect time to speak about your demands. Nevertheless, you should first make sure that you are wanted for the position before you negotiate for a better deal.