5 tips to negotiating salary for first job out of college

Expert offers tip that could help you maximize your value

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May is usually a big months for colleges and universities, which celebrates the graduation of another senior class and sees them go off into the workforce if they decide not to pursue further education.

But while many graduates to obtain employment right after college, one expert said there are certain negotiating tactics that can be used to maximize the salary of their first job.

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Andres Lares, managing partner at Shapiro Negotiations Institute and co-author of “Persuade: The 4-Step Process to Influence People and Decisions,” offers five tips for those in Gen Z to negotiate salary for their first job.

Lares also has coached live negotiations for sports clients such as the Cleveland Browns and Brooklyn Nets.

1. Prepare your script before the interview

Lares said rather than focusing on what you are going to ask for, prepare how you are going to approach the topic.

“Script out what you’re going to say and then role play in the mirror or with a friend,” Lares said. “This allows you to get confident, convey confidence, and start strong. It may take practice, but the more you do it, the more empowered you’ll feel. After all, the most important part of a negotiation conversation is your delivery.”

2. Realize you can negotiate more than pay

Lares said it’s important to remember to put multiple “negotiables” on the table at once so you aren’t just going back and forth on salary, which leads to a fixed-sum negotiation.

“Remember, employers can negotiate areas such as title, health insurance, 401k contributions, expensing commuting costs, increasing paid time off, etc.,” he said.

3. Research salary ranges for the position

Lares said that now more than ever, it is easy to find the salary ranges for a job position, thanks to salary transparency laws.

“You can use the salary range as leverage during your negotiation conversation,” he said.

4. Communicate your value

Lares said it’s important to communicate your desire clearly at the start of the meeting and then highlight your accomplishments.

“Don’t think of this as bragging, but instead showcase your confidence,” he said. “Hiring managers appreciate a candidate who knows what they want and how they plan to continue achieving their goals. They value self-starters and those who can manage their time. It’s important to think in terms of value for your employer moving forward, not just what you have accomplished in the past.

5. Don’t get distracted by a flashy job title, company or salary

Lares said doing your homework to ensure a company aligns with your values is vital.

“Are you interested in working remotely or in an office? If the position requires you to be in an office five days a week, how long will it take you to commute there? Research the company culture as well on review sites such as Glassdoor to understand how others feel about working there too,” he said.

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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