Salary Negotiation Tips for New Grads

Salary Negotiation for New Grads

You’ve perfected your resume, jumped on the job posting, sent out your cover letter and aced the interviews. Now you’ve officially been offered the job. Congrats! But what if the salary is lower than what you had in mind? Think: What salary negotiation tips do new grads like you need?

Sure, you’re just beginning your career, but that doesn’t mean salary negotiation is out of the question. After I graduated, I accepted my first offer without negotiating and have regretted it ever since. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Use these five salary negotiation tips to help you get within your target number.

1. Research, research, research

2017 Salary Guide coverBefore getting involved in any sort of salary negotiation, do plenty of research about typical salary ranges in your specific area of expertise and with your level of experience. For starters, use salary tools like Robert Half’s latest Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance. This is industry’s most-respected resource for accounting and finance salary data, featuring pay ranges for more than 400 positions and exclusive insight into the hiring environment.

Visit the Salary Center, where you'll be able to adjust salaries for accounting and finance jobs in your city with the Salary Calculator, and get your own copy of the Salary Guide.

Another of the best salary negotiation tips is to consult a recruiter or established professionals in your field. Learn more about working with Accountemps to find temporary positions that match your experience, and discover how you can enhance your skills by participating in our free online accounting training program and continuing professional education (CPE) programs

2. Don’t be hasty 

Let the hiring manager start the salary negotiation. Likewise, if you suggest a different number and the hiring manager counters, take some time — maybe even a few days — to think about it and do any additional research before you respond. 

3. Demonstrate your value

Show that you have more to offer. Describe the increased value, productivity and cost savings you can bring to the table. Just make sure you’re honest about what you’re promising.

4. Consider the extras

The starting salary is important, but weigh all the other tangible and intangible perks, too. You may feel more comfortable accepting slightly lower wages if the company offers you benefits like flexible scheduling, telecommuting, tuition reimbursement, a signing bonus or annual performance-based raises. 

5. Be confident, but don’t blow it

Keep the endgame in mind. If the company is unwilling to go higher or doesn’t have much leeway to negotiate within its standard salary ranges, don’t be arrogant. If you decide to walk away, maintain an appreciative and professional demeanor, because your paths may cross again in the future.

Don't you dare do what this accounting candidate did when he was asked how much he made in his last job: Salary Negotiation Gone Wrong.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in early 2016 and was updated recently to reflect information in the new Salary Guide.

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