A recent study conducted by Nerdwallet suggests new grads are hesitant to negotiate salary offers. The study, reflecting responses from 8,000 grads and 700 employers over a 3 year period beginning in 2012, shows that when it comes to negotiating job offers, 62% of grads did not negotiate salary even though 84% of employers said they had wiggle room to bump offers.
This is not surprising given the fact most of these students entered college during the recession so they have become accustomed to a harsh economic climate.
Known as the ‘over educated and unemployed’ – a.k.a., ‘recession generation’ new grads have been hesitant to push the offer envelope, when in fact negotiating is what they should be doing. So what can new grads do to get the best offer?
* Research salaries. Find the general range for your position by browsing Payscale.com, Glassdoor.com, and Salary.com. Tap into your professional or alumni network. Find someone who has previously worked at the company who can give you the scoop on starting salaries and pay raises.
* Negotiate with quantifiable evidence. Research the company’s challenges. What are their pain points? Describe how your skills and experience translate into a return on investment for the employer. Reference specific examples from an internship where you improved operations.
* Evaluate the entire package. Salary is only one part of the package you may be offered. Consider other perks such as flexible work schedules, telecommuting, health benefits or an employer – sponsored retirement savings plan; which could offset a lower starting salary.
Companies spend a lot of money recruiting strong candidates. The last thing they want to do is risk losing a top candidate over a few thousand dollars. In this market you have leverage, so ask for more.
Another reason new grads need to take a stand on negotiating salary has to do with their long – term earning potential. A person’s first salary is critical to long term earnings. Missing out on an additional 2 to 5K can really add up over time. Besides, employers expect you to negotiate. It demonstrates confidence, maturity and most importantly your ability to negotiate. And, employers get a snapshot of how you will handle yourself once employed. Follow us on Twitter andFacebook.