Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How To Negotiate for A Better Salary

Graduates these days find salary negotiations to being a very difficult aspect and experience during an interview with a prospective employer. Indeed it is uncommon for one to want the job yet also at the same time need more money. To make things worse, having little or no experience being a fresh graduate does not help either during negotiations for a higher salary or improved package of benefits from a prospective employer. These graduates simply lack the ability to being more assertive towards the employer.

The remedy for this lies with the graduate itself in accepting that they may not get what they want. But this does not mean that they should simply give up and settle for less. Graduates need to get a clearer picture on what and how the negotiating process really functions. Aligning themselves to being more active will serve to make the graduate feel more in control and maybe even negotiate for more money in the process.

What are "Negotiations"?

Negotiation according to the oxford dictionary means to confer in order to reach an agreement. In simpler words, it’s when one meets and discusses a subject with another person or party, in order to reach a conclusive agreement. It is to be noted that the art of negotiation is based upon mutual agreement of issues, not confrontation. The end result should be a win-win situation for both parties.

Contrary to popular believe, negotiations do not start towards the end of the interviewing process, but instead begin when the graduate tells the company about themselves, their accomplishments and what they can do for the employer given a chance to work. Using active words in the interview to describe one’s accomplishments such as: I oversaw, I developed, I took charge of, I initiated, I followed up on, I actively contributed to, and I created, will only serve to the graduate’s advantage as it will increase the graduate’s "value" when the time comes to offer them a job. The ability to handle details whether minor or major, multiple projects or excellent time management and follow up skills will also contribute to increase the graduate’s value.
To negotiate does not simply mean that the graduate asks for more money from the employer. Graduates need to ask themselves a few questions prior to discussing the issue of salary, in order to know if they have a chance to get more. The idea of a negotiation is basically to reach a common outcome. That is why, asking a few questions may be necessary to see if there might be a way to reach a similar outcome and or a compromise. Among the types of questions graduates need to ask themselves are:
  • What would be the lowest salary that I would consider accepting?
  • What the salary range is for the job in question?
  • What makes myself worth a higher salary?
In order to get information on salary, graduates could approach people who work in that particular industry or at that very company, libraries, trade associations and trade publications or even at job hunting web sites found on the Internet such as JobsDB.com

If already graduates have correct information or answers to the above questions, employers will most likely have some objections to request for more money. Some of the common objections are as follows:
  • That other employees in their company are not making more
  • That the graduates do not have enough experience
  • That their budget would not permit it
It would therefore be a good idea before the interview for the graduate to think about how they would respond to these objections in a way that continues the discussion on a positive note without backing themselves into a corner. It is important for graduates to keep in mind that they are only asking questions, and not delivering an ultimatum.