En Route: A Career Blog

4 Salary Negotiation Tips for the New Grad

AUTHOR: Michelle K.
POSTED: May 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm

You’re weeks or even days from graduating college- and that means you’re excited about making the “big bucks.” Too many times college grads will take the first offer, since it’s a lot more than your part-time gig pays. Don’t fall victim to a lower salary, and know your value—here are some tips to get the best salary, and how to save some of that hard-earned cash.

Know the market

First things first: you need to know the market value for your desired position. There are many salary calculators on the web. Do your research and know what you’re working with, so you don’t set your sights too high or too low.

How much do you need?

Sit down and calculate your expenses. How much do you need to pay your bills, entertainment, emergencies, and to add to savings? Knowing what you need, along with the market value will give you the range to target.

Don’t take the first offer—but don’t be greedy

You should know the unique skills and experiences you will bring to the position. When you get an offer, you stop and think: is this a fair salary? Can I get a little more or do I need more? If the answer is yes, then come back with another number and explain why you feel this is an appropriate amount. If the salary is great, it’s best to not be greedy. This is your first position out of college and once they see your value you will be able to grow your career.

Save it

You’re in your new position and this is the first time you’re making good money. It’s easy to start spending more money and going to expensive dinners, because you weren’t able to do this in school and it’s a way to be social with your coworkers. Don’t blow your money away and make sure to save. Try getting involved in volunteering events with your company. Not only will this save money, but show you like to be involved and meet your coworkers.

Michelle K.

Michelle is the Recruitment, Editor and Content Manager for ResumeEdge. She recruits and hires the ResumeEdge resume writers, provides training and ongoing support, and maintains resume quality through a strenuous QA process.

» Read Full Bio

Sign Up for the En Route Newsletter

Career articles, resume advice, and interview tips delivered every month!

Propel Your Career

Get to the next level faster with professional Resume Writing or Editing products.

I was totally satisfied! My cover letter was perfect, no edits needed. I must say that I've never worked with a company that has been so professional and efficient. I am Australian and was a bit hesitant, as all countries do things differently, but I am so happy to have such a great resume and cover letter.

— Clayton R.
Hospitality and Tourism
New South Wales, Australia
» See All Testimonials

We're Busy Little Bees

Resumes Written This Month
Resumes Written Since 1998