10 Ways to Negotiate Salary for a Freshman in College

So you just got a job offer. Now it’s time for the scary part: negotiating your salary. But there’s just one problem… Your knees feel like overcooked spaghetti. Your palms spewing more sweat than Niagara Falls. Your fear of rejection is triggered…

  • Is it impolite to negotiate?
  • I am selfish.
  • What if I scare them?
  • I should just be grateful.
  • What if I screw everything up?

First of all: deep breath in, deep breath out.


There are several proven salary negotiation strategies, even if you’re fresh out of college and new to job hunting. Here are 10 of our favorites. Tip MU30: There is a free salary negotiation script at the end of this article that you can use to practice!

1. Do your research

Income-based repayment plan, the answer to the student loan problem The first step to untangling this knot in the pit of your stomach is to research your salary. Find out exactly what salary range you should offer based on your location, education, skills, position and experience. The good news is that there are a lot of really great average salary websites out there to help you with this. Some of them are:, Glassdoor, Indeed and PayScale. Check out these websites to see how much others are earning in similar positions. This will give you the opportunity to back off when it’s time to make a counteroffer. Read more: 7 Best Salary Information Sites for Negotiating

2. Set your salary range

The next negotiating tip is to map out your salary range. This is the smallest amount you are willing to accept and the largest amount you can realistically expect to receive. Your research will come in handy here. It would be helpful if you had a really good idea of ​​what others are earning in similar positions, so use that as a starting point for your salary expectations. Adjust according to your unique skills, experience and education.

3. Anchor High During Salary Negotiations

When you enter your salary range, always start with the highest number. This is called “tie high”. For example, let’s say your ideal salary is $50,000 per year. You should start negotiations by saying something like, “I’m looking for a salary in the range of $55,000 to $60,000 a year.” The hiring manager will then likely respond with a job offer somewhere in between your two numbers. And even if it’s the lower end of your range, you’ll still get more than you want.

4. Know your worth

Thinking about freelancing?  Make Sure You Understand These 12 Hidden Costs - Education Costs When a company makes an initial salary offer, there is a real possibility that it is at the bottom of their scale. That’s why it’s so important to know your worth. Companies want you to negotiate with them, which is what the hiring manager expects. So when you don’t, you’ll be leaving money on the table. All this in order to decide in advance what base salary will make you happy and excited to work with the company. Because if you give your hiring manager a number and he says yes, you won’t be able to turn around and ask for more. Read more: How to Negotiate Anything (Even if You’re Shy or Scared)

5. Don’t Reveal Your Profits Too Early

When you are in the process of negotiating, never reveal your “outcome” right away. The lowest wage you agree to should always be kept secret until all other attempts to negotiate a higher job offer or benefits fail. That’s why. If you disclose your profits too early in the negotiation, the company will have no reason to pay you a higher salary. They expect you to accept any amount they offer.

6. Use silence as a tool in salary discussions

21 Ways to Get a Better Job: A Guide to Beating the Competition and Getting a Job Another tip for salary negotiation is to use silence as a tool during negotiations. When a company asks you about your salary range, don’t answer right away. Instead, take a break. Pause 5-10 seconds before answering. Silence will make them feel uncomfortable and they will start to wonder if they have underestimated you – or if you can see how it compares to other offers you already have. As a result, they are more likely to make you a higher offer if they think you can leave. Read more: The secret to a bigger raise? awkward pause

7. Don’t accept the first job offer

Even if your first job offer at a company is close to what you hoped for (or much more than you hoped for), don’t accept it right away. Instead, a counter with a slightly higher number. For example, if they offer you $58,000 a year, say something like, “I was hoping for something in the range of $60,000 to $62,000.” For a company, this is just a $2,000-$4,000 difference (a tiny amount), but over time it can make a huge difference to you.

8. Negotiate benefits, not just salary

Everything about work is negotiable — from your employer 401(k) compliance to the everyday laptop you’ll use. So, if the hiring manager doesn’t budge on wages, negotiating your overall compensation with benefits and perks can be a good compromise. According to Indeed, some general benefits that you can negotiate include:

  • Best job title.
  • Help with relocation.
  • Paid holiday.
  • Holiday to care for the child.
  • Subscription bonuses.
  • Stock options.
  • Reimbursement of tuition fees and student loans.
  • Child care allowance.
  • Remote work options.
  • Compensation for health and wellness.
  • The cost of living is rising.

Decide in advance what you are willing to compromise on. For example, maybe you’re willing to make $3,000 less if that means getting a full remote job. You decide what works best for you. Read more: Can the living wage be raised? Why and how you should ask your boss

9. Be ready to leave

21 Ways to Get a Better Paying Job: A Guide to Beating the Competition and Getting a Job - Offer a Strong Handshake Remember that job hunting is a numbers game. And sometimes the best way to get what you want is to be ready to walk out of negotiations early. If the company does not back down on their final offer, tell them that you need some time to think about it and that you will contact them. This will show them that you are serious about getting paid what you are worth. And if they really want to hire you, they will find a way to make it work.

10. Practice makes perfect

This last tip on salary negotiation is very important. Salary negotiations can be incredibly nerve-wracking. But practice makes perfect. The more you practice your negotiation (either in front of a friend, in front of a mirror, or in front of a potential employer), the easier it will become.

Salary Negotiation Scenario for College Graduates

If you don’t know what to say, try rehearsing the following salary negotiation scenario: Hi ____, First of all, thank you very much for this offer. It was nice to meet you during the interview and I think we are a great match. With full transparency, this proposal does not quite fit [the job market / other offers I’ve received / what I’m currently earning / my background and skill set as a {INSERT JOB TITLE}]. To say a resounding yes, I would need to see an increase in compensation [INSERT DESIRED SALARY RANGE HERE]. Is it feasible? Once again, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to work with you and [COMPANY NAME] team. Thanks again. Best, [YOUR NAME]


Woman excitedly throws her hands up in the air while sitting in front of a laptop Once you’ve negotiated a salary, self-doubt will sweep over you like a dump truck while you wait for the hiring manager’s response. Remember that you are 100% entitled to stand up for your worth. And you deserve the highest possible salary given your skills, education and experience. These are just a few salary negotiation tips to help you get there. Read more: First job? Here are 6 smart money steps to take right now Featured image: Prostock-studio/

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