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Career Services Students

Salary Negotiations and Resources

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Congratulations. You received your first job or internship offer.  The only problem is you think the offer is too low. Now you must enter into the anxiety-ridden task of asking for more money, benefits, etc. Before entering into negotiation make sure to research the salaries offered in your field.  There are many resources below to help you out with this process and help you identify credible salary information.


See the video below from Seattle Pacific University on how to negotiate a salary:

Below are various links to salary information and salary comparisons.  These links are useful when researching salaries and comparing salary information.

Salary Information: (How much should you be paid and where to go to find that information)

Salary Calculators: (Use them to determine what you make in one cite or state and how that translates to another city or state)

Don't be reluctant about bargaining, but do it the professional way. Be sure to be professional and courteous in your negotiations. Being confident in your approach is fine but being arrogant and demanding is not ok. Showing too much ego can cause an employer to pull a job offer because she/he does not want that type of person on their team. If the salary seems low, offer valid examples from your work history and education that highlight why you should be paid more. Also make sure you discuss salary surveys that support your request. If there’s no room to negotiate the base pay, ask if the employer can be more open to additional vacation time, flexible work arrangements and other benefits.

If the pay is less than thought it would be, but the employer offers a generous package of additional benefits (flex time, vacation, dental care, etc.), perhaps you should accept. However, this is a great time to speak to the employer about asking for a raise at an early performance review, or by indicating that you'd like to revisit your salary in six months or a year. If the offer just isn't enough and there is no way to make it work, by all means, turn it down. But do so in a gracious way that doesn't burn bridges.

If you are asked, "how much do you want?", hopefully you have done your homework.
* Find the going rate for their chosen profession on the BLS/Occupational Outlook Handbook-(OOH) or America's Career InfoNet website.
* Know the going rate for the profession in the geographic area. (salary.com)
* If you have experience, you have more bargaining power.
* Give the employer a "range" to work with. i.e. Mid 40's to low 50's.
* You should have a bottom-line number you are willing to work for.
* Remember that entry level salary's are usually lower than expected, so you should be prepared for that reality.


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