Career Development

Negotiating Salary, Benefits, etc.

Salary Negotiation

While not the only item to negotiate, salaries are what often first come to mind. Many are nervous or scared to negotiate. It is an important thing to consider and do, though, when finding that the offer does not match your needs and wants. 


  • Raises are given as percentage increases to current salaries. The higher the salary, the more that percent raise will make a difference.
  • Salaries often follow you to your next job
  • You benefit yourself and you benefit others. Help to close the pay gap.
  • Shows the employer that you are confident in your value-add to the organization.

Being a new college graduate, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out the appropriate compensation for your first job.  Following are some tips to remember:

  1. Plan ahead and know your worth.
    • Prior to your interview, research the company’s salary ranges and salary ranges for this type of position and industry. Keep in mind your level of education and experience.
    • Know the lowest salary you would consider.
    • DO NOT ask about salary and benefits during the interview process. You can negotiate after an offer is made.
  2. Consider everything.
    • When determining your salary, remember to include the value of benefits, such as health insurance, flexible spending accounts, bonuses, tuition reimbursement, advancement opportunities, paid vacation, and stock offerings. This information is often found in the human resource page of the company website.

    • Remember to consider both short and long term career goals. Will this position pay off in the experience you obtain?

  3. It's not personal.
    •  The employer does not need to know about your current student loans or current financial situation.
    • Employers do not take it personally when you ask if there is room for negotiation
  4. Know your strengths. 
    •  Relevant work experience, graduate degrees, technical expertise, or a written job offer from another employer providing a higher salary are all strengths that can be used when approached the right way.


  • Is there room for negotiation?
  • I’m very interested in the role, but I would like to discuss the salary you’re offering.
  • What is the promotion potential?


  • Be the second to speak. Do your best not to identify dollar amounts during the interview process. If cornered to do it, give a range and state that it depends on the benefits package.
  • Do your research of yourself, industry, company, and position. Know what you are worth, what your minimum expectation is, what the industry and position often pays.
  • Practicing helps you identify hiccups, what you are missing, as well as helps to calm nerves.
  • The process sometimes take a bit of time. Know that who you may ask may also not know the answer. Breathe.
  • Be specific. While in the interview process you may have been forced to give a range in which you would be comfortable, during the salary negotiations, be specific as to dollar amount.
  • Don’t sell yourself short. It’s often tempting to take the first offer but be confident in who you are and what you bring to the table.
  • Avoid dragging it out. Dragging out the negotiation process can be frustrating to the new organization or hiring manager. Try not to start your relationship with them on this note.
  • Make it official. Get everything in writing.


Do you find salary negotiation to be challenging and stressful? Salaries depend on a variety of factors such as education, experience, job description, and location. The following links should serve as a resource to help you research how job salaries or offers compare to those surveyed.


  • Start Dates
    • Want to start after the vacation you already have planned? Ask them during the negotiating phase.
  • Vacation Time
    • Ask for increased accrual of weekly/monthly/year;y vacation hours
    • Have a vacation already planned a month after the start date? If you can swing it, you could ask for that time to be unpaid but not be counted as vacation hours.
  • Parking
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Flexible Hours, flex time, work from home and telecommuting options
  • A better title
  • Bonus or Stock Pay
  • An earlier salary review
  • Professional development
  • Relocation assistance