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Job Offers: Negotiating Salary

5 Tips for Salary Negotiation

For many people, salary negotiation is an intimidating topic.  It’s not something we do every day, it can feel uncomfortable, and we don’t want to be seen as greedy.  While I don’t recommend salary negotiation for everyone (honestly, not everyone’s offer warrants negotiating)…if you do decide to negotiate, take into account my following top five tips.  (Not sure if you should negotiate in the first place?  Check out a previous blog on this topic here.)  

Tip #1:  Avoid pre-offer negotiations.
Ideally you won’t talk money until the offer has been made.  But if you are asked in an online job application or in an interview setting what your salary requirements are, try to avoid naming a figure.  Instead, offer that your “salary is negotiable”, that you “anticipate being paid the market rate”, or that you would “consider a reasonable offer based on (your) … 

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Salary negotiation for beginners

You’ve nailed the interview, and you have an offer in hand. Now comes the tough part – negotiations! Don’t be afraid to ask for what you are worth (based on research, of course). Following are some handy tips for getting through this conversation.

I’m a recent graduate and don’t have much experience. I should probably just take whatever they offer me.

Wrong! Certain circumstances warrant salary negotiation (read what those circumstances are here), while other times you may not have a "case" for negotiations.  First determine if your offer warrants negotiation--and understand that the worst that can happen if you negotiate is that the employer says “no.” Many employers expect candidates to negotiate, whether they are fresh out of college or have 15+ years of experience. Often they have a certain number in mind that they are willing to meet, and all you have to do … 

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What does this button do? Making the most of your job search account

At the beginning of each term, students upload an updated resume and unblock their job search account to apply to co-op, internship, part-time and full-time job postings. In addition to hitting the “Apply” button, are you getting the most use out of your job search account? Here are a few ECS tools within your job search account that you can use to maximize your efforts:

- Shortcuts: These are not fillers for our front page; they’re really effective tools for your job search outside of ECS! Resources like and are aggregate websites that scour the Internet for job postings – the Google-like results of these search engines take you directly to the job posting on the employer’s web page, which is convenient and saves time.

- NACE Salary Calculator: Does your job application ask that you provide a “Desired Salary”? In every single job posting in … 

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Tools for Approximating Your Full-Time Earning Potential (How Good Is That Salary Offer?)

As an engineering student, it's likely that you've thought about what you might earn as a salary after you graduate. You're taking tough classes and spending a lot of time studying-so you're probably expecting to reap the rewards of that hard work upon securing career employment. But how do you determine whether a particular offer makes sense for your degree level, GPA, major, and the location of the job?

A great starting place is to look at the data that ECS collects, available on our website under "Salaries & Statistics." ECS tracks engineering students' wages and salary information, not only for the College of Engineering, but for students like you so that you are aware of the "going rate" for new grads in engineering fields.

A relatively new tool that we're excited to share with you is the Salary Calculator. This program will ask you for information relating to … 

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Salary Negotiation Part II: How-to Guide

We've covered the reasons someone might consider negotiating. Now let’s discuss when, what, and how.

When do you negotiate? After you receive the offer, but before you accept the job. This may seem obvious, but just remember that if you have accepted the offer under the specified conditions, the employer is likely to either laugh or withdraw the offer if you come back later to ask for more.
You negotiate after you’ve carefully reviewed the written offer, including all conditions of employment and the benefits package. Never wait until the day of – or even the day before – the acceptance deadline.

What can be negotiated? Here are the main factors: Acceptance deadline. Starting salary. A sign-on bonus. Relocation assistance. Your start date. Time off [without pay] for personal needs [for example, you’re in a wedding—maybe even your own-- before you’re eligible for vacation time]. Maybe a mid-year performance review … 

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