Entry Level Salary Negotiation Mistakes That Cost You Real Money

entry level salaryEntry level salary negotiation is seldom an option. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you can’t try to land a better deal.

The whole process can be nerve-wracking. That’s because rookie negotiators don’t usually bargain. They often end up accepting whatever offer the hiring manager makes. In the US, money is a taboo subject; when it comes to negotiating a job offer, entry-level candidates don’t have the courage to ask for more.

They don’t even ask if there’s room for negotiations because they don’t want to offend. Or seem greedy.

Here are some guidelines to help you avoid entry level salary negotiation mistakes when bargaining for the position that will launch your career.

Don’t let hiring managers “read” your anxiety

It’s ok to be nervous when attending a job interview. If this is your first interview ever, then you’re allowed to freak out a bit. But don’t let the hiring manager notice you’re about to have a heart attack. Take deep breaths; talk less if your voice is trembling and stay focused on facts. Be brief when it’s time to answer questions, and don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if you have doubts.

Everything’s Negotiable, Even an Entry Level Salary

Most of the time, the entry level salary is fixed. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t try to negotiate either way. Do it the smart way, though. First of all, be ready to answer a question: why should you get more when you’ve got zero work experience? Use your head to come up with a straightforward answer. Talk about your passion for the job. Mention your determination and enthusiasm to do whatever you can to help the company thrive. Make your words count and the hiring manager might just want to listen to more of what you have to say.

Bad Timing

Salary negotiations are tricky, especially for entry-level candidates. You can’t just walk into the office of a hiring manager and start making demands. Considering that you don’t have a rich resume, you must find other ways to persuade them and convince them that you deserve more. Nowadays, many companies look for motivated employees; even if they don’t have past experience, their drive and willingness to learn can make them great assets to the company.

Approach entry level salary negotiations with fortitude and showcase a professional attitude. Don’t allow anyone to intimidate you in any way, and be ready to answer a few questions in the briefest and clearest way possible. Hiring managers appreciate candidates who are concise, articulate and fluent in their speech. This shows that they have great potential and that their rugged talents can be honed and turned into priceless skills.

Lack of Preparation

Many job seekers enter interviews totally unprepared. They know nothing about the hiring company and they have no idea how much money an entry-level position pays. How can you negotiate better financial incentives if you’re not familiar with the company’s goals, mission, and vision? Access salary-related websites to get a general idea about the average entry level salary paid for the position. Also, ask about bonuses based on performance. Engage in a conversation with the hiring manager and talk about what you can do to help the company thrive.

Know How to Handle Questions

This is probably one of the biggest mistakes candidates make when entering job interviews. It’s natural for hiring managers to ask about financial expectations.  However, they want to hear an amount. They don’t want timid answers like “Well, I’m not sure” or “Whatever suits you”. Even if you’re bargaining for an entry level salary, you still need to lay out clear facts. How can you expect a company to hire you if you can’t give straight answers to the simplest questions?

Entry-level salary negotiation is possible, provided that you can market yourself. Since they don’t have prior work experience, candidates must persuade hiring managers that they should invest in their potential. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you and maintain a calm, relaxed attitude throughout the interview. This will show that you’ve got great potential.

It will also show that you’re not afraid to speak up and stand by your worth.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Campus to Career!


Campus to Career



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