Getting your first job out of college or university is a big thing; you’ve given all you have to your studies in the hope that you can now get your foot in the right door and kick off your career with a mighty bang.
Once you’ve managed to get yourself an interview how do you even begin to know if the position is right for you? Yes, you are probably keen to get earning money and gain some experience, but this doesn’t mean that you should shy away from negotiating the right package and accept anything that is offered.
Have a look at some of our suggestions below on how you can negotiate the most out of your first job and get the best start to your working life.
Know your base
One thing that is going to help you in making a decision about which jobs to apply for is knowing your basics. You need to know how much you actually need to survive on, and what the going rate is for an entry-level position in your field. Understand that most entry level jobs are not going to be paying through the roof, but this is where you can have some wiggle room in the job package. Find out if the position comes with any professional training and certification alongside the usual job. This can make up the difference in wage, as these courses can cost hundreds or even thousands, plus, when you have completed them, you are justified in asking for a slight pay rise.
Understand your industry
By having a thorough understanding of your industry you’ll be giving yourself a head start! Get in contact with industry groups to see if they have any networking events. Some have days where you, as a new graduate, can meet companies looking to hire the brightest and the best. By having an understanding of your industry you can put yourself in a good position when you are talking to hiring managers or other contacts. They’ll look at you more favourably as it shows you have a genuine interest in your career.
Use your skills
When it comes to discussing your package you don’t want to be too bullish, as every graduate knows, the jobs market is tough as there is a lot of competition, so you don’t want to throw your weight around at this first step. But you should make sure you are in a position where you get compensated to the best of your abilities. If you are still in university, get yourself some experience now! Intern, get a weekend or after hours position in a relevant area to make connections and learn some on the job skills. It will definitely help when it comes to discussing why you are not only the best person for the job, but also why you deserve a better pay package. Refer to your skills and the experiences you’ve had and stress what you will be bringing to the job. Make sure you have some background knowledge of what others with your skills are already getting paid. Check out job sites to see what’s being offered and also have a look at the salary index here.