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African American woman taking an interview of a woman

Source: Eric Audrus / Getty

There are few greater joys than getting an offer letter for your first “real” job after graduating college or graduate school. You feel a sense of success, as well as relief, that you can start actually paying for groceries with higher nutritional value and making a dent on your student loans. Though you may feel as if you have to accept the first salary offer that is given to you, this may not be the case.

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If you are preparing yourself for entry into the workforce post graduation, here are a few tips to consider when salary talks begin:

1. Research Salary Rates

Want to make an employer laugh? Come in commanding an executive salary for your entry skill level. Be realistic about what the going salary is for your industry, experience, location and company size.

2. Provide Your Potential New Employer With a Salary Range

As you may not be in a position to heavily negotiate the offered salary as an entry level employee, offering a salary range during interviews may give them some perspective of what you will happily accept and may also alleviate any momentary pearl clutching of finding out that they may not even offer what you need to sustain your way of living.

3. Tread Lightly

The last thing you want to do is turn your new employer off with exorbitant and unrealistic requests and expectations. Look at the big picture and determine if you can respectfully negotiate for more benefits if an increase in salary just isn’t going to happen.

4. Cut Your Losses

If you find that there is absolutely NO room for negotiating anything, and you really need a job and/or don’t have any other pending offers, cut your losses, accept the gig and do a great job until another opportunity arises for more pay.

 

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