As the fall semester comes to an end, many Redbirds may be going through the job search process or waiting for a job offer. Hiring and interview processes are new to graduating students and alumni entering the workforce or seeking their first professional position. It’s important to remember that you have the leverage to negotiate your first job offer. Negotiations can be crucial to your long-term sustainability and can determine your future career path. Job negotiation is not something everyone is comfortable with, but everyone should be familiar with the process.

Many students are worried about negotiating unrealistic expectations and jeopardizing an available offer. What factors may be negotiated, what is involved in making the best decision, or how can I negotiate from a point of power? Luckily, Career Services provides several tips to help students answer these questions and be successful when negotiating job offers.

Tips for job negotiation:

• Knowing your worth
• Research, research, research
• Negotiating the entire package
• Be transparent

Tip #1: Knowing your worth

It is important to remember that employers are looking at you because you can carry out the position you’re applying for. Recognizing the value increment that your worth is important for sticking up for what you deserve. You must advocate for yourself because no one is going to do it for you.

Tip #2: Research

Phone/video interviews are becoming more popular, remote opportunities are being offered to candidates out of state, and organizations are more agile, flexible, and eager for the same results. Be sure to consider the position you’re applying for, the size of the organization, the cost of living, and the landscape of where you work. Market research will help you look at the big picture and establish reasoning for negotiation. Researching the organization and the value of your position also shows your interest in the company, giving you a one-up on the competition.

Tip #3: Negotiate the entire package

Negotiating the entire package includes looking at salary range and position benefits. Don’t be afraid to ask about your total compensation package including your salary, work flexibility, job growth, pension, 401k, insurance, PTO, sick leave, tuition reimbursement, benefits packages, and future reevaluations.

Tip #4: Be transparent

It is okay to let the employer know a time frame for your decision so they can accommodate you. Also, don’t hesitate to inform the employer about other offers on the table. If this turns off the employer, then that says a lot about them. This is likely a sign that there are better opportunities out there for you. Voicing that you have other offers on the table could even result in a better counteroffer if the organization is interested.

During the negotiation process, you must interview the employer as much as they are interviewing you. You will never know if you don’t ask! Make sure to begin negotiations after the offer is made and keep in mind that being demanding will not get you the results you’re looking for. If you have already accepted an offer be sure to ask for the offer in writing. By receiving your offer in writing you can reference any discrepancies down the road if something were to come up.

Lastly, when choosing a position to accept make sure that the job or company aligns with what you want and what you enjoy. The organization should help you build transferable skills that you can use in the future. Figuring out why you do what you do, and what you want to do long term is important. What is your purpose? Who do you want to help? Answer these questions and you will be able to relentlessly pursue a position that builds upon your future.