5 Salary negotiation tips for business students

There is a false perception that those in the field of business are naturally good negotiators. However, negotiation is its own skill, and for most people, requires practice regardless of their career orientation.

For Limestone business students nearing graduation, who may be looking to move up within an existing position, change employers or transition into a new career, salary negotiation skills in particular are critical. For that reason, we’ve put together the following salary negotiation tips offered by various experts around the country.

  1. Do your research

In his Forbes article on salary negotiation, Jerome Young, Founder and Senior Technical and Diversity Recruiter at Attract Jobs NOW Recruiting Agency, advises anyone in the process of looking for a job to become familiar with “how employers decide their salary levels and adjust your job search accordingly.” Young explains that most companies use a combination of variables to decide their pay levels such as average pay their competitors offer, level of experience and education, and location. Considering these variables when researching salary data will ensure that you are armed with a realistic expectation prior to negotiating.

  1. Delay the money talk

The U.S. News contributor, Ritika Trikha recommends “[waiting] for the employer to make an offer.” By delaying the discussion about salary until after you’ve had a chance to demonstrate your fit for the job, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate. Also, stating your salary expectations too early could potentially send the wrong message about your priorities.

  1. Dare to counter-offer

It can be tempting to simply accept the offer you’ve received for the dream job you’ve been pining for forever! And while many recent graduates may feel a bit intimidated to present a counter offer, Eddie R. Koller III, managing director and partner at Howard-Sloan-Koller Group presents a different point of view in an article for Business Insider. Koller advises anyone to always make a counter-offer, but not to do it more than once as this may frustrate the hiring manager. Koller’s point is that counter-offers are not uncommon during salary negotiations so why not use them.

  1. Practice negotiating

In his Harvard Business Review article, 15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer, Deepak Malhotra, a Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, points out that there are many nuances to salary negotiating and striking the right tone simply takes practice. Malhotra writes, “This is about…asking for what you deserve without seeming greedy, pointing out deficiencies in the offer without seeming petty, and being persistent without being a nuisance.” To that end, Malhotra advises doing practice interviews with friends or family and getting their input on how they perceive your approach.

  1. Remember the other benefits

All too often people neglect to consider other important benefits that are included in a salary package and simply focus on the base pay. An Investopedia article by Rebecca Lake, advises prospective employees to consider “vacation days, bonuses, stock options, paid leave and [other] fringe benefits.” Not only can negotiating these benefits can help offset a lower base pay, but for many employees benefits such as vacation days and paid leave are a huge factor for their family life.