Tips to Negotiate a Job Offer at the Start of your Career

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Getting your first job offer right out of college is an exciting prospect. Nothing gets better than landing a dream job with a big brand at the beginning of your career. It sets you up for learning, helps build the right connections, and unlocks growth opportunities for the future. But you need not settle for a lowball one only to grab the opportunity. Remember that even brands like Facebook (now called Meta) expect candidates to negotiate salaries, regardless of their experience levels. But you may have some inhibitions regarding missing out due to your inexperience. Let us share some pro tips to negotiate a job offer at the start of your career.

Know the basics

As a beginner in the job landscape, you will probably not know what a compensation package looks like. It is more than a dollar figure you can expect to carry home because it has other components. The packages may vary for different companies. Most employers offer includes a base salary, signing bonus, and new-hire equity. They may also include a performance bonus and an annual stock refresher. The total compensation seems like a big number to a beginner.

Pay attention to the signing bonus

The signing bonus is one of the critical elements when it comes to negotiations. The recruiter may even try to trick you by not including it in the initial job offer. You may miss out a lot because some companies have lucrative signing bonuses. Ensure it is there on the letter in the first place. You can negotiate a higher signing bonus for most technical roles. The best way to do it is by leveraging competing offers as a newbie. Seasoned candidates can use retention bonuses at their current company for negotiation.

Go through industry compensation data

Getting your first offer is great, but it does not mean you should seal the deal right away. You must do your homework by going through the industry compensation data for your role, and dig deep into the numbers for a first-timer. Consider the example of Meta salary negotiation. A little effort in research gets you in a better place to negotiate Facebook job offer that works well for you. There is hardly a chance of settling for a lowball compensation and feeling frustrated down the road.

Avoid quoting a number

Your recruiter will likely ask you about your salary expectations during the interview. The best piece of advice is to avoid quoting a number, no matter how much you want to do it. Quoting it means guessing what they are willing to pay someone having your skillset. They have a clear number, but you may go wrong with the guesswork and end up losing the money you deserve. Talk about the industry standards without stating figures.

Take your time

Jumping right in is not the best thing to do with the first offer at the start of your career. Experts recommend taking enough time to digest and assess the initial offer because the company is typically not aggressive with timelines. Check the industry figures and seek expert advice to identify the best leverage point for your counter-offer discussion. Being patient helps when you expect competing offers.

Negotiating the first offer makes sense even for a beginner, no matter how much you want to grab it. Follow these tips to get the best compensation even at the start of your career.

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