Monday, July 17, 2006

What am I bid for this new graduate?

The good news - some of you recent college graduates are getting more than one job offer.
The challenging part - that means you need to learn how to negotiate for your salary.
An improved job market favors new grads. A few years ago, grads were lucky to get any offer. Now some grads are getting more than one. And competing offers put job seekers in an even better position to negotiate, says Brian Krueger, president of
The first step to negotiating is to be prepared, Krueger says. That means knowing what you're worth even before an employer talks money.

Salaries for new grads range from $25,000 to $55,000, says Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation for Liberal arts majors are on the low end; engineers and technology grads on the high side.
It doesn't hurt to ask for more pay.

"The odds of getting more salary are infinitely higher if you ask than if you don't," Coleman says.
"You walk a fine line," says Steve Schneiders, director of Sudina Search in Timonium. "If someone offers you $45,000 and you say, 'I'd like to have $48,000,' that's reasonable. If someone offers $45,000 and you ask for $60,000, you're out of line."
You also need to remember to factor in benefits such as 401(k) matching and vacation policies.

Most importantly, be aware that ...a job is more than just dollars, particularly the first job out of college. The skills and connections you'll pick up at a company can be priceless. | Grads have wiggle room in negotiating salaries

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