Employer and Salary Information
Finding the job or internship that matches your skills and talents requires preparation and research. We have a variety of resources and advice to help.
Finding the Right Company for You
Many employers offer tuition reimbursement as a benefit to attract top workers. Do your research ahead of time and search on their website or ask their human resources department if this is a benefit.
Review our Strategies and Tips for information on identifying job scams.
- Better Business Bureau - Business search by state, city or zip code for company ratings.
- Buzzfile - National database of top employers by major.
- Federal Trade Commission - Consumer information on how to avoid scams and rip-offs, and tips on other consumer topics.
- Ripoff Report - Search companies that you might be concerned of their legitimacy.
- USA.gov - Index of state and local consumer agencies.
- Vault/Firsthand - Research industries, careers, companies and more.
Understanding Starting Salaries and Benefits
Now that you have a job offer on the table, you may think you can relax...
Stop and Think Again!
- Do not feel pressured to accept an offer on the spot.
- First and foremost, express appreciation for the offer. However, there is no reason to say yes to an offer immediately and most organizations will not expect you to accept an offer on the spot. Offer a reasonable amount of time to get back to the employer with your decision (preferably within the next few days, or time-frame agreeable to the employer). Try to take away a written offer, or, at minimum, detailed notes.
- If you need time to consider, say:
- "I'm excited about the possibility of working here, but I would like some time to think about your offer. Could I get back to you tomorrow with my decision?"
- If the salary is acceptable, say:
- "Thank you for your confidence in me. I look forward to working with you. Can you confirm the offer in writing?" Do not interview for any other positions or renege on an offer you've accepted.
Understanding the Proposed Salary and Benefits
Many employers may not negotiate salary for entry-level positions unless you have an outstanding, in-demand skill or experience that sets you apart.
There is nothing wrong with simply asking the employer (tactfully) if salary negotiation is an option.
For women this is an especially important step when they possess skills above and beyond the competition. Research shows that men are four times more likely than women to negotiate a salary, which typically translates to more money.
Know Yourself and the Market
The more you know about your market value and the prospective employer, the better your chances for success. Preparation may be your best investment.
Determining whether to ask for a higher salary becomes a balancing act, and you must look beyond the bottom line.
- Research the “going rate” for the position.
- Calculate your skills realistically in relation to the employer's needs. An outstanding skill or experience improves your chances.
- Consider health benefits, time off, retirement benefits, loan repayment and benefits such as location and work environment when deciding to negotiate salary.
- Do the math. A lower salary with exceptional insurance, stock options, 401k plans, tuition reimbursement, paid time off and vacation benefits may provide better overall financial compensation.
- Seriously consider the initial offer, even if the salary seems a little low.
- Evaluate the potential for salary growth while you work for the organization.
- Be first to offer a compensation figure.
- Neglect your basic needs. Reflect realistically on the absolute minimum needed for you to live, and determine if the compensation offered fits the job responsibilities.
- Fail to take the state of the economy into account. When job markets are tight, many people will work for less than the average rate. Set a realistic salary goal.
- Show your disappointment if the figure is not what you expected.
- Immediately reject or accept an offer. Ask for time to consider the offer.
- Negotiate too far above the salary rate for the position. It indicates that you do not understand the marketplace
- You may want to provide the prospective employer with salary statistics for comparable work in your field and previous performance evaluations.
- If an increase in starting salary is not an option, see if they may consider perks such as additional vacation time, laptop computer, cell phone, company car, etc.
Rehearse Your Response
Negotiating a salary or benefits is uncomfortable for many people; however, preparing what you want to say will increase your chance of success. Try to put everything in its most positive light.
- "I'm calling you with some very good news. I would like to accept your offer, and I'm looking forward to working with you and becoming a valuable member of the team; however, there is (are) a (two, three, some) concern(s) about the offer that I want to discuss. I don't know if you're able to make changes in this (these) area(s), but I'd surely appreciate your looking into that possibility. Would it be possible to____?"
- "That sounds great, but my three years of management experience will allow me to contribute immediately to your organization. Would you consider increasing the salary by 10 percent?"
- "I'm delighted that you are interested in me and I am very interested in the position. Based upon my experience and also because of a variety of expenses I'll have when I graduate, such as paying off my college loan and having to get a car, I'd like to be making around $X0,000. How do you feel about that?"
- "I really like the opportunity, and I know that I could contribute, but I have several other opportunities that are in the $X0,000 range (don't say it unless it is true). Is there a way we could work this out?"
Remember that Employment is an Ongoing Relationship
When the negotiations are over, you'll have to work with the person with whom you're negotiating.
Job negotiations are the starting point for your career with a company.
Remember, even if you reject the offer, say something positive about the employer and thank them for the interview. You never know when you may meet again!
- The Riley Guide — An extensive collection of resources on moving and relocation guides, cost of living and demographics, school and health care directories, and real estate.
- Cost of Living Calculator — Compare statistics of up to 4 cities side-by-side. Review demographics, cost of living and employment data simultaneously.
- In My Area - Relocating post graduation? In My Area offers services to install internet and home security. Type in your address and search for the best price.
- Rent.com — Find apartments all over the country.
- RENTCafé.com - RENTCafé offers apartment seekers a quick, easy to use, and accessible resource to begin relocation.