How to Negotiate Your Salary If You Are a Fresh Graduate

Here are 5 tips.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Twitter was buzzing over an employer who told the story of an applicant, a fresh graduate, who declined a P37,000 offer for an entry level marketing position and asked for P60,000.

Whether it be someone who is starting out or someone who knows the ins and outs of the corporate playing field, employers must pay fairly. We need to compensate jobseekers fairly for the work they do.

Conversely, there are things jobseekers, especially fresh graduates, can control. They can negotiate, including expected salary. But even if most graduates have less to no working experience, how do they do it?

Here are five top tips for fresh graduate jobseekers to keep in mind:

Work experience versus alma mater 

While employers consider educational background, employers also look into work experience. 

For graduates who interned, this could be a prime point of contention. But for those who did not take on internships, employers could also look at your well-roundedness at school. 

Continue reading below ↓

They will look at your grades and your extracurricular activities, most especially, as all these can boost your employability 

These two areas give your future employer a glimpse of how well you can balance certain activities while still academically achieving. Got any transferable skills? List them down.

Taking on leadership roles is also a plus point for employers because they can already see that you can take on roles with bigger responsibilities. 

ALSO READ: 10 Tough College Courses In The Philippines And Their Career Prospects

Demonstrate your competency

With work experience as the backbone of the salary offer, concretely can show your competency. 

Show them how goal-oriented you are and always give concrete answers especially in terms of situations. For instance, the best answer to the question, “How would you solve x situation?” is to supply the where, what, and how. 

Add in a timeframe for good measure. 

Vague, general, and purely qualitative answers can come off to employers as a lack of plan and vision. So, having a little knowledge of the company you are applying to will also contribute to your imminent success. 

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

Look at the non-monetary benefits

Money does not solely make up the company package. 

All company offers also include non-monetary perks like HMO plans, company discounts, categorical leaves, and holiday benefits. Some companies also designate a work laptop and mobile phone inclusive of a paid plan. 

Some roles also get monetary incentives on top of their base salaries and enjoy all sorts of reimbursements, from gasoline to clothing allowance. 

These make up for the computed base salary that is offered to you, and these perks are also up for easier negotiation. 

So with these in mind, look at the bigger picture and see if you can work with what is in the offer. If you don’t feel satisfied, you can always revisit and negotiate. 

Be prepared to answer the “why” post-negotiation

The most critical aspect is knowing why you are negotiating your salary. Getting caught in the act of negotiating “just because…” will have you come off as entitled. Make sure that you have a reasonable explanation as to why you want a higher offer than what you were given. 

Continue reading below ↓

You can cover the scope and review it with your interviewer to see if one or two of them weigh heavier. Have a good answer immediately after they ask “why” because at least you know the reason why the raise is worth the investment. 

Learn to compromise

After trying, what is the worst thing they could reply with? “No.” 

This could come in different statements, but when they decline the negotiation, take time to think it over. But do not respond negatively. 

Take the offer as is and ask if you can have some time to think about it further. Most companies do offer that timeframe window so take it and make use of it. 

But if they are firm about it, listen to their side as well. They may have a great explanation why and you can learn to revisit that conversation after the probationary period is over. 

Learning to find a middle ground is crucial because it is also a test of how you can fight for your rights while accommodating the needs of the company. 

Continue reading below ↓

Finding that great balance can even do more than just give you a salary raise. You can even work your way to a potential promotion, too. 

All in all, salary negotiation is a tricky but doable field to explore, and can give you the upper hand in some situations. 

Whether you decide to accept or decline an offer, make sure it is from reason and not from ego. The latter could bite you in the back in some cases. 

The biggest takeaway? We all deserve to be paid fairly and know our worth.

The best way to attract your potential employer? Updating your JobStreet profile then search jobs. Highlight your work experience and expected salary to find the #JobsThatMatter on JobStreet.

The more you search, the more JobStreet understands your needs, so you can find the perfect match to fulfill you professionally and personally. 

Visit our Career Resources Hub for more expert advice on developing a rewarding career.

Continue reading below ↓

This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been implemented by the Reportr editors. Read the full story here.

Looking for a job? Check out your options on

Latest Headlines
Recent News