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Fresh Grads, Don't Forget: You *Can* Negotiate Your Starting Salaries

Here are expert tips on how to do it, according to JobStreet.
How To Negotiate Your Starting Salary As A Fresh Grad
PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
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Money talks. 

Amid the constant and consistent shifts life brings, it is still the most relevant and evergreen statement today. Whoever said money isn't everything may have a slight grain of truth in it, but money definitely stirs things up. More specifically, it stirred up a nationwide debate. 

You may have heard of an employer's outcry that caused quite a stir on Twitter. 

He details the story of a fresh graduate applicant who declined a P37,000 offer for an entry-level marketing position. The applicant reasoned that P60,000 was the right offer based on educational background. 

While the respondents cut across all generations, there is one thing that breaks through the noise: We need to compensate jobseekers fairly for the work they do. 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. 

Conversely, there are things jobseekers, especially fresh graduates, can control. They can negotiate, including the expected salary. But even if most graduates have less to no working experience, how can they go about this? We share five tips for fresh grads looking to negotiate:

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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. 

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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 transferrable 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. 

Demonstrate your competency.

With work experience as the backbone of the salary offer, clearly answering your interviewer's questions 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. 

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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. 

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. 

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This article originally appeared on JobStreet.com. Minor edits have been implemented by the Cosmo.ph editors. Read the full story here.