Salary negotiations often hinge on what you got paid in your last job. What happens when you know you’ve been underpaid for years and were hoping to finally gain some ground? Revealing your poor pay may end up costing you what you’re worth. There are many other reasons people don’t like divulging their salary history and sometimes, you don’t have to.
Why the Rush?
If you’re being asked to provide salary requirements long before you’ve even been asked to interview, then there may be a problem. It’s not actually necessary to fill out every last detail of an entry level job <a href=" application before you’re selected for an interview. Even with automated applications, remember that you can put in an entry of $0 or N/A for a required field.
During The Interview
It used to be that the fresh graduate job candidate could expect to hear numbers after a job offer was tendered. Some employers do ask you what you think you're worth by asking your salary demands. They actually know what they’re willing to pay, and it is a legitimate question during an interview, so come prepared with standard salaries for that type of position for your local area. If they don’t match what you made before, you can say you were severely underpaid and aren’t going to consider any new new grad jobs that aren’t in a specific range of acceptable pay.
After the Offer Comes Through
Even after you’ve suggested that you won’t consider any job offers with low salaries, they may still try to low-ball you based on your previous inadequate pay. That’s when it’s time to negotiate either more pay, better perks, a signing bonus, or an early performance review. Don’t assume that if they say they can’t do better that they really can’t. A negotiation is just that; nothing is set in stone.
Sean Little is the VP of Marketing for FirstJob.com. FirstJob matches current students and recent college graduates with internships and quality career opportunities. Sean also runs FirstJob’s campus ambassador program at campuses across the country, helping students learn marketing topics while connecting them with top brands and job opportunities.