5 Tips for Negotiating a Better Salary With No Work Experience

5 Tips for Negotiating a Better Salary With No Work Experience was originally published on Ivy Exec.

Many employers prefer candidates with work experience, but they may sometimes have entry-level positions. You may also land a job with zero work experience if you have an impressive educational background or when someone vouches for you.

While getting a job without experience is exciting, it might be tough to get desirable pay. Some employers may lowball an offer, hoping you won’t ask for a different figure. They may also expect you to accept meager pay because you will be learning on the job.

Knowing how to negotiate a better salary will help you make the most of your new job. It prevents employers from taking advantage of you by not compensating for your skills and contribution to a company.

Here are several tips you can use when you land a job with zero work experience.


1️⃣ Do Your Homework

Before negotiating with an employer for better pay, it’s always essential to research. Find out the average salary for your position in that specific industry. After that, determine how much other employers in the location are paying and compare it against the national rate.

Do you have friends currently working jobs similar to the one you are about to take? If so, they can be very helpful when negotiating a better salary. Ask them how much you should expect for the role, and if they can give you some bargaining tips, that would be better.

Apart from consulting your peers, you can also use online resources to negotiate a better salary. Read online surveys and leverage different social media platforms. You may also consult your college career center for insights on salary trends in your industry.

Doing your homework helps you gather facts you can use during a negotiation. It helps you set realistic expectations about your earning capacity.


2️⃣ Know Your Worth

You may have zero experience in a particular field but still have something to offer employers. For example, you might have skills that are in high demand or a certification that not many people possess.

Determine the value you will add to a company and use it for bargaining. Think about unique projects you participated in when in school or when volunteering. Besides, assess your strengths and the value of your education.

Once you know your worth, you can prove to employers that you deserve better pay even without work experience. Still, you must ensure your resume reflects your value and highlights quantifiable impact. Don’t forget to be confident when negotiating and expressing your worth.


3️⃣ Prepare Good Talking Points

If you tell a potential employer that you want them to raise their initial salary offer, they will ask questions. For example, they may wonder why you feel you deserve better pay without relevant experience. They may also want to determine if you researched the company’s ability to compensate you adequately.

Before entering a salary negotiation, it’s always good to have some talking points. Give at least three reasons an employer should invest more money in you and be ready to explain your points.

If an employer hesitates to increase your basic pay, you can still negotiate for a better salary in other ways. Assess your duties to determine if you will incur work-related expenses out of pocket. Will you need to meet with clients outside the office? Also, will some of your duties require you to keep in touch with colleagues beyond work hours?

In such situations, you can negotiate compensation for different items. Such may include meals and drinks with potential clients, travel expenses, and phone bills. If the job is remote, you may also ask the employer to cover your home internet. You may also request compensation for subscriptions to the software programs you will use when working.

It’s tempting to mention personal expenses when negotiating for a better salary. Even if you have student loans and other bills to pay, bringing them up is not a good idea.

Make sure your talking points are work-related instead of focusing on personal financial concerns. An employer is more likely to increase your pay if you prove your role and skills are worth the amount you are asking for.


4️⃣ Be Flexible

While you may have reasonable requests during a salary negotiation, an employer might not meet them for many reasons. They may be skeptical about offering lucrative pay without much evidence about your capability. Likewise, they might not have the budget to offer competitive pay in an entry-level position.

Be flexible during a salary negotiation to find a fair common ground for both parties. If, for example, you find out that the market rate for the job is between $70,000 and $100,000,  be open to accepting around $80,000.

When you ask for a better salary, an employer may deny the request, citing other job perks. For example, they may say you will work fewer hours and get paid annual leave. They might also mention other benefits like quarterly bonuses and commissions.

Focusing on other aspects of the job will help you assess if an employer is being fair. Be flexible to trade off a high salary with employee incentives such as:

  • Paid sick leave
  • Growth opportunities
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Catered lunches
  • Profit sharing
  • Gift cards

5️⃣ Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Getting a job without experience is often tricky, so it’s not unusual to feel like an employer is doing you a favor by offering you a role. Unfortunately, such a perspective may make it harder to negotiate for better pay. Being assertive will prevent you from settling for meager pay just for the experience.

Don’t be afraid to refuse a salary offer when you know you deserve more. If you bring up the market rate and provide good reasons why you should get better pay, but the employer doesn’t budge, you can turn down the job. Doing this will prove that you know your value and, in some cases, may prompt the employer to make a better offer.


Ace Your Salary Negotiation

It can be intimidating to ask for a better salary with zero work experience, but negotiating makes a huge difference. Understand your worth and ensure the offer is within the market rate. Find out if there are other benefits you can request to make the position worthwhile and prepare your pitch.

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By Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec is your dedicated career development resource.