Reports in January indicated that for the first time in three price-stagnant years, the starting graduate salary is predicted to rise by 4% to £26,000. This is good news for job seekers and employers looking to attract bright young graduates who are thinking of moving abroad.
Jobs site reed.co.uk reminds us that graduate jobs remain a competitive market, with 250,000 young would-be employees joining the job search every summer, this kind of news is crucial. The report came at the beginning of a year in which 40% of the unemployed population was under 25.
So, one key tip for would-be graduates is to do your research into which companies will be delivering on this promise of rising salaries. Doing your research is one of the most crucial tools in raising your profile and bargaining power.
So, before you even think about asking for a raise, know your facts. Research the average graduate salary – not just the mean tally, but in your specific sector, and even in competing companies. The more you know about the market, the more you know your own value, and more authority you can wield in manipulating your way to a more worthy deal.
Secondly, keep your options open. Whilst many think that being a graduate in 2012 is unenviable, you can use your skills and desirability to negotiate higher starting salaries. Apply for plenty of jobs, and if you receive offers, make sure you have a clear roster of the salaries on offer and types of position available.
Then you can begin to negotiate between the companies; perhaps the job you really want is offering you a few thousand pounds less than another company, which clearly wants you badly. You can use the desire of the other company to demonstrate that you are clearly a wanted commodity, and this may encourage your other potential employers to give you a better offer.
Finally, always always include the most relevant qualifications – and in good detail. Certain skills which can usually only be obtained on a paid course (this could be anything from PhotoShop to First Aid) are often very useful to companies who require this expertise in the office – so make sure it’s factored into the evaluation.
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