5 things to keep in mind when negotiating your first salary

Cover art Samantha Gonzales

Words by

Content partner

So, you finally made it, you’re so close that you could almost see the finish line or the light at the end of the tunnel. The recruitment process is almost over save for one last step—signing the contract. You’re as ready as can be to sign and start immediately, however, there’s a slight problem. The salary is lower than what you originally thought.

Fret not, young fresh graduate, you’re not obligated to accept the proposal up front. You can negotiate. Unsure how? Let us help you. Check out these important things that you should keep in mind when bargaining for your first salary.

It literally pays to be likable

According to JobStreet.com’s 2017 Fresh Graduates Report, attitude is the foremost factor that affects the hiring chance of a fresh graduate. Suffice to say, a candidate coming off with a less‑than‑desirable attitude will most likely miss the meeting where he signs something, preferably a contract.

Think of the field you’re entering

Not all fields are created equal. Salary‑wise, that is. Do you research first about the field that you are entering and then manage your expectations. For a list of the top ten fields with the highest rates for fresh grads according to JobStreet.com’s 2017 Fresh Graduates Report, click here.

Know the going rate for the position

To get an idea how much a position earns, you can consult JobStreet.com’s Salary Report. Keep in mind, though, that the figures on that online tool are just the mean averages based on extensive market research. Your employer might have a limited budget or they might really want you on board that they’ll offer a much higher rate than the figures you’ve seen online.

Be firm but reasonable

Once you get an idea with regards compensation, set a minimum that you’re willing to accept, one that you can live off reasonably well. Write the reasons why this is as low as you’ll settle. Keep a calm and collected head while speaking to the recruiter and remember not to give out ultimatums.

Your alma mater may still matter




JobStreet.com’s 2017 Fresh Graduates Report states that several industries have a preference of their sources of fresh graduate hires. For example, BPOs, retail, real Estate, manufacturing, and food and beverage companies favor fresh graduates from PUP, UP, and AdMU. Meanwhile, IT employers prefer fresh grads from UP, AdMU, and DLSU. Lastly, schools prefer graduates from UP, Philippine Normal University, and PUP.

Negotiations are a tricky business. The key here is practice. Practice what you’ll say and think of all the counter-arguments that can be made. Now, think of your reasons too. While this won’t make you a master at negotiating, at least you have an inkling as to what answers you can give or reason out. That way, you won’t get caught flat‑footed when the topic of expected salary eventually comes out.


About JobStreet.com

JobStreet.com is a leading online job board presently covering the employment markets in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. JobStreet.com currently services over 230,000 corporate hirers and over 15 million jobseekers in its database. To view jobs, click this link.

For more information about this article, or to schedule an interview with JobStreet.com Philippines, please call Mark Nichol Turija, Content Marketing Specialist, at 286-6222.