How to negotiate your first job offer

In our most recent blog post we wrote about some of the key things to take into account when approaching your job search as a whole. Once you have gone through the rigmarole of applying for a job and interviewing for it, you may just be fortunate enough to have secured the position with the company in question and now ready to negotiate your first job offer.

When that happens, graduates (and first jobbers in particular) often don’t think that they are in a position to do anything other than accept what is offered, but sometimes that is not the case. It’s important to know your worth and if you have the skills, experience or some other valuable asset that you could offer to the company then it’s worth considering whether to try and negotiate your first job offer.

Oddly enough, this can be one of the most daunting parts of the job offer negotiations process and one that job seekers often admit to having found incredibly challenging. After all, you want to secure the best possible deal for yourself without asking for too much, so it’s always worth considering the following:

  • Do your research, and think it through!

Similarly to how you likely secured the role, researching is absolutely key here. You want to make sure you are in possession of as much information as possible around areas such as salary expectations within the organisation that is offering you a place. This will allow you to calmly make counter proposals, rather than not thinking before you speak! The last thing you want to do is go in with a proposal that will encourage them to discount you as a potential employee and retract their original offer.

  • Understand your value, but don’t tip your hand!

As with your research, make sure you know your value to the employer in question. For example, it is worth knowing if there are other candidates they would offer the role to and if you have other offers that will play to your benefit. You don’t want to seem cocky as once again you could risk losing the role, but being in demand demonstrates your value to them. These days, with so many graduates being in possession of a specialised skill set, you may well just be a rare find that they’re willing to pay extra for – or at least offer extra benefits!

  • Emphasise your skills, but be open to new opportunities!

When negotiating with a potential employer, you want to make sure that they know they are getting a good deal – or at the very least, a skilled employee! If relevant then talk through your previous accomplishments in roles to demonstrate what you can offer. Don’t just talk about the positions you’ve held and promotions you may have received, employers often like to hear about achievements and successes that have come about as a result of the work you have done. Nevertheless, be flexible, if they ask you to upskill in advance of your probation – do so!

  • Let the company mention salary, but then be reasonable!

It’s easy to want to jump straight into a discussion around salary (after all, that’s usually the dealbreaker for people!), don’t fall into this trap! There are so many other areas to discuss without mentioning money, and subconsciously employers will recognise this. Let them speak first, listen carefully and then only make reasonable counteroffers. Another area to consider, particularly as the world of work has changed so much post covid, is things that will benefit you financially but which aren’t part of your base salary. These could be things like performance related bonuses, an allocated travel allowance, help with bills for home working or higher pension contributions from your employer.

  • Keep believing in yourself!

We mention this time and time again, but whatever happens – keep moving forward. There will always be knockbacks when you’re on the job hunt and it is easy to feel a little disheartened, but if you pick yourself back up and keep believing in what you can do then you are all the more likely to secure the role next time! There are an overwhelming number of unfilled roles out there at the moment – it’s just about finding the right one for you where you can excel and add value (while making money, of course!).

When you take all of these points into consideration, you significantly increase your chances of success when going about your job search. That’s not to say it will be an easy ride, even if you do actually do everything exactly by the book, the job market is fickle and unpredictable! But, you do at least give yourself a fighting chance, and remember that by no means are you the only one going through this difficult time! There will be push-backs, and rejections, but always take these in a positive way – constructive feedback really does help you to improve.

Most importantly – stay motivated and be conscious! If you follow these two rules, you significantly improve your chances of landing that great role you are looking for. And remember – use those other resources, like agencies, to your benefit. And if you’re looking for an online recruitment platform that does the leg work for you, working passively in the background, then be sure to check out and register at AM CityGrad –!

For any other info: just go to: amcitygrad