How do I begin negotiating salary, especially in this market? I have two job offers right now, one for a Finance Rotation with a major Aerospace/Defense company, and one with a Big 4 Valuation Advisory. I haven’t received the offer letters yet, but got voicemails today from both firms letting me know that they will be extending offers.
If they are extending offers, the offers will presumably have numbers attached, and if you are entry level or close to it, there will be some standard number that may not be very negotiable. Your best bet is to try to find out what the market rate for your job is. Salary.com can help. However, those statistics were undoubtedly compiled during “good times,” and so one’s real figure is likely to be lower. Usually there is about 5-10% wiggle room that people are willing to slide on in order to avoid having to go back and decide on someone else - in this market, it isn’t so much that it’s hard to find someone else as it is to find someone that everyone relevant can agree on. Good luck… just finding a job is good enough for most people these days.
If this is your first job, salary should be the last thing you consider when choosing between what seems to be two good opportunities. After you make the decision, I would flat out ask for x% more (I would be extremely cautious in what # you choose; I’ve heard some horror stories) and if you get it, great, if not be happy you got a job. Congrats on the job offers!