Straight out of college, negotiating an entry-level salary may sound like a bad idea—you think your child might lose the job offer, give off a bad impression, or hurt a professional relationship. It’s easy to feel relieved that your child was offered a job at all. While you’re not alone, you may be surprised to learn what employers really think when a recent grad doesn’t attempt to negotiate.
According to a recent study of new grads entering the job market between 2012 and 2015, just 38% of respondents negotiated their initial offer at all. Computer science and engineering majors were most likely to negotiate with 47% and 43% of respective respondents saying they had negotiated, while just 30% of liberal arts majors had done so.
However, 80% of those who did ask for a higher salary were at least partially successful. What’s the deal?
It turns out that 74% of employers surveyed leave room to increase their initial offer by 5 to 10% during negotiations, even with entry-level candidates. Plus, 84% said that an entry-level candidate would not be putting their job at risk by asking to negotiate salary. If you’re still worried, know that 90% of employers had never retracted a job offer because an entry-level candidate attempted to negotiate.
Employers agreed that negotiating demonstrates positive qualities like confidence, preparedness, and intelligence. Choosing not to negotiate could make your child come across as less confident, unprepared, or like they didn’t think it was an option.
So, if your child is on the fence about negotiating, explain to her that it not only makes sense financially—it’s also a great strategy to make a positive first impression.