With graduation approaching, students are actively looking for job opportunities, and the Mihaylo Career Center hosted its second Salary Negotiation event to assist students with their search.
The event emphasized the importance of being knowledgeable on what salary offers students should accept, whether or not they should decline an offer, and other tools and advice for post-graduate careers.
Although the event was geared towards graduate students, other students pursuing their undergraduate degree or from different majors were still encouraged to come out.
The presentation was hosted by Jeffrey Lum, a Cal State Fullerton human resources senior recruiter.
Lum said the Career Center took the feedback from the first Salary Negotiation event and implemented the feedback into this one to better cater to students.
The presentation focused on what a job applicant needs to know in order to negotiate. Lum said to talk about a potential start date for the position if they mention the salary.
“(That) will change the focus of money, into, ‘Okay this is what we want. We’re looking at three weeks, does this date work for you?’” Lum said. “Get all that information, because you’re going to need that, along with your money, to figure out if this is actually a good offer for you guys.”
Lum said it is important to relax while handling negotiation because in his experience, employers are looking for opportunities to offer applicants less.
“Never show extreme emotion when you get that offer. Don’t scream in joy or whatever. Keep it silent. Express optimism. Always ask for time to think about the offer,” Lum said. “I know some former hiring managers of mine, they would tell me, ‘Man! They accept the offer on the spot. I could have offered less.’”
For graduate students who may already be in their field of work and seek to increase their pay with their new job after graduating, it was advised to not always expect higher pay. This applies especially if one is going into a new field of work.
Another key point from CSUF Career Center is that salary negotiation is about more than money. When evaluating a salary offer, students should also consider if the position offers advancement opportunities, 401k benefits, mentoring, quality higher management, support for continuing education and other career benefits, according to the CSUF Career Center.
Before going into negotiation, ask about their total compensation package, which consist of benefits, paid time off, and vacation days, said Lum. It was also advised to ask about their pension and retirement programs.
Lum said students have to know what skills they can bring to the job.
“You have to have facts to back up why you are worth what you are worth and how you do that is by researching, talking to all the other professionals that you guys know in the field,” Lum said.
Lum said to request 24-48 hours to take time to think about the offer before accepting. If a job pressures someone to make a decision right away, that can be a red flag.
Lum’s goal was to ensure that this presentation helped students when negotiating their salary.
Mihaylo Career Services, the Career Center located in Langsdorf Hall and other career resources are available to answer further career questions students have about their aspirations after graduation.