Myth: Negotiating an offer for an entry-level position is unnecessary and can be considered inappropriate or result in the termination of the offer.

As college students, we have all heard the rumors that negotiating a job offer is not essential for an entry-level position. Some even go so far as to say it could be considered rude or improper to inquire about salary negotiations, and doing so could lead to loss of the offer because another equally-qualified candidate could be waiting in the wings. Others are fearful of initiating a conversation and strongly avoid the confrontation at all costs.

While apprehensions about navigating salary negotiation are valid, UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences Career Services Program Manager Amy Bramlett expressed that all students should take advantage of the process by initiating conversations backed by thorough research and preparation.

One of the most daunting roadblocks students run into with negotiation is determining how to initiate the conversation. Bramlett said that students have the greatest chance for success and more power to negotiate when the employer names the offer first. Upon receiving an official offer, students can request a conversation and begin putting their research to use.

Utilizing free tools such as to determine fair wages within the specific role and city is valuable factual information to support candidates in negotiation. However, Bramlett outlined several strategic steps in carrying out a conversation in addition to the initial research phase.

Amy Bramlett, CCIS Career Services Program Manager at UA, holding a UA Career Guide.

Skoll also expressed this year’s vision to work with nonprofits across diverse sectors to promote stronger and more expansive relationships within the Tuscaloosa community. 

“During the nonprofit recruitment process, we worked closely with our DEI directors to broaden the nonprofits we worked with, ranging from organizations focusing on mental health, children’s services, international student outreach, environmental conservation and prison outreach resources,” Skoll said. 

Students were placed on client teams based on their passions and abilities, collaborating to propose creative assets based on client needs and requests. These resources included brand identity and logo redesigns, social media content calendars, website design, and written media deliverables such as pitches, newsletters and blog posts. At the end of the 24 hours, teams had the opportunity to meet with their clients to pitch the proposed media campaigns.


“Language is everything,” Bramlett said, providing several key objective phrases to ensure a smooth and professional conversation with a hiring manager. These phrases include:

  • “I have researched the market….”
  • “I have looked at comparable salaries….”
  • “My research indicates….”
  • “The numbers showed….”

Bramlett also expressed that students should prepare value statements to insert in the conversation if an objection arises. She suggested utilizing metrics and data using results achieved through past internships or experiences.

“If they have an objection, you have a value statement ready with your experience and results, and you are prepared to say, ‘While I understand your concern, I achieved these results and would love to do that for your company,’” Bramlett said.

While salary is an important factor that should align with competitors, Bramlett suggested leveraging other benefits such as relocation bonuses, paid vacation days, technology incentives and insurance to ensure success and comfortability in an entry-level role.

“I think negotiation could mean more than money,” Bramlett said. “I often tell students that if you can’t negotiate for cash dollars, negotiate the perfect situation for you, whatever that may look like.”

With these strategies and research tips in mind, students looking to accept a full-time job should be prepared to take the necessary steps to earn a fair profit and reasonable benefits in a post-graduate position.

For additional information and negotiation preparedness, UA’s Career Center offers these services and several career readiness tools to guide students in strategizing and preparing for offer negotiations.