Should college grads negotiate a job offer (i.e., a higher starting salary)? Yes, but only if you know how to negotiate. I do have students that get offers in the $50K-$60K range & many successfully negotiate up to > $60K-$70K. That is a 10-30% bump before you even start! Many people have to work a few years to get that bump.

Some employers are giving students a few days to make decisions on full time job offers several months before graduation. One student asked if that was ethical or even legal. Exploding job offers & do you want a full time job to begin in a job rotation? My students came back to school from their summer internships and many of them received full time offers from their internship & many will accept (5-10 months ahead of graduation!).

Note, most companies will only give them 1-2 weeks (or even only a few days!) to decide (way before the career fairs start, hmmm). I think we call that an “exploding” job offer. In other words, either accept now or take your chances with the job market. I am not a huge fan of these offers, but they are perfectly legal and employers seem to think it works to their advantage (they get the talent they want).

Many of our grads begin their career in a “Job Rotation”. I used to not be a fan of these job rotations (especially for students with tons of experience), but they have grown on me. See for more details:

In general, firms with a rotational program have nearly a 20% higher first-year retention rate than those without a rotational program. I think that is a good number. After five years, firms with a rotational program saw a 10% higher retention rate than those w/o a rotational program. I am not sure if that is a good number.

Advantages of starting career in job rotation for students:
· Rapidly learn about your industry of interest
· Work on a diverse set of projects
· Find a mentor & learn about your potential career trajectory
· See what makes the company great

Also, students are getting lots of job offers when they play the job market…In U.S., 28% accepted a job offer & reneged! 70% of grads are willing to renege? Reneging: Once you commit, quit! Amongst those grads that have reneged on a job offer, 64% claimed that they did this because they didn’t know how to decline. 22% said they did this because they received a better offer elsewhere, while just 9% changed their mind (Milkround).

The Harvard advice:

Ideas from Yale:


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