One of the more anxiety-inducing aspects of your job search will be negotiating a starting salary. The opportunity is not always in your hands but when the chance to fight for your starting wage presents itself, you will need a solid plan to make the most of it. Foremost in your planning should be an honest appraisal of your value. The word honest is not a euphemism for pessimistic. You have already landed the job and therefore have shown to have the skills, experience and education at least on par with the other applicants who failed to be hired. You should plan your approach from a position of relative strength and stride confidently toward your goal.
Research your job title in your area. You should be able to surmise a going rate for your services based upon the salary offered by the competition. Consider certain factors that make your new job unique, including qualifications that you may or may not have satisfied, opportunities for advancement, other perks that come with your position or that are offered commonly by other companies in your area. Once you have factored in the benefits and other criteria, you will be closer to a range that would be commensurate with your experience and the prevailing salary paid to your colleagues elsewhere.
When making your case to the company officer charged with negotiating your salary, be sure to highlight the ways you add to the company. Cite your experience or special certification that makes you a unique and valuable asset. Look for ways that you can contribute that are outside of the specific parameters of your job title or description. Your duties are not likely to be confined to the rigid letter of your job description and your new employer should be receptive to hearing the ways you can contribute above and beyond what is explicitly required by your position.
Explain your plans for advancement within the company by offering a detailed plan for your ascension through the ranks within the company. Having and divulging a plan to grow within an organization shows a level of commitment that an employer loves. Your forward thinking also reveals ambition and initiative; two traits that are sought in any employee.
As a show of good faith and should you fail to achieve the level of compensation you were seeking; offer to work at an agreed salary level for a time-being and have your performance evaluated later. The arrangement will afford you the opportunity to show your worth and give the employer the security of being able to clearly evaluate your prowess beforehand.