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How to Gain More Money for an Entry Level Job (Expert tips!)

My client secured $80,000 in base pay plus 10% performance bonus as an entry level management consultant! Want to know how? Read on!

Key here is to remember that just because someone is new to a role, it doesn't mean that they have not been accumulating skills throughout their life. Temp jobs, summer work, internships, college jobs - those have all been adding to your basket of knowledge and skills.

Take an inventory of those.

Pinpoint the skills that align with the job you are looking for and you never have to negotiate against yourself, saying, "I am just an entry level employee."

My client is a high-achiever, a natural problem solver, and creative thinker. Everything she says and does shows off these values. Any experienced hiring manager can spot her potential - they know that any job or assignment that goes to her will be completed with stellar results.

So, all we needed to do was align her skills and qualifications with what she could offer in her new role. This meant going through her experience with all her various roles and finding key transferable skills and accomplishments.

Watercolor of coins and currency

Here's a glimpse:

How to Gain More Money for an Entry Level Job

Find relevant skills in the portfolio of jobs, internships, summer work that you have done. Then filter for the skills that would align with the job you are targeting.

She worked at the resort gift shop during her Summers

She was targeting management consulting companies that would engage with client. We pulled out the following skills:

  • Customer experience

  • Communication

  • Sales techniques

internship for a Regional Sales Manager for a large wine distribution company.

These were the skills we felt showed that she could problem solve, organize and influence:

  • Merchandising

  • Project management

  • Sales

library assistant

We knew these skills would be valuable in any client engagement:

  • Customer experience

  • Database management

  • Attention to detail

Camp counselor during high school
  • Leadership

  • Problem-solving

  • Creativity

  • Team work

She also created a brag book that contained all her praises and accolades. These accolades highlighted her hard work, dedication, and the positive impact she had made in her previous roles. She now had concrete evidence of her worth and capabilities

Armed with a portfolio of her skills and experience and a high potential energy, the plan was fool proof.

With a few rounds of negotiation, she secured a fantastic compensation package. The performance bonus was a recognition of her potential to contribute significantly to the organization's success.

All in all a massive success story!

Most people will negotiate against themselves when they consider themselves "entry level." It's important to learn from this story and gain the skills on how to gain more money for an entry level job.


"Entry level," should not hold you back from negotiating a great compensation package. Preparing a portfolio of skills that align with the job requirements is highly critical. Most hiring managers can teach you the job specific skills. However, if you can showcase qualities like problem solving, effective team work, and consistently delivering excellence - these go to adding to your proposition of being a future leader in the company. Hiring managers love that.

So, take the time to reflect and record all that you bring to the table. Don't discount any experience. There are lessons that transfer from all of them. If you need a kick start, try locating these skills in the jobs you have done:

  1. Analytical thinking

  2. Social media strategy/branding

  3. Influencing

  4. Communication

  5. Time management

  6. Event coordination

  7. Data analysis

  8. Teamwork

  9. Leadership

  10. Customer engagement

Also, remember, management consulting is not the only route for an entry level employee. Writer Deanna Debara has a highly informative article in the Muse that provides a list of 10 high-paying entry level jobs. Check it out here.

Learn to negotiate with the (free!) audio training here.

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