The average graduate starting salary sits somewhere between the £26,500 estimated by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) and £29,000, as predicted by High Fliers.

If your pay packet is well below that, it’s time to start negotiating and make sure that hard-earned degree is paying for itself.

According to a YouGov survey, three quarters of women and two thirds of men have never asked for a pay rise. The most likely reason being a fear of putting their job in jeopardy.

However, women and particularly female graduates are more likely to accept unpaid or lower paid internships than their male peers. Also, when offered paid employment, females tend to accept the first offer, rather than haggling for a better salary.

If you think you deserve to be paid more than you are, or at least one equal pay, it’s time to plan the perfect negotiation.

Research the case

Graduates that just ask for a pay rise because they would like more cash in their back pocket aren’t going to get very far. However, those that have taken the time to find out where they go above and beyond their job description, or are confident that they are valued in their team, will be more successful.

Consider your value

It’s possible that graduates are worth more than they are being paid, however, there will be a ceiling price. Anyone asking for over and above that, especially by a significant margin, will simply be laughed out of the door.

Don’t make it personal

When negotiating a pay rise, it is because the job deserves better pay, not because the person could do with the extra cash. By stating the case in non-personal terms, employers are more likely to see your reasoning.

Be confident!

Any graduates looking unsure or nervous about their demands for a better wage probably won’t get it. It is important to remain confident, as this will not only make it harder for employers to turn you away, but also demonstrates your personal strength.

Ask ‘why?’

Don’t be surprised if you’re turned down, but do question the employer’s decision. This means they will need a genuine reason to refuse your request and it makes it easier to see what areas you need to work on.