RE: salary for entry level position...

Subject: RE: salary for entry level position...
From: Beth Agnew <Beth -dot- Agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 13:05:10 -0700

Having many times interviewed and hired technical writers, my advice for
that first job is to concentrate on getting it, rather than how much you
will be paid, as long as you can sustain yourself on whatever they offer.
Someone coming in as a Junior or Entry Level candidate hasn't much
ammunition when it comes to a salary negotiation. There are no results or
proven abilities that can support a compensation request.

By definition, the entry level job is going to be low on the salary scale
because part of the unspoken compensation for that position is the
additional training that the person will receive. This includes my time as a
supervisor giving them close feedback, learning experiences they will be
directed into, and resources that we expend to help them grow in the

It is much easier to hire the entry level candidate than the intermediate or
senior professional. As long as they have the basic skills, and I can see
potential for growth, then corporate fit is probably the most important
criterion. I build room in my budget to offer this new hire incentive and
merit raises as I see that potential fulfilled in the first two years, and
to pay for training that will help this person become a skilled and loyal

While I would consider the situation if an entry level employee tells me
they need a salary of X dollars, it would be an easy decision to keep
looking if they quote a figure that doesn't fit my budget, or that I think
is too high based on their qualifications and experience. There is never a
shortage of people wanting their first job. I don't ask entry level
candidates their salary expectations, and would be surprised if they had

I tell my graduating students to take any decent job in their field that
they can get, use the first 1-2 years to establish themselves in the
industry, and then start looking for a job where they will be paid according
to expectations.

Beth Agnew
Professor, Technical Communication
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON 416-491-5050 x3133


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Re: salary for entry level position...: From: Glen Blair

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