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Career Services at the University of Zurich

Salary Negotiations


  • Use the manual (see teaser) to prepare for the following questions: What are your salary expectations?
  • Ask for the offer in writing.
  • Request time to consider the offer. Reputable employers will understand this request.
  • Money alone acts as an incentive for only a limited period. Remember your values and don't let yourself be distracted. 
  • If the offer is too low: Defend your position by citing the job requirements, your potential to fulfill these requirements, and your opinion that this is not reflected by the salary offer.
  • Prepare for the negotiation.
  • Simulate the discussion using a decision tree as a basis.
  • Set the salary and added benefits in a matrix in order to establish what is important to you, as the benefits will most likely be used as the bargaining chips.
  • Ask for the results of the negotiation in writing, ideally to be included in the employment contract.

Beware: Unequal Salaries for Men and Women

Salary differences between men and women are evident from the start. Even with identical qualifications, female graduates generally enter professional life on lower pay scales than their male peers.

At entry level, salary differences amount to 8% and salary discrimination to 7%. The salaries of male graduates subsequently rise even more quickly and the gap widens during the initial years. An analysis of salaries based on education levels shows that salary differences among university graduates are the highest.

It is therefore essential that female graduates are well prepared for salary talks.

Find more information on salary inequality and salary negotiation here

Weiterführende Informationen


Salary Negotiation Manual

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