Focus on your value, not what you need or greed.
If you don’t have much of a work history, you need to be very flexible with salary. Employers don’t want to pay a lot of money to teach.
Pay attention to your tone. Attitude and tone can convey a lot during negotiations.
Research what the job value is online. Keep in mind the online salary tools are national averages.
Be honest with your salary if asked directly. Also, be honest about your expectations and when people ask salary they are typically asking base salary.
Don’t take the negotiations personally. It’s a business deal.
Consider other perks beyond base salary -- benefits, extra vacation, free meals, flex-time, stock, bonus etc. This only works for small to medium sized companies. Too big of company = little wiggle room. They are harnessed by Human Resources.
Ask for an offer in writing.
You can counter offer but be prepared to hear no.
Most companies want an answer to an offer within 24 – 48 hours. It’s easy to stretch it over the weekend if the offer comes the end of the week. If you are putting off answering them is it the right job for you?
If you only have one offer and it’s not great but you need to get to work, it is OK to take the job. Some of the best educational experiences are from bad experiences. Work is work it’s not called play. If you can find a job you can “play” at, you are one of the lucky ones. Most people understand that work only partially fulfills your life. You must find other ways at times to be happy. Work is not always flowers and fairies. You can learn anywhere and then take that knowledge with you when you move later.
Do not take an offer and then not show up because you got a better offer somewhere else. SoCal is smaller than you think and word does get around. Don’t burn bridges.