Money & Such has a good post on Negotiating a Job Offer.
I tried telling my wife that she should always counter the job offer, regardless if she’s fresh out of college and that every one of her friends got identical job offers.
She refused saying that her professors were against it and that it would look bad and create the wrong impression about her. Long story short she later found out that some of her classmates, while getting the same salary, did however get an extra thousand bucks as a sign-on bonus!
She was really pissed. It wasn’t the fact that it was a thousand dollars, but rather the fact that a salary is a measure of her self-worth. She graduated with a summa cum laude and she really felt short-changed.
Nothing is ever set in stone. If a salary is the most they can give, they’ll tell you so. Just don’t be a jerk about it and you won’t have the offer rescinded on you!