Disclosing Salary History and Requirements
I received the following request via email:
Can you explain or give me sample of replying to an ad for a job in which they request you mail/e-mail resume, cover letter and salary requirements?
Asking a job applicant for his or her Salary Requirement is a sticky issue. Some employers even ask for your Salary History, which is an even stickier issue. What if you ask for more than they are willing to pay? What if you have been underpaid for several years? Will this new employer keep up that tradition just because it's how it has been for you?
With Salary Requirements I'm personally in favor of the "respond with a range" idea, but in order for you to do this you must know what that job in that region typically pays. Visiting some of the Salary and Compensation Sites we have listed will help by arming you with the right information. I also suggest you be prepared to handle either or both of these questions in an interview since the issue may be raised at that time.
Here are a few articles on why these requests are made and how to deal with them.
- What Are Your Salary Expectations?, Margaret Buj (ezinearticles.com)
- "A question about salary could be one of the most difficult ones during a job interview. The employer always has a set maximum budget for a certain position but they still want to hire the best people for the least amount of money so it is almost certain they will ask you this question." Advice and tips from an interview coach and senior recruiter.
- Salary Requirements: Disclosing Salary Requirements and Salary History, Alison Doyle, (About.com)
- Alison offers ways for you to respond when asked for a salary history and/or your salary requirements. Additional resources are available at the end of the article.
- Responding to questions about your salary expectations, Career Services @ Virginia Tech
- "Occasionally, an employer may ask you to give a salary requirement or preference. This question is appropriate for (and more likely to be asked of) experienced people with a salary history. For a student being hired directly out of college or a graduate program, the question can be awkward. But don't be unprepared. There are several ways you can respond..." As they say at the top of the page -- Don't be taken by surprise! Cruise around the entire Career Services website as they have great articles covering many topics.
- Divulging Salary History, Nick Corcodilos (AskTheHeadhunter.com FAQs about Salary)
- "Employers have no business asking for your salary history."
- Keep Your Salary Under Wraps, Nick Corcodilos (AskTheHeadhunter.com)
- "If your value is really a function of judgment and need, why would any employer care what you've been earning at your last job? Good question, and one I'm asked all the time by people who are rightly perplexed when a personnel jockey insists on knowing their salary history." For all of you who wonder how to handle the "please state your salary history" inquiry from a potential employer, Nick tells you why he believes this question is unreasonable and how to politely refuse to disclose this personal information (advance preparation is key).
- Responding to Requests for Salary Requirements or Salary Histories: Strategies and Suggestions by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. (QuintCareers.com)
- "[...] let's examine why employers ask for these things. Most often, the simple reason is that employers want an easy screening device to help sort applicants, and those applicants with a salary requirement too low or too high are discarded. Other times, the employer is looking to save money by hiring a job-seeker at the low end of a salary range. In either case, it's not really fair to the job-seeker."
- Disclosing Salary Requirements and Salary History by Alison Doyle (About.com Job Searching)
- "If you are asked to include your salary history with your resume, you could ignore the request, but, that means you could risk not getting an interview.[...] When salary requirements are requested, you have a little more flexibility."
- Should I Disclose Salary Requirements? Erisa Ojimba (Salary.com)
- "The bottom line about the bottom line is: if the job is right for you and you're right for the job, there is a fair salary range for the job that represents good-faith negotiation by both you and your employer. The salary negotiation sets the tone for how the employer will treat you in the future."
- What Is Your Salary History? Carole Martin (Monster.com)
- "Asking someone, 'How much money do you make?' is considered a rude question in most circumstances. Normally, the answer would be, "None of your business." But when applying for a job, especially one you are interested in, the question is common and you may find yourself at a loss as to how to answer. The best way to deal with it is to defer the subject until you have more facts." Ms. Martin then shows how to defer this discussion until you are in an actual interview, but she also advises you have that history ready to present.
- Tips for Evading the Salary Question, Lindsay Olson (USNews.com)
- "It's hard not to panic when asked about salary during a job interview—and it will inevitably come up during the interview process. [...] But how you respond to questions about how much you want to make will directly affect your future compensation package. That means that gracefully dealing with salary questions is one of the most important interviewing skills you can master. Here are some key points to consider when discussing your salary requirements with a potential employer." Excellent article!
- How to Deal with Salary History Questions, Suzanne Lucas (CBSNews.com)
- Suzanne's column tag is "Evil HR Lady". Yes, she is an experienced corporate HR manager. This article is not so much how to deal with the question as it is an explanation of Why the question is asked. Knowing why they are asking can help you prepare your answers. Check our some of her other columns for more insight into HR and corporate management.