As a general rule, never disclose your salary information unless it is specifically requested. When salary history or requirements are requested, companies are generally using salary as a tool to screen people out. Some employers observe salary progress to see if you are the type who only changes jobs for more money. It may suggest that you might just use them as another stepping stone. On the other hand, if they observe a large drop in pay, it may raise a red flag. So whatís a person to do?

How Do I Determine A Salary Requirement?
The salary for any particular position is affected by several factors, including:

  • the level of responsibility,
  • availability of qualified applicants,
  • insurance benefits, stock options, and other elements of the compensation package.
You cannot logically set a salary requirement until you have had a chance to determine what the job is worth. When determining salary, donít base it on what you want or need to make; base it on what the job is worth.

Once the job has been described to you in an interview, you will be better able to decide what a position with that level of responsibility should be worth. Other considerations might include the types of benefit packages offered, potential for bonus or commission, and opportunities for professional development.

Measure What Each Job Is Worth!

"Measure What Each
Job Is Worth!"

What About Ads Requesting Salary Information?
If you are answering an ad that demands salary information, there are several options:

  1. Ignore the request (keeping in mind that your résumé may be screened out because you didnít "follow instructions").

  2. Include a Salary Information Sheet, containing your salary history and current requirement. It is suggested that you provide a range for salary requirement. For example, "Current salary is in the $40,000 - $45,000 range." This should be followed by a statement indicating that your requirements are negotiable, depending on various factors (such as benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc.). Of course, it is important to research the company and the industry to learn approximately what this type of position might pay before you respond.

  3. Include salary information in your cover letter. This is an option if only salary requirements are requested. Salary history is generally too long to include in a cover letter and would be best addressed on a Salary Information Sheet.

  4. Acknowledge the request for salary information, but donít give it. For example: "I would be happy to discuss salary during a personal interview."

Stack 'o Money
Printed Pages can help you develop wording that will address the difficult issue of salary. Our professional staff is ready to help you determine which options are best for your individual situation. If you need a Salary Information Sheet (containing salary history and requirements), or simply need help in wording your cover letter to address the issue of salary, weíre here to help.

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