“List your current salary.”
Few job application requirements trip up applicants like these four words. Listing your current salary can feel like a trap, no matter how much or how little you make. Jot down a number that’s too high, you think, and you might price yourself out of a job offer; too low, and you’ve sold yourself short.
At any rate, you think, you’ll tackle that question in the interview. You know what the going rate is for professionals with your skills. But what you don’t list on the application can hurt you in the interview.
Should You Tell?
In the quest not to show your hand too soon, you may decide not to mention your current or most recent salary, even if the application requests it. This is a calculated move designed to protect your bargaining position until you know what salary the employer has in mind – or so you may think.
In fact, listing your salary can help you immensely. Here’s why:
Employers won’t offer you what you’re worth until they’re convinced you’re worth it.
Imagine yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Although the going rate for professionals in the position is $125,000, Applicant A has listed a current salary of $100,000. Applicant A’s experience and skills are top-notch, and you feel optimistic: if the interview goes well, you think, you have room to bargain – up to $25,000 of room, in fact – to turn Applicant A into the newest member of the team.
And then there’s Applicant B. Applicant B left the “salary” question blank. You call up Applicant B, but you don’t get an answer to the question, only the announcement that “the going rate $125,000, so I’ll be asking for that.” Unless Applicant B outshines the other interviewees by an order of magnitude, you think, it’s not likely you’ll be extending an offer. After all, Applicant B has left you no room to maneuver.
When you disclose your salary, you don’t lock yourself into your current pay grade or imply that you don’t know what you’re worth. Instead, you set a “floor” from which to bargain your way up.
How Can You Get the Pay You Are Looking For?
From finding a competitively-paying position to negotiating a job offer, the search can be tough. With an experienced recruiter on your side, you can make it over these hurdles with confidence and land the job you’re looking for.
At ABA Search & Staffing, our experienced recruiters can help you build the career of your dreams, from polishing your resume to negotiating a promising salary. Talk to us today to learn more.