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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Should Your Salary Be On Your Resume?

One of the most uncomfortable parts of a job search is the discussion of salary. Most of us do not really like negotiations over salary and fear that putting our current wage on paper might doom us to repeat it or not get the job we are searching for. For the most part, you really do not need to put salary history on your resume. At the same time, if a job posting asks you to include salary history or requirements when applying, they will be looking for that information when you apply. Skipping that part of the application process can automatically eliminate you from the running.
Employers have various reasons for requesting salary information but, regardless of those reasons, if they request it be sure to include it within your application. They may want to screen out those who expect more than they are willing to offer or find someone who is qualified and willing to take the least amount of compensation. They certainly want to know you will follow instructions. You could comply with a request for salary history in several ways:
- attach a salary history to your resume on a separate page
- include it in your cover letter
- use a salary range rather than the specific amounts
It should go without saying that your salary history should be accurate and up to date. You will be jeopardizing your career when they check with former employers and discover the truth, which is a very real possibility. At the same time, if you think you were underpaid, there is no reason to avoid saying so. You want to be sure that it can be said diplomatically and appropriately to avoid any misunderstandings. Be sure to not get discouraged if you don't get the job -- there are various reasons that these things happen and your salary requirements may not be why.
Salary requirements can be handled with statements that show your flexibility and willingness to negotiate the overall compensation package including benefits. Here, too, a range can be helpful as long as it is within reasonable limits. Putting "negotiable" is not always the answer that employers are looking for so be sure to be open and honest about your expectations. Tools like a salary calculator help you figure out what the range for those expectations should be. Salary may not be on your resume, but it is definitely at the top of everybody's priority list, and you need to be prepared to discuss it.
Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of PRS She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 8 best-selling career books and has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. Award.

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