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Sallary History Help...

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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   AllenD


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Posted August 31 2001 - 07:59 PM

I'm not sure what a sallary history looks like so I can't decide on a format to use to send with my resume. Can someone post a sallary history for me. Also, should this be on a separate page from my resume. Most jobs ask for a resume only and some require sallary history. Thanks! ------------------ Signature? I don't need no stinkin' signature.

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Paul O

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Posted August 31 2001 - 08:24 PM

A Salary History is a can't win thing. Your either qualified for the job or your not based on your resume and interview. The value in a Salary History is to give the employer a upper hand - either (a) you make too much money so they can eliminate you from consideration right away for someone cheaper or (b) you dont make near enough money based on your qualifications and they can continue to screw you based upon your previous history of being screwed by your past employer. The only advice i can give is to make your salary history..ummm..adaptable, so that it is in line with the job you are applying for.

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   KyleS



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Posted August 31 2001 - 08:51 PM

I would completely agree with Paul. The main reason anyone asks for a salary history is to eliminate people that make too much (people that would laugh at their offer) and then to find out if they can offer you less then they wanted to pay but "You" would be willing to settle for (since you did before) at least according to your history. I guess that sooner or later it all comes down to money though. Posted Image

At my last interview, after 2.5 hours they flat out asked me what I was expecting to make if they offered me the job.... Talk about a crappy situation, trying to figure out in 15 seconds how to keep from screwing myself, either by too low of pay or NO JOB Posted Image Best of luck on your possible new job.


#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Philip_G



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Posted August 31 2001 - 09:11 PM

just be honest and ask for what you think you're worth, you may just get it. An employer certainly isn't going to offer you more than you ask for, so why not?

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Eric Scott

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Posted August 31 2001 - 09:55 PM

Allen, the salary history can be placed below the firms name and address on the left or on the far right opposite the firm name. i.e. Salary: $225,000 Plus bonus, stock options and a benefit package. A good, strong cover letter can be as important as the resume, depending upon who's reading them. But the main thing is to get out as many as possible fax/mail because you may not get an interview no matter what you write. Make certain that someone else proof reads your material for spelling and grammar. Even professional writers sometimes have trouble noticing their own mistakes because many people tend to repeat from memory rather than read what they think they wrote, passing over the written errors. Good Luck [Edited last by Eric Scott on September 01, 2001 at 11:03 AM]

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Bill Catherall

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Posted August 31 2001 - 10:18 PM

The whole salary thing can go back and forth between the interviewer and interviewee. I learned that the first person to actually name the salary loses. Keep it going back and forth as much as possible and try to avoid being the person to actually name the price.

Interviewer: What kind of salary do you require?

You: How much are you prepared to offer?

(I): How much would you like?

(Y): I'm confident that my salary requirements will fit in the range available for this position. How much would you be willing to pay someone with my experience and qualifications?

And on, and on, etc.

Keep the game going for as long as you can. This way you aren't stuck with naming a price too low that you are stuck with or naming one too high that gets you turned down. Don't be afraid to do some negotiating after the offer, but don't be rude and egotistical. Thank them for the generous offer and ask them if they are willing to go a little higher. Now's a good time to actually name a higher figure. If they can't budge find out about some other kind of incentive like a bonus, more vacation time the first year, etc. It shows that you really think you're well worth what you're asking. If you jump at the first thing offered then they may not be willing to sweeten it. But always feel appreciative of what they offer. Don't blow it off unless it really is insulting. But do so politely.

I was told to never send in a salary history even when asked. Of course it really depends if it is a professional or hourly position. If it's an hourly position then send one in. It shows you can follow the rules. If it's a professional position then it shows you know how to play the game.

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#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Rob FM

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Posted August 31 2001 - 10:45 PM


#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Drew Bethel

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Posted September 01 2001 - 02:56 AM

Negotiating for a salary and divulging personal info is two different things! Personally, I think it's none of their business. I don't give salary history on CVs and I don't fill them in on applications. It worked the last time cause I got a ~$10k raise when I last changed jobs.
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#9 of 19 OFFLINE   brian a

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Posted September 01 2001 - 10:58 AM

I've always thought it interesting how secretive about salary we all are. No one knows what anyone else makes. That includes co-workers and friends for the most part. I've always thought that any system that drives people to be so secretive about it can't be right. Why do you think people are so secretive about what they make? Wouldn't the system be more fair if it were more open? brianca..

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Patrick_S



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Posted September 01 2001 - 12:15 PM

Admittedly I haven't made up a new resume in quite some time but when did putting past salaries come into play?

FYI: I do have a resume but it is the same format that I have used for the past fifteen years.

I agree, it really isn't any future employers business what you made in a past job and listing your history really gives the employer that upper hand.

I've always thought it interesting how secretive about salary we all are. No one knows what anyone else makes. That includes co-workers and friends for the most part.

Here is my opinion about all the secrecy concerning incomes.

For right or wrong we tend to judge a person by how much money they make or their net worth, so we don't want people to know the true figures.

Also, employers like to encourage secrecy because it they don't want employee A to know that employee B doing the same job is getting more money.


#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Bill Catherall

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Posted September 01 2001 - 01:01 PM


Negotiating for a salary and divulging personal info is two different things!

True. But there is a relationship: if you divulge your personal info it makes it more difficult to negotiate.

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#12 of 19 OFFLINE   Ryan Wright

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Posted September 04 2001 - 08:35 AM


Why do you think people are so secretive about what they make?


Because, certain people make a lot of extra $$ doing the same job. One of my first jobs out of high school I was making $13 an hour. We hired a new guy, who I trained - even though he was supposed to already have the skills when he was hired. The two of us becames friends and after a couple of months it was discovered that he was being paid $16 an hour. I had a nice long discussion with management and walked away with a $3/hour increase. That's a little over $6K a year. They hated it. Thus, the strict "You can be fired for talking about your salary" rules were crafted.

Question: This salary history thread is great. I recently applied for a job that paid $20k more than I'm currently making. I did very well during the interview, and was called back for a second interview. I've always listed my salary history on my resume. I was directly asked why I thought I could make $20k more doing essentially the same job. I replied that I was greatly underpaid and that the salary range at their firm was right in line with what I should be making. Both interviews went very well but IMHO, I think the reason I didn't get the job was because they did not want to give me a $20k salary increase. Note that I didn't set the price, they did right in their advertisement.

So, what would you folks suggest in the future? Eliminate the salary history alltogether, or fudge it to get it more inline with what I want? I'm thinking they have no way to get my salary information. I doubt they can just call my employer and ask them. OTOH I'd rather be honest if I can help it. Posted Image

-Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
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#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Bill Catherall

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Posted September 04 2001 - 09:41 AM

So, what would you folks suggest in the future?[/quote]
Like I said before...don't answer the question. Even if they specifically ask for a salary history, don't give them it. If you lie about your salary history then that is being dishonest. If you don't answer the request then you aren't being dishonest, you just aren't give them the upper hand.

Of course it's much easier to say this then to do it. You have to work around the request for a salary history as best you can. When I got this job they asked me in my interview what my other employer was paying me. I floundered and told them. I wasn't fully prepared for that question and didn't think up an answer before I went in. Because of this I don't think I got as much as I could have if they didn't know what I was making. On the other hand it could be argued that they might have low-balled the offer if they didn't know and that knowing gave them the ability to shoot higher in hopes of bringing me on board.

The best thing to do is find a tactful way of avoiding the question and get them to make the offer without you telling them your history. I'll be a little more prepared the next time it happens.

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[Edited last by Bill Catherall on September 04, 2001 at 12:42 PM]

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   brian a

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Posted September 04 2001 - 07:11 PM

Anyone with a suggestion on how to not answer this question when asked directly? What would a good response be? brianca

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   brian a

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Posted September 04 2001 - 07:59 PM

Anyone want to offer a tactful response to the question while still refusing to answer? brianca.

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Marianne


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Posted September 05 2001 - 07:29 AM


I have just been dealing with a bunch of resumes and it is really important not to piss off the person who has to read your resume.

1. Don't make the print so small that they can't read the resume or your contact information.

2. If you are faxing it always use a clean original.

3. One page plus cover sheet is ideal (2 plus cover max.)

4. Tailor your resume to the job you are seeking. Expand the relevant stuff - condense the irrelevant.

5. Include as many contact options as possible (address, telephone, cellphone, fax, email.)

Hope this helps - good luck. Posted Image

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#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Jodee



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Posted September 05 2001 - 01:00 PM

If it ever says to submit salary history, I omit that and just say something in my cover letter such as "Salary requirements are negotiable." Because really they are. If a company is offering crappy benefits then obviously you want a higher salary. Good perks, and you can take a lower salary.

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   Jason L.

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Posted September 05 2001 - 03:33 PM

The classic response to the salary requirement question is: "I'm willing to consider any reasonable offer." Notice the word "reasonable" is extremely vague and could mean very different things to different people. The bottom line is that you should not answer the question. I think that Bill said it right in that you could answer the question with another question. Sometimes, that will not work and they want an exact answer. If I already had a secure job, I would flat out not give them an answer, politely saying that it was personal. If that disqualifies me, then so be it. However, in these tough economic times you might have to bite the bullet and give a figure. If you are going to give a figure, aim high and lie if you have to. Let's say you are making 34K a year. They offer 38K. If you didn't give your salary you could tell them, "I need 42K, because that is what I am currently making now, and I can't take a pay cut". That is a lot easier to explain to an HR person than saying, "Well, I'm making 34K, but I want more money!" At this point in the game, they have already made up their minds that they want to hire you. They will not reject you at this point. In fact, I've had HR people at this point tell me, "Well, the maximum in the salary range is _____". Then you are in the catbird seat because you know THEIR salary figures. Answering the salary question honestly only hurts you. Either you just priced yourself out of the job, or they are getting you cheaply. Also, try and avoid saying that you are single. Married guys always get offered more than single guys.

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   BrianW



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Posted September 05 2001 - 05:14 PM

Unless you’re an hourly wage earner, don’t give out your salary history. Period.

But that’s not why I’m here. I really wanted to respond to this:

Anyone with a suggestion on how to not answer this question when asked directly? What would a good response be?
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to open the negotiations and still come out on top? Well, I’ve come up with a way. Read carefully, and I’ll share my secret:

I’ve used what I call the Flinch-Factor technique in the past with tremendous success. It goes like this:
Interviewer: So, how much would it take to get you to work for us?

You: $120,000.

Interviewer: (Flinches) I see…

You: Of course that may be a little high in this case. You see, since my background has mainly been contract work, I’ve had to pay for my own Social Security and benefits. And there’s also something to be said for security in a fine company like yours, which wouldn’t otherwise be the case if this were just another short-term contract position. How much would you say your benefits package is worth?
By using this technique, you’ve placed a value on your work without locking yourself into a non-negotiable price. More importantly, you’ve also changed the focus of the conversation away from the value of your work to the company (which has now been established), to the value of the company to you as an employee. The interviewer, if you’re qualified, will now strive to “sell” the company to you in order to offset your stated, but negotiable, salary requirement.

Suddenly, the shoe is on the other foot. (Or something like that. ) The chances are excellent that the counter offer will far exceed what you otherwise could have gotten for the job. And you may still be able to go up from there.

But beware – this is a very delicate technique. To use the Flinch-Factor successfully, you must follow these rules precisely:

1. Decide on a salary before the interview. Don’t go in unprepared. Don’t change your mind once you get there. Don’t have “contingency” salaries, depending on how the interview goes. Pick one price before the interview, and stick to it.

2. Pick a salary that you know is high for the job for which you’re interviewing, but not too high for your profession. It has to be believable, but not completely outrageous.

3. Pick a salary you will be happy with if the interviewer doesn’t flinch. Because if the interviewer doesn’t flinch, which should be somewhat of a possibility if you followed rule two, you’re going to be stuck with it. It should be enough to make you very happy and not regret picking a number that might have been too low.

4. Decide before the interview what you’re going to say in the event of a flinch. It must be something to mitigate your high demands – a potential reason to possibly consider less that what you asked for. If possible, it should focus on something intangible, like “company security,” or “family atmosphere,” or some such thing that can’t have a dollar value attached to it. This will force the interviewer to shift gears from devaluing your offer to valuing the company’s intangibles. Make it apply to your situation, your job, and the company you’re interviewing with. Make it good. Make it believable. Make it gracious. Don’t say something lame like, “I’ll consider less, however, because I like your blue walls.”

5. Write down what you’re going to say in the event of a flinch, and rehearse it. Rehearse it over and over. It is very important that this script be delivered in a calm, almost afterthought fashion. You must not appear to be trying to salvage the situation. You must not appear to be doing damage control. The interviewer must not discover that you’re responding to his nearly subconscious flinch.

6. Remember not to say anything if the interviewer doesn’t flinch!

7. Don’t use this technique for a job for which you are not qualified, or for a minimum-wage job. Not only will it not work, but you’ll be laughed at within the company for days, if not weeks, to come.

8. Don’t use this technique if, in the course of the interview, you decide that you do not want to work for the company after all. If you start the technique by stating a salary, and the interviewer doesn’t flinch, then you’re pretty much stuck ending the interview by saying you just don’t want to work there at any price.

8. If you use this technique, and it works, you must send me five percent of your salary for six months. (Well, at least put me on your Christmas card list.)

It is true that neither party wants to be the first to put a number on the table. But someone has to do it, and avoiding starting negotiations can make you appear to be obstinate and greedy if it goes on too long. Of course, the company is being the same way, but they’ve got the upper hand. How much better it is to be the first to state a number and have it work to your advantage!

By properly using the Flinch-Factor technique, you appear to be gracious enough to start the negotiations, confident in your abilities, and considerate of the company’s needs and value to its employees. You probably won’t get what you originally ask for, but if done properly, the Flinch-Factor technique will get you quite a few notches above what you otherwise could have hoped for.

Good luck, and use this power only for good – never for evil.

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