It’s common for employers to ask potential candidates to disclose their salary history. In fact, many will ask for this information to be revealed in the cover letter or online application. Why? Because once an employer knows your salary history, they can use this to their advantage during salary negotiations. How should you approach salary disclosure? Here are some tips:
Avoid Online Applications that Require Salary Information
If you’ve ever applied for a job on a job search site, like JobTonic, you’ve probably come across applications that require you to submit salary information. As a mandatory field, you can’t submit the application without providing an answer. What’s a job seeker to do when this happens?
One possible solution is to avoid applications that require this information.
If you’re really interested in the position, try emailing, calling or visiting the employer in person instead. Alternatively, you could simply fill in “NA” for salary information. The recruiter may press the issue in the future, but this will give you some time to decide what your next move will be.
Unfortunately, many job seekers give out salary information once the employer tells them it’s “company policy” to ask for it. But you’re not legally required to offer salary information. Politely refuse to disclose this information and ask the hiring manager or recruiter to move on. Reinforce that you’re interested in the position, and change the focus to how you can add value to their company. Let the employer know you’re not comfortable revealing your salary information, but you’d like to discuss how you can help their company.
Some hiring managers will push the issue even after declining to answer the question on numerous occasions. When put on the spot, many candidates cave and answer the question. Use the next tip to help prevent this from happening.
Offer a Salary Range
If the recruiter is adamant on getting your salary information, offer them a range instead. Consider your past salaries and give an estimated answer. If the salaries at your last three positions were $35,000, $43,000 and $37,000, you could tell the recruiter “around $40,000”. This way, you’re giving a truthful answer without disclosing exact numbers.
Experts recommend not being so quick to give this information, though. Again, it’s best to politely decline to answer the question.
Offer Your Reservation Price Instead
If you prefer not to disclose your salary at all (which is what many experts recommend), then you could offer a reservation price instead. Rather than offering a range, you would tell the recruiter how much you’d like to earn. This can work just as well as offering a salary range. But it’s a good idea to have your range number on hand just in case.
When offering your reservation price, remember to be realistic. If the number is too high, you won’t be considered seriously for the position. If the number is too low, you will sell yourself short. Research salaries online to see what others in your position are being paid, and base your reservation price on that.
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