Answers to a common employment question

I would like to answer an ad in the newspaper, however, the ad requests a salary history. How should I respond?

Mark Gambirasi , Managing Partner

Andiamo Group

Mark Gambirasi has been in recruitment for many years in the corporate, restaurant, and agency fields.

Unfortunately, there is no real way to “get around” providing salary history when responding to an ad requesting it. I would recommend that you include your salary history at the END of your resume and not in the email and/or fax itself so as to encourage the reviewer to read the entire resume containing your successes/achievements before seeing the history. The salary history section should only include the last two positions and not every position listed on your resume. If you fear that you will be over their range, but are still interested in the position, CLEARLY state that your compensation terms are flexible.

Rosanna Ortisi

Manager, Talent Acquisition Abbott Diabetes Care

You can take a few approaches to respond to an add that requests prior salary information. Often it is best to disclose a range of X to X which allows you to communicate your expectations and leave room for negotiation. This scenario also saves time in the event there is a great disparity with what the prospective employer is willing to pay and what the candidate is expecting in terms of compensation. It is always a good idea to provide a brief summary supporting your salary requests.

Gary Sapiro

The employer asking for salary history is not literally expecting applicants to provide salary information for each position they have held. The question is asked in the context of the applicant’s annual salary in the current or most recent job. It’s a given that this information will be used to screen applicants on the basis of budget and affordability. I recommend that you respond by communicating your salary in terms of a range rather than a precise number as it provides a broader interpretation in understanding your earnings. A high percentage of companies will reject applicants who choose not to provide salary information perceiving that they do not follow instructions or avoid the response over the concern that they are compensated too high or too low to be seriously considered.

Richard Stiller

OD/HR Consultant

Rich Stiller has held executive management positions for a variety of high tech companies, from startups to multinational organizations such as Sun Microsystems, Electronic Arts.

If you are answering an ad in the newspaper and not networking your way into jobs as you should be, then you should honor the request of the company that placed the ad and give your salary history. You should also add that you are open on future salary. That way there is a slightly less chance that you will be eliminated from consideration.

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