Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Letís face it, it's all about salary. While we hope to get the career of our dreams, there is no mistaking the fact that salary is important when it comes down to applying for and accepting a job. If you market your price too high, youíll price yourself right out of the competition. If you come in too low you may get the job, however, you may end up unhappy with the pay-to-work ratio. The important question is - when IS it time to discuss salary? How do you figure it all out?
Start with the job advertisement. If the advertisement lists a salary range, entering a dollar figure above this range on your application may price you out of the running. Also, keep in mind that government agencies have a set pay band. There is usually little-to-no chance of you being offered the top or above the scale. Aim for a figure slightly below the mid-range. If itís private sector, feel free to go for the gusto at the top of the scale.
Head to the Internet. Search sites like O íNet, Monster.com and other jobsites to find out what the range is for the position youíre applying to. Here to, if the salary indicates minimum wage, it would not be wise to ask for a huge salary. You want to show that youíre knowledgeable and have some idea of what the position entails and how that relates to the salary.
Should you even put a salary amount on the application? If youíre submitting a resume as opposed to an application, definitely leave the salary amount off the page If itís an application, itís fine to leave the field blank. Again, if youíre aware of the salary range, feel free to enter it.
Should you enter a pay history? If you want to skirt around the system, which sometimes isnít a bad thing, leave those fields blank. An example would be if you have always worked in a lower paying job and are applying to a higher paying, more technical field. You donít want to show that youíre ďnot worthĒ a higher pay.
During the recruitment process, there are several points where salary becomes an issue Ė the application, the interview and the offer acceptance. To avoid disqualifying yourself before you get to the gate, care should be taken with any references to salary. If you know in advance, however, that you will absolutely not accept an offer for a penny less than for what youíre asking, by all means display your price all over the place. The salary discussion is like walking on a tight rope, but careful timing will help to keep it from not costing you a job.