Your current, past, and preferred salary are critical to your job search—but maybe not in the way you think. Some states have passed laws that prohibit companies from asking about your current salary, primarily to stop the practice of continuing to underpay workers by using past salary as an excuse.
However, knowing how your current salary compares to others in your position is a benefit when you yourself are hunting for a new position. Where does your current salary fit on the pay-scale of new and experienced employees? When you know what your experience is worth to other companies, you know at least approximately what you should be paid by the company where you are applying.
According to a survey by human resource consulting firm Robert Half International, 61 percent of workers discuss salary information with each other, but only 28 percent use the information they acquire when asking for a raise, and only 17 percent use that information when negotiating for a new job. Make sure you are among those 17 percent.
If you are reluctant to quiz your fellow employees—or are having no luck finding a peer in your company—then you can research salary information on your current or potential job by searching online. Free information is available at sites like indeed.com and monster.com.
However, keep in mind that job titles, responsibilities, and salary often differ from city to city and from company to company. A director at a large company in a major city might earn significantly more than a director at a small company in a small town. However, the cost of living in a major city is one factor in that difference and may cancel out the extra salary.
Your Salary on Your Resume
You should never include salary information on your resume unless you are applying for a federal job where salary information is usually mandated. If the company demands salary information before interviewing you or when you first apply for a job, you can decline, give a range, or give the salary you expect for the position. But you might also want to rethink applying for the position in a company that is so far behind the times.
At Robin’s Resumes®, we keep on top of the latest practices relating to all aspects of searching and qualifying for a position, so that we can give clients like you the best possible advice.