One of the dumbest things I’ve ever said in an interview was ‘I’ve never had to work for money.’ What I meant was that I’d never felt persuaded to take a job based on dollar amount – I’ve always had the pleasure of doing work I enjoy. But given the fact that I’m neither wealthy nor willing to live in a cardboard box, being above money is nothing to brag about. I, like almost everyone else, work for a paycheck.
While the end game of any job is salary, it can be one of the most awkward parts of the job search process. Should you list your current salary in your resume? Should you fudge the number if you’re looking for a bump? (Answer – no!) Should you list an expected salary range on your profile? Most career experts say to avoid listing salary range on your resume, and always let an employer be the first to broach the question.
But as someone who’s been on both the job seeker side of the equation and the employer, I want to make the case for listing a salary range on your online profile.
First, the number one complaint I often hear from both job seekers and recruiters is the issue of wasted time. Whether you’re currently employed or not, no one likes to chase an opportunity that isn’t the right fit, or to sit down for an interview that’s never going to lead to a full-time job. If you’re vague on your salary requirements, you’re going to end up pursuing the wrong opportunity at some point, or having the wrong company pursue you.
Second, employers have the advantage today. If you think you’re going to be able to negotiate a 10k bump with your charm and powers of persuasion, you’re probably wrong. That’s not to say you can’t earn a competitive salary, but it’s going to have to be based on your skills.
At some point in an application/interview process you’re typically asked for your previous salary. Your previous salary is likely to have the biggest impact on what you’ll be offered by your next employer. Your expected salary at your next job may be significantly higher, and that’s fine. You’ll need to demonstrate that in an interview by outlining your newly acquired skills, certifications or qualifications. But if you’re prepared to justify it, you should be comfortable listing it up front.
Be aggressive with your salary expectations – make it an honest assessment of what your skills are worth in the open market combined with your most recent earnings. But don’t be afraid to list it. Leaving out any details on your Cleared Network profile – including salary data – may be one reason for recruiters to move on to the next candidate.