Does the thought of talking about salary requirements make you cringe? It may, but when it comes to compensation, you’ll do better if you get comfortable talking about the numbers.

Getting comfortable with money matters

Salary is a hot button topic today. Salary stagnation is an issue facing many Americans, as compensation figures lag behind improving employment numbers. If you think you’re getting paid less than you deserve, or if you’ve faced a declining or reduced salary in recent years, you may be hesitant to be up front with your salary. But when it comes to compensation, honesty is the best policy.

Several years ago I wrote about how awkward salary negotiations can be. But being up front about your salary expectations is one way to make a good first impression on a potential employer. If you do your research and make a reasonable requirement, it shows that you know your value. And it keeps a recruiter from wasting their time if there’s no way you’d accept their salary offer.

In order to help employers and candidates communicate salary requirements more clearly, we’re making two changes to ClearanceJobs:

Desired Salary:  The desired salary field is now an exact amount, rather than a $10,000 range. We want to make it easier for you to communicate your specific salary requirements to a potential employer.

Current Salary:  Don’t worry – this field does not have to be visible to employers.  Simply click ‘Do not display on profile’ next to the salary number and it will be hidden. As we build our salary calculator tool and make it easier than ever to research current salary figures in your industry, having accurate salary data for candidates is a huge help. Use this field to list your current salary or the salary you received at your most recent position.

The benefit of the changes to salary requirements on ClearanceJobs are two-fold – you’ll now have much greater flexibility in clarifying your salary expectations to employers. And with your current salary information (whether or not you choose to include it on your profile), you’ll be in a better position to compare yourself to your peers through our ever-improving Salary Calculator tool.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer