When managing your finances, a budget spreadsheet may be one of the most convenient tools at your disposal. It can help you keep track of your income and expenditures,…continue reading
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What is Salary History?
Future employers or job interviewers will likely ask you what your expected salary is. However, do not confuse the expected salary with salary history. Both are entirely different but are closely intertwined. A salary history is a document that a potential employer or recruiter will ask from you before or during your scheduled job interview. It contains information about your past earnings from the different companies you have worked with your entire career. Employers will ask for your salary history so that they can determine your market value, to know your expected salary is within their budget, and to offer you a fair amount for the job position you are applying for. Basically, to get an idea of your expected salary, an employer refers to your salary history. Once he has an idea of what you expect as your wage, he will give you a reasonable offer that you have the right to accept or deny.
Things to Include in a Salary History Letter
There is not much content in a salary history. Most of it is just basic information about your previous employment from all the companies you have worked for. Typically, the salary history is included in your cover letter or resume. You can state your previous salary in your cover letter or provide a separate document for it. If you choose to place it in a different document apart from your cover letter or resume, be sure to include these following information: the name of the company you have worked for, your job title in such company, your starting salary, your ending salary, and other benefits, allowances or compensation you have received throughout your employment with such company. It is worth noting that a salary history should be a list format. So list down all companies you have previously worked for in your entire career in chronological order; starting with your current and most recent job at the top part and followed by the job before that. If you are still confused, you may refer to our sample templates above.
How To Negotiate Your Salary in a Job Interview
Negotiating your future salary with a potential employer may seem scary, but it is something you should do. According to a study conducted by salary.com, people who fail to negotiate their salary are missing out on half a million dollars, at an average, over the course of their entire career. If you think about it and do the math, that’s around $ 16, 000 per year you are losing because you were afraid to negotiate your salary and took the first offer given to you. We have gathered a few tips that can help you step up your game in a job interview.
Step 1: Offer your expected salary
In the interview stage, you will get asked how much is your expected salary. The first thing you should do is state a number higher than your previous or current wage. Offering a higher (but reasonable) number will start the negotiation process. You and the interviewer can work around that offer until you reach an agreement and meet half-way.
Step 2: Know your value
You know yourself and your skills better than anyone. You can search online, how much the average salary range is for the position you are applying. Coupled with your work experience, you will be able to know your worth. You can also consult with your previous HR department to get an assessment.
Step 3: Be confident
When negotiating your salary with a potential employer, keep your head up and smile. Maintain enough eye contact while listening to the interviewer. Take notice of your posture and body positioning. Relax and talk slowly. Converse with your interviewer.
Step 4: Think about it
Once you have come to a final number after a series of back and forth negotiating. Take a step back and think about it. You can ponder on it as long as you want. You can either give the interviewer your answer during the interview or you could ask him if you can think about it for a while and get back to him. If you chose the latter, don’t take too much time that you will lose the offer unless you don’t want it.
Step 5: Get it in writing
Don’t quit your current job just yet. Once you have decided that the offer is reasonable and you are ready to accept it, get it in writing. You should have the agreement documented to seal the deal. The interviewer will tell you that he will contact you some time in the future so you can sign the employment contract. Once you have signed it, get ready to send in your resignation letter to your previous employer.
Why do potential employers ask for your current salary?
During a job interview, most interviewers will ask you how much you salary you make from your last job. It is protocol. They ask you that question to know how much salary they should offer you. Basically, recruiters will ask you this to have an understanding of your wage expectations if you plan on working with them. They want to know if they can afford you and your services. A common exercise of management is an employee’s salary history equates to his future earnings; which sounds revolting for most. Your past should not define your worth. Hence, you can try to avoid answering this question.
Should I disclose my salary history to a potential employer?
Ideally, it would be best to avoid discussions about your previous salary rate. As a matter of fact, it is illegal in some states for an employer to ask a potential employee salary history questions. The following states have made it illegal for employers to ask applicants about their current wages: California, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Orleans, New York City, Pittsburgh, Puerto Rico, and San Francisco. If a future employer or job interviewer asks you salary history questions and you don’t feel comfortable answering it, try and redirect the question. Consider saying, “I do not feel particularly comfortable disclosing my salary history, but the job position I’m applying for has a salary range between $ to x $.”
Can you lie about your current salary?
It is very unprofessional to lie about your current salary. Even if you do lie about it during your job interview, there is a huge possibility that you will get caught during the recruitment process. Most recruiters know the market rate for your previous job. If it looks too good to be true, then they will detect that the entry is false. This might disqualify you from the job application. If you do get through the process and the employer hires you but he finds out you lied during the interview, you can get fired afterward. Lying about anything in an interview can be a ground for immediate dismissal without notice. It is highly suggested that you tell the truth and be transparent.
Can companies check your salary history with your previous employer?
Generally, no but in some cases yes. If you live in any of the states that have a salary history ban, then an employer cannot legally ask you to disclose your past salary, benefits, or other company compensation. However, if you live in an area where there are no laws prohibiting the asking of such questions, then yes a company can check your salary history provided you have signed a release form from your previous company allowing future employers to verify information from them. In some cases, certain companies have policies that prohibit their employee’s future employers to inquire about any information from them. This includes asking them questions about a previous employee’s salary history. It can be difficult for an employer to verify your salary history.
How to avoid talking about salary expectations to a potential employer?
Some employers ask applicants to include salary expectations in their resume. If you are of those persons who feel uneasy talking about it, you could totally ignore the request. However, this could affect your chances of getting an interview for not following directions. A few possible alternatives for this are: (1) instead of writing a specific amount you can provide them a salary range or (2) you can tell them your salary requirements are flexible and negotiate your compensation in the future. Disclosing your current salary or salary expectation is your own prerogative. Only share information you are comfortable sharing.
There are potential pitfalls when you provide a potential employer with your salary history. If you were receiving below-average income from your previous work, your employer might think you will work for cheap and give you a slightly higher salary (but is still cheap). Earning below-average may also give him the impression that your work experience is not up to par and may cause your early elimination in the job process. You can always, refuse to provide the document and discuss face to face with the interview your salary expectations. But if an employer strictly asks for the salary history, you have no choice but to provide him one. To give you an idea of how it should look like, consider downloading our sample templates above and get started drafting the document.