Job postings that ask for salary histories can seem a little invasive. It kind of feels like going on a first date with someone who asks to see your monthly bank statement before drinks are even served. As a result, you might be tempted to ignore the request altogether.
Unfortunately, though, doing so is a mistake. In fact, hiring managers have very specific reasons for asking about salary history – and when you submit an application without including yours (only if they request it), you’re basically telling them that you can’t follow directions.
So why do hiring managers want to know about past salaries?
Reason #1. You might be wary about offering your salary history because you don’t want to make the same amount as you did in your last Northwest job…you want to make more. This is normal. Hiring managers expect candidates to want a raise. They just need to make sure it’s reasonable and within the parameters of what they are prepared to offer a new hire.
Reason #2. In addition, hiring managers also want to see that your salary has been increasing gradually over the years. If it hasn’t been, or it’s dropped drastically without a good explanation (like you cut your hours back for a few years when you had small children at home), it’s a sign of a problem.
And what can you do to ensure you negotiate the best salary for your next job?
- Do your homework. It’s possible that in your last Northwest job, you made below fair market value. If you suspect that’s the case, then do some research to determine how much you should have been making. Then offer these numbers up as a benchmark during the salary negotiation process.
- Factor in benefits. When negotiating your salary, don’t forget to factor in benefits. For example, perhaps a prospective employer is offering you a bigger salary, but less total compensation than your last position. If that’s the case, then use that as leverage to negotiate an even bigger salary or more benefits.
- Don’t exaggerate. You might be tempted to inflate the salary history of your past Northwest jobs…but don’t do it. Potential employers can request W-2s from a former employer before finalizing a compensation package for you – and if you get caught in a lie, then you could lose out big time.
If you’d like additional assistance with your search for Northwest jobs, let us know. As one of the top employment agencies in the area, we’ve placed over 6,000 direct hire professionals with local companies since 1994. And we’d like to help place you too! Learn more now.