Resume Question: How to List Salary History and Requirements

Here’s another good question: Should you list your salary history or your salary requirements on your resume? If so, how should you list them? Read Yana Parke’sr advice on this often debated topic.

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What About Salary History and Requirements on a Resume?

Dear Yana,
I read your excerpt on “salary history” and I found it very helpful. My question is, would it apply the same for salary requirements?

I’m just starting to apply for “real” jobs (since I’m about to graduate) and really don’t have much experience with a job that will actually offer a salary and benefits, so I really don’t know how to answer this question. I don’t want them to think I’m clueless about this, when in fact, I am.

Another question would be, what is the format for listing salary requirement? Where should I include it? Is it part of my cover letter?

Thanks for your help,

Tips for Handling a Request for Salary History or Salary Requirements

Hello Frank,
The reason behind the question is just about the same whether an employer inquires about your “salary history” or your “salary requirements.” Either way, you put yourself at a great disadvantage if you respond with a dollar figure, especially without having a clue about what the “going rate” is for new graduates in your field.

So the FIRST thing you need to do is eliminate the guess-work with some hard research, the more the better. The more you prepare for the interview, with knowledge about what is reasonable to expect for a starting salary in your field, the better you’ll fare in salary negotiations. (And remember, stall and hedge and make THEM state a dollar-figure FIRST.)

Where to find out about salaries? Do some online “salary” searches and, of course, check with your college instructors, fellow-graduates and anybody you know (or can get referred to) who works in your new field. Salary is just ONE of the questions you can ask such a person, in what is popularly called an “informational interview.” That’s an interview where you aren’t fishing for a job; you’re asking for help in demystifying the employment conditions in your target field.

Best to you with the launch of your new career!