Host: How do I handle salary questions on job applications?
Karen James Chopra: Many job applications, specially online applications now have sections for salary history or what most recent salary was? Or what your salary requirements are? For the online applications many of them are structured in the such way that you have to put a number in, in order for the application to be accepted i.
e. you can't leave it blank and you can't write a word there. If you have to fill a written application, you might to say on salary requirements, they are negotiable or salary history, say 'competitive' or 'market rate'. Fill in the application words instead of numbers that indicate that you have read the question and that you think this information is adequate for their needs. The fear here is that they are going to think that you are being difficult if you don't actually provide them with the number, but I think that's a lower risk than indicating salary that's probably going to get you eliminated or diminish your leverage at the end. So on applications to the extent that you can, don't include anything on an actual salary number. For those online application, you want to do as few of them as possible, but if you have to list the salary number, go with the one that you think is going to be the most advantageous for you. So if you want them to pay you a lot of money, give them the highest salary that you have earned. If you want them to consider you because you think this job is going to pay less than the job you have made, you may want to go with the salary figure that was a couple of years ago to make you more attractive candidate and that's the best you are going to be able to do.