Salary history requirements, a potential employer's bad reviews

  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Mar 07, 2013 1:13 AM GMT
    Good news is that I have an interview with a firm that is respected in the industry I want to be in. The thing i'm not sure of though is that the person i'll be interviewing with wants me to send her my salary history. I've never been asked this before. Is this an appropriate thing to ask for? And how do you address it? Do you provide your specific salary in past jobs or something general (i.e., "High $30K, Mid-$50K") and should I also, so as not to be low-balled, include something to the effect of "I'm looking for a position that would have an annual compensation of $??K"

    Also, I've researched the company and while its work is respected, some people have complained online that associates are greatly underpaid, the work environment isn't great, there are cliques, etc. (Then again, I can say that about the place i'm working at now, which is in an industry i want to get out of.) Should i just ignore such 'reviews'?

    Thanks fellas.
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    Mar 07, 2013 2:51 AM GMT
    Salary history is salary history. It's a list of what you got paid in your previous jobs. It's not uncommon for some job ads to request upon submission of the application.

    Honestly, I hate it. It's really a disadvantage to you when they decide to offer the job and start discussing salary/benefits. I mean, every new position comes with an allocated budget. Using your example.. Let's say a manager is approved to hire someone for $50K a year. But if your current job pays high $30K, guess what your offer will be? Mostly like high $30K ~ low $40K. Despite the fact that you were underpaid and overworked at your current job, hypothetically.

    You can negotiate for something higher in the mid to upper $40K, if you think you're worth it. But you risk the chance of getting passed up by another applicant that is willing to accept a low ball offer.

    Maybe someone in HR can chime in. I've applied for only a few jobs that asked for salary history. Got no callbacks of course. icon_lol.gif

    And here's a template for writing up your salary history.

    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/Employment-and-salary-history-list-TC104021766.aspx
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 07, 2013 2:54 AM GMT
    Personally, I won't work for a company that requires me to release how much money I've made. I'm applying for a job - not a loan.
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    Mar 07, 2013 4:02 AM GMT
    Having recently moved to the mid-west, I am going through the interview phase now myself. So far, I have not be asked like before to submit salary requirements or salary history. In my mind, I do agree that a company should not even have that on an application, let alone in an email. Some of the companies will use this as a clearing house. If you say more than they offer, which your probably won't know unless they tell you, don't count on an interview or a job.

    I always will ask at some point if the company does not post the pay for the job offer. And if they ask me, I always give them a truthful range based on the average salary for the job as well as letting the phone or face to face interviewer know that it is negotiable based on benefits, meaning I would consider a lower salary with great insurance benefits or if no insurance offerings, I ask for a bit more in the salary to maybe purchase my own if I were offered and would accept the job.

    Good luck!!
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    Mar 07, 2013 4:08 AM GMT
    Ah yeah I've seen lots of companies asking what you used to make at previous jobs. It's not like they're asking to see your personal income tax documents.
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    Mar 07, 2013 4:16 AM GMT
    k3l3k0 saidAh yeah I've seen lots of companies asking what you used to make at previous jobs. It's not like they're asking to see your personal income tax documents.


    Some do. One company wanted to see not only what I made, but where I lived and told me to contact the IRS and have them send (free believe or not) me 10 years of my salary history. Of course if you do this and you didn't file, you're caught.
  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Mar 07, 2013 4:21 AM GMT
    Thanks fellas. I appreciate your input and thoughts (well, most of them).
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    Mar 07, 2013 4:25 AM GMT
    Most respectable companies will respond to inquiries and tell them how much you were paid, even if you don't offer it up.

    Best way to get real pay raises though is to move around, even if to a different company. It's easier to jump a "level" in a sense if you're qualified, than sticking in the same job and trying to gradually move up.
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    Mar 07, 2013 5:51 AM GMT
    A couple things, first of all, salary history is salary history. When you apply for a job, look it up online on either Glassdoor salary or indeed for the specific job you're looking for! They usually have a national average and local county average.

    Example:

    Project Manager (National) around $70,000-$80,000.
    Project Manager (Los Angeles area) $60,000-$75000.

    I would accept a project manager job in LA or OC area with a salary around mid/high 40k to mid/high 50k. (just an example of course). It depends on the company, industry, location and their revenues per year, too.

    When they ask or discuss salary, I usually respond like this:

    *How much is the position budgeted for?* You certainly don't want to get low-balled or risk asking too high either if you really want the job. Jobs are hard to find these days, employers want to hire employees for cheaper wages. So I think realistically, be prepared to accept a job that maybe a bit lower than your wages expectation but certainly don't let them low-ball you. Do disclose your salary history, too but everything is negotiable, that's the way I see it.
    As far as the reviews, it's like Yelp, some people made a big argument out of nothing or maybe they're legit, proceed with caution.
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    Mar 07, 2013 5:59 AM GMT
    S34n05 saidMost respectable companies will respond to inquiries and tell them how much you were paid, even if you don't offer it up.

    Best way to get real pay raises though is to move around, even if to a different company. It's easier to jump a "level" in a sense if you're qualified, than sticking in the same job and trying to gradually move up.


    That's malarkey. Any decent company has a policy of no comment. Not only is it a legal thing it's the right thing. I've never once, ever, in 30 years heard of anyone disclosing my pay rate. Almost any major company will have a policy of no comment. Some companies will state whether eligible for rehire, but, most don't. They only verify employment...yes..he worked here.

    What I ACTUALLY make is between me and the IRS. Period.

    The how much did you make question, as well as questions like Facebook, step way over the line.

    I respond to the question like this: "What I've made is between me and the IRS. I'm sure you wouldn't like to tell me how much you're paid? If you'll provide me the salary range of the position, I will tell you whether, or not, I'm willing to work in this particular position for that amount of money. Of course, other considerations are learning opportunities, proximity, hours, benefits, responsibilities, and so on. I'm sure you understand it's not all about the money, and not about what I've made or not made. To be honest, I've made up to 125 per hour, but, I am fairly well informed as to what this job might pay in this market. As a senior level professional, I always try to do adequate discovery and be duly diligent in my consideration of any position. I'm sure you can appreciate that."

    I make a good living...6 figures...
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    Mar 07, 2013 6:15 AM GMT
    chuckystud said
    S34n05 saidMost respectable companies will respond to inquiries and tell them how much you were paid, even if you don't offer it up.

    Best way to get real pay raises though is to move around, even if to a different company. It's easier to jump a "level" in a sense if you're qualified, than sticking in the same job and trying to gradually move up.


    That's malarkey. Any decent company has a policy of no comment. No only is it a legal thing it's the right thing. I've never once, ever, in 30 years heard of annual disclosing my pay rate. Almost any major company will have a policy of no comment. Some companies will state whether eligible for rehire, but, most don't. They only verify employment...yes..he worked here.

    What I ACTUALLY make is between me and the IRS. Period.

    The how much did you make question, as well as questions like Facebook, step way over the line.

    I respond to the question like this: "What I've made is between me and the IRS. I'm sure you wouldn't like to tell me how much you're paid? If you'll provide me the salary range of the position, I will tell you whether, or not, I'm willing to work in this particular position for that amount of money. Of course, other considerations are learning opportunities, proximity, hours, benefits, responsibilities, and so on. I'm sure you understand it's not all about the money, and not about what I've made or not made. To be honest, I've made up to 125 per hour, but, I am fairly well informed as to what this job might pay in this market. As a senior level professional, I always try to do adequate discovery and be duly diligent in my consideration of any position. I'm sure you can appreciate that."

    I make a good living...6 figures...


    I agree I do know for sure that no company in Canada would dare release employee information to anyone without a release. More than likely they wouldn't even accept a release but make a printout on request for your own use however you see fit thereby absolving themselves of any liability.
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    Mar 07, 2013 6:36 AM GMT
    I never give salary history its a dead give a way that the company 'culture' is not positive since they are trying to down ball you. After all is comes to being a better poker player, and why give them your cards. Additionally, I always negotiate the offer later, I never take what they give me first hand.

    The way to be still be interested and beat them to the punch is to approach it from the standard of living in the area, if they insist. When they ask you..state " I am looking for a competitive salary based on the standard of living in the area and working with talented people. If you are looking at number then I based a budget of 26 % of my gross income for rent for a 2 bedroom apartment or 3 depending on your needs, that should give you an idea of what kind of salary I am looking for. If you are unable to meet that target level, then you are wasting my time because your unrealistic of how much it takes to survive in this area and I am not willing to go into debt because of you or sacrifice my standard of living."

    From your part research how much is to rent in the area, then divide by 12 and multiply by .26 = This gives your target rent.
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    Mar 07, 2013 6:48 AM GMT
    uombroca saidI never give salary history its a dead give a way that the company 'culture' is not positive since they are trying to down ball you. After all is comes to being a better poker player, and why give them your cards. Additionally, I always negotiate the offer later, I never take what they give me first hand.

    The way to be still be interested and beat them to the punch is to approach it from the standard of living in the area, if they insist. When they ask you..state " I am looking for a competitive salary based on the standard of living in the area and working with talented people. If you are looking at number then I based a budget of 26 % of my gross income for rent for a 2 bedroom apartment or 3 depending on your needs, that should give you an idea of what kind of salary I am looking for. If you are unable to meet that target level, then you are wasting my time because your unrealistic of how much it takes to survive in this area and I am not willing to go into debt because of you or sacrifice my standard of living."

    From your part research how much is to rent in the area, then divide by 12 and multiply by .26 = This gives your target rent.


    Some recruiters / HR drones will REALLY push on this. It's really fucking annoying.
  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Mar 07, 2013 7:45 AM GMT
    k3l3k0 saidAh yeah I've seen lots of companies asking what you used to make at previous jobs. It's not like they're asking to see your personal income tax documents.


    Some countries it is customary to send in a portrait with your application. k3I3k0 does it shirtless.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Mar 07, 2013 5:01 PM GMT
    Every company I've ever worked for asked about prior salary. It's generally been a pre-printed question in the employment history section. You don't necessarily have to answer the question, and I've hired people who didn't, but generally I don't like it when people play those games when asking for a job. If the question is just verbal, by all means ask what the job pay range is. If it's printed, and you don't answer, the interviewer may or may not like or dislike the lack of response. I'd just tell them the truth. If there's a reason why you think you're worth a lot more than your employment history suggests, just write in the blank that you'd rather discuss this in person. Again, you're playing with fire. And it's certainly reasonable to ask what the job salary range is early in the interview, right after asking what the position's duties/expectations will be. And in the US, there are no protections of privacy. Except on discrimination issues which may or may not include sexual orientation. I'd recommend you look at the job and the company, decide if you want it, decide if the salary is adequate, and make up your mind.