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Stating your Expected Salary in your Resume

Writing your “Expected Salary” in your Resume

99.99% of the working class people work for a salary. It is the key determining factor for most prospective employees on whether to bid on the job offer. Concurrently, this also happens to be one of the factors all employers consider on who to hire.

In many instances, the job advertisement is silent on the expected salary. If you as a job seeker should decide to apply to this job opening, it is advisable not to write in your expected salary in such cases. I wouldn’t even encourage you to write “Expected Salary: Negotiable”. Put it simply, how much an employer is willing to pay you is determined by the employer, not you. Therefore to state that expected salary is negotiable is essentially stating something that’s already known. So don’t waste the space in your Resume. Leave out this magical number if they didn’t ask for it. Save this portion for the Interview that is to come at a later stage.

In other instances where the job advertisement specifically mentioned that applicants must state their expected salary, this is where it can get a little tricky. Overstating the number means you’re likely not going to get interviews (unless your achievements are so remarkably stunning) since what you’re requesting is above what is being paid in the industry. Understating the number just means you’re short-changing yourself. While many are fine with taking a lower pay for a start, I strongly feel that there’s no need to do this to get a job.

Overstating or Understating your Expected Salary can have Adverse Effects, so watch out!

Overstating or Understating your Expected Salary can have Adverse Effects, so watch out!

This magical number is sensitive, so handle this with care. So the big question comes – how do you determine this magical number without compromising on your chances of securing interviews?

Method 1: Researching

You can do some research on the internet on the expected salaries of different positions. Bear in mind that different people with different age groups and skill sets can be offered different salaries even in the same industry.

Therefore, also look for a range of salaries that has been paid out for that position that you’re looking for. Take for example the website www.jobstreet.com has this search function that allows you to do a search on the average salary you should be expecting for different positions. You can use that as a guide or as a potential benchmark. The drawback of this method is the inaccuracy. The distribution of the collected data can be vastly spreaded even across companies in the same industry. The average value might not be completely reflective of what your industry is giving. But this provides a good start to check the starting salary of the company.

Method 2: Networking

This is by far the most effective way to find out accurate information on the expected salary. Look for friends who work in similar industries or even better, work in that particular company that you would like to apply to. These days, you can also use social media (facebook, linkedIn, twitter etc) to network with people from different places. By networking with the correct people, the information provided is typically more accurate. You will have a narrower distribution of collected data after you’re done with the information collection. Take the average value and use that as a guide for your expected salary.

Send out your Resume and wait for response. If you’ve done a good job in writing an effective Resume you should be able to get some responses within a couple of days. There should be people calling you up for 1st interviews and so on. On the contrary if you didn’t get responses at all, one of the reasons could be your expected salary. It’s probably on the high side despite the homework you’ve done. You can re-check the numbers or you can lower your expected salary a little and try sending out your Resume again to other companies. If you still do not get responses, then the issue could lie in your Resume. At that point, it would be important to review your Resume once more.

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