June 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm #30600
I’m graduating college next month, and I’m beginning the job search process. I’ve seen several postings that ask the applicants to send in salary requirements, and maybe I’m overthinking it, but I don’t know how to handle that question. I’m entering a very low paying field (social work), but I at least need enough to cover my basic bills. It’s not like I’m an excellent job candidate fresh out of college with little experience, so I know that I’m not worth very much. I don’t want to ask for so much that they laugh and ignore my application, and I don’t want to ask for so little that they think I’m not assertive enough. How do people (both employers and applicants) handle this? Do potential employers always try to haggle with you, or do they just ignore applicants who ask for more than they are willing to pay? Will a potential employer offer a higher salary than what an applicant asks for? It’s hard to answer that question not knowing what I’m worth.June 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm #30602
i have always put in “to be discussed” whenever i can…
if you HAVE to put in a number, like online, i would just look up the average pay and then add maybe 10 grand. a little above average? thats not unreasonable to ask for. or, even better, if you know how much money you would like to have per month, ask for that.June 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm #30607
If I were you, I would ask a professor about a good starting salary in your field, or if your college has a career services center, look for help from there. I think many employers will try to lowball applicants fresh out of college, so it’s good to know the going salary rates for your type of work in your area, so you can put something when you apply – otherwise it might be too easy to overlook if it doesn’t have any salary requirements (they know what salary range they are looking for anyways and often want to see that you have an idea as well).
Ans also, I think it’s a good idea to take salary figures and calculate that into rough hourly wages so you have a better idea of what you’re working with.June 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm #30611
It’s easy to google the typical rate for whatever position you’re applying for– if the average is say, $32,000 per year, then maybe put a range of $30,000-35,000 or something. I hate that question also, so the “range” option makes me a little more comfortable.June 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm #30612
Asking a prof or career services is a really great idea, Kristina!
I would just do some research online and check an average. I generally like putting down “negotiable” if it’s a written app, or some sort of range.June 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm #30615
Figure out what the average salary is for that position and add 5,000 to it (optimism right?). I always left it blank whenever I saw it but I have no idea if that was the cause for not hearing back from them or not. My govt job didn’t have salary negotiation so …June 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm #30623
Take a look at this Census 2010 data. It should give you an idea of the average wage.
Best of luck!June 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm #30625
Thanks, guys. I know what the averages are. I just didn’t know if I should ask for the average, or if I should be a little ambitious, or if I should go lower because I have no experience.June 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm #30626
Don’t low ball yourself because your first salary can impact the rest of your career if you stay in the same field.June 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm #30627
yea dont ever lowball. its never a bad thing to ask for more, or ask for a good salary right off the bat. the worst they will say is no, this is the salary we offer, and then you can take that or not.June 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm #30710
I’ve always heard you should answer with a wide range whenever possible, especially if you’re submitting online. A lot of time resumes get searched by a computer, and if you’re saying you want to make $35,000and the job pays $32,000 you might get missed. I say shoot for a range of $1 to $70,000. Keep it crazy on both ends. That also gives you room to negotiate.June 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm #30714
Average salary is a good estimate…go lower if you live in a low cost of living area or higher if you live in a high cost of living area. If you have had a previous job with a similar or related position I would put a range with your current salary as the minimum….unless it was an internship.June 20, 2012 at 12:11 am #30715
glassdoor.com- for when you have no idea what the average salary is- is a great reference website. They have a lot of big company profiles but also some smaller ones too. Some profiles are pretty extensive as well with typical interviewing questions or applications reviews.
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