How to Construct a Salary History

Kerri writes:
I have run into a brick wall. I have trying to seek information regarding assistance in writing a salary history for companies that hold employment ads in the local newspaper.

The Career Doctor responds:
Salary histories are a lot trickier than you might think. First there’s a strategy involved. Second there’s a technique involved.
First the strategy. You have to know going into these types of employment ads that the employers are using your salary history as a screening device often to screen out candidates who make more money than they are offering. Employers also ask for salary
histories because it gives them an edge in negotiating a job offer (if it comes to that) because they hold all the cards — that is they have all the information and you have limited information. You need to decide how best to use some strategy of your own
realizing that if you ignore the request you may not even get a shot at the interview.
Second the technique. Never put salary information on your resume or cover letter. Why waste valuable space on these key marketing documents? Instead make a separate salary/employment history page (using the same style as on your cover letter and resume). You certainly don’t want to lie on this sheet but you can control the information. For example if you were in sales you may have had a salary commissions and bonuses. You control how much information you disclose.
One last piece of advice: Look beyond employment ads in the newspaper to find a new job. Networking is more effective.
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