New Grads and Salary Histories

Lisa writes:
I will be graduating college soon and have not yet held a salaried position. I have only
worked on breaks from school for hourly pay. A job for which I would like to apply asks
for a salary history in the job posting and I’d like to know how to go about completing
one given my situation. My pay in past jobs was significantly below what I hope to
make now that I will have a degree and significantly below the going rate for the job
I am seeking (and for which I am now qualified). Could you please let me know how to
comply with their request without underpricing myself? Thank you very much for your
help in advance.


The Career Doctor responds:
The good news is that most employers of new college grads do not expect
you to have any kind of decent salary history — and I am surprised this employer
has even asked for one; however it may just be standard policy that they ask
for a salary history from all job applicants.
What I suggest you do is put “non-salaried position” for all jobs where you worked
part-time or were paid an hourly wage. If you are uncomfortable with this approach
then I suggest taking the direct approach and contacting the employer and asking
for the employer’s guidelines for your situation.
There are numerous reasons employers ask for salary histories. Typically employers
want to see job applicants with a steady (and growing) salary history along with the
frequency and size of raises and promotions received along the way.
Finally you could also make a point in your cover letter justifying your case for the
higher salary — even though we normally advise not mentioning salary this early in the job-search.
Read more in my article Responding
to Requests for Salary Requirements or Salary Histories: Strategies and Suggestions
published
on Quintessential Careers.
Next you need to focus on being prepared to handle the salary question in the job interview.
Get more help with salary negotiation — and all things salary — by going to the
Salary Negotiation Resources section of Quintessential Careers.

;

Lisa writes:
I will be graduating college soon and have not yet held a salaried position. I have only
worked on breaks from school for hourly pay. A job for which I would like to apply asks
for a salary history in the job posting and I’d like to know how to go about completing
one given my situation. My pay in past jobs was significantly below what I hope to
make now that I will have a degree and significantly below the going rate for the job
I am seeking (and for which I am now qualified). Could you please let me know how to
comply with their request without underpricing myself? Thank you very much for your
help in advance.


The Career Doctor responds:
The good news is that most employers of new college grads do not expect
you to have any kind of decent salary history — and I am surprised this employer
has even asked for one; however it may just be standard policy that they ask
for a salary history from all job applicants.
What I suggest you do is put “non-salaried position” for all jobs where you worked
part-time or were paid an hourly wage. If you are uncomfortable with this approach
then I suggest taking the direct approach and contacting the employer and asking
for the employer’s guidelines for your situation.
There are numerous reasons employers ask for salary histories. Typically employers
want to see job applicants with a steady (and growing) salary history along with the
frequency and size of raises and promotions received along the way.
Finally you could also make a point in your cover letter justifying your case for the
higher salary — even though we normally advise not mentioning salary this early in the job-search.
Read more in my article Responding
to Requests for Salary Requirements or Salary Histories: Strategies and Suggestions
published
on Quintessential Careers.
Next you need to focus on being prepared to handle the salary question in the job interview.
Get more help with salary negotiation — and all things salary — by going to the
Salary Negotiation Resources section of Quintessential Careers.

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