I am a graphic artist just starting out. I have been asked to give a salary
history but really do not have a salary history in my field. How can I get
around this and still prove I am very able candidate for the job?
The Career Doctor responds:
Getting asked by a prospective employer for a salary history — especially
when you are a new graduate or new to the career field — is not that big a
deal. Employers often want this information for a variety of reasons such
as to evaluate your salary progression through a series of jobs and employers
to evaluate whether you have been underpaid or overpaid and to gain power
in the salary negotiation phase.
A salary history for you seems kind of moot since you don’t have any salary
history in your field. Still if you want the job it makes sense to comply with
When writing your salary history use the same letterhead as for your cover letter and references list. Simply list job titles employers (including location)
dates of employment and starting and ending salaries — in reverse chronological
order (with most recent job first).
You could also include a short paragraph on your salary history sheet and/or on the
cover letter with which you send the salary history that explains why you feel these
salaries are not important — and that makes a case for a better salary in your new
And whatever you do never lie about your salary history.
Read more — and see some sample salary histories — in this article published on
Quintessential Careers: Responding
to Requests for Salary Requirements or Salary Histories: Strategies and Suggestions.