Friday, February 17, 2012

Getting Comfortable With Salary Requirements

Some things seem to get harder when you get older.  As a kid, you probably had no reservations asking for a bigger allowance.  After all, how else were you going to afford that new bike?  So why is it so uncomfortable for some job seekers when an employer asks for their salary requirements?

Some job descriptions will require the applicant to list their salary expectations in their cover letter.  A lot of job seekers simply don't feel comfortable saying what they want to make.  They are afraid they could disqualify themselves before they even have a chance for an interview.  You can make this a little easier by researching the typical nonprofit salaries but if you still feel uncomfortable, there are ways to fulfill the employer's request while still avoiding an overly specific answer:
  • Provide a list of the salaries you received in your career so far.  For example, you could say "I've earned X amount of dollars in my career so far, and I would be happy to discuss a potential salary with you in the future."
  • Use ballpark figures to describe your desired salary (i.e. "I expect to get a salary in the low six-figures").
  • If you have a feeling that the job is going to pay less than your previous position, you can mention your previous salary but say you are willing to be flexible.
Remember not to sell yourself short.  Your research should help you figure out what the salary is for the nonprofit job in question, so you shouldn't be rejected for a job interview because of salary unless what you requested is way above the norm.

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