You already know that there are a whole host of things to consider when you’re creating a resume. One of the most important considerations involved determining which details you need to include. Take your salary, for example. Should you list your salary requirements or previous pay history on your resume? You might feel compelled to do so, especially if the job posting seems to require it. As a rule, however, you should avoid detailing your salary on a resume.
A Salary on a Resume Could Send the Wrong Signals
One reason for not listing a salary on your resume is that it could end up giving the employer the wrong idea about your priorities. You don’t want to suggest that you have concrete salary demands, since that may cause your application to get rejected. Instead, you should keep your resume focused on your strengths and achievements. Emphasize the value that you can bring to the firm rather than the money that you expect to receive for your efforts.
A Salary on a Resume Can Distract from Your Qualifications
Your main goal with a resume is to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. You need to do that by documenting your experience and skill set. Concentrate on providing real examples of how those skills and talents benefited your previous employers. By doing so, you can establish yourself as someone who can contribute to any company from day one. You don’t want to put a salary on a resume, since that draws attention to monetary concerns. Remember, the only monetary issue that you want the employer to be thinking about is the money that you can help him make if he hires you!
Your Listed Salary May Not Be Aligned with the Company’s Needs
Of course, there’s another concern that you should keep in mind: the employer’s goals. By listing your salary needs or previous salary on a resume, you could bring your fitness for the job into question. After all, if you list a salary that is lower than the employer expects, you might seem unqualified. On the other hand, a higher-than-expected salary requirement might make you seem too expensive to hire. Sure, you could get lucky and somehow list a desired salary that is exactly what the employer wants to spend. But do you really want to rely on luck?
But What if the Employer Requires Your Salary On a Resume?
Naturally, there may be times when employers make it clear that they’ll discard resumes that don’t include salary information. You need to know how to deal with those scenarios, so that you can hopefully avoid the problems outlined above. The key is to avoid being too specific, while still providing enough detail to prevent your resume from being dismissed outright. There are several ways to accomplish that goal:
- Instead of listing a set figure, describe a salary range. If you’re asked to list previous salary information, don’t be specific. Write something like, “In my former jobs, I earned between $50,000 and $65,000.” You can do the same when asked to list a desired salary.
- Leave out any benefits that you might have received as part of a previous salary package. Just focus on providing a salary range for actual monies received.
- You can also try to avoid the topic altogether and simply note that your salary requirements are flexible. Let the employer know that you will be happy to discuss salary options during an interview.
Above all else, remember that your resume should not be focused on you. Any discussion of salary demands or required benefits naturally turns that focus to your needs rather than the employer’s. Stick to your narrative, and make sure that your emphasis is always on the benefits you can offer as an employee. When you do that, you will find that there’s no need to list your salary on a resume. Your experience, skills, and achievements will speak for themselves.