Asking the Tough Questions (Part 2 – Salary)

by Gaby Gramont

TorchLight’s experienced team of marketing & communications recruiters explain why job seekers should look inward when considering questions about salary

As discussed in our last blog post on Asking the Tough Questions, “What is your current salary?” is one of the hardest to answer and often one that makes candidates most uncomfortable. One reason is that as a job seeker, it may appear that a hiring manager wants to use this information against you in negotiations. Another reason may be that revealing your salary makes you feel like you will be ruling yourself out of a job by being too high or too low.

The bottom line is this: Salary is important to almost everyone seeking new employment. We all know this and most people respect it. As marketing and communications recruiters that are working on your side, TorchLight’s policy is simple: We ask that you be honest. Knowing what you are making now or in your last full-time role helps us set a baseline for what is appropriate moving forward. If you are making $80K now, it is most likely not reasonable for us to present you for a role that has a ceiling of $65K.

Also on the topic of honesty – Why not take this opportunity to be honest with yourself? One thing to think about closely is how much more you should be asking above what you are making now. There’s no magic bullet or equation for this, but asking colleagues at other companies in similar positions or using online research is a good way to come up with a reasonable expectation. Here are a few examples of sites to do salary comparisons:

http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/

http://www.payscale.com/

http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/index.htm

Other factors to think through carefully are benefits that would justifiably make you consider taking a lateral move or even a pay decrease. These could include a better work-life balance, opportunity to work a flexible schedule, closer commute, better title and responsibilities (for example moving from a big company to a smaller one), pension, education re-imbursement, and the list goes on.

When all is said-and-done, as a job seeker you have to be comfortable with what you’re asking for and what you’re willing to accept. No one but you has the insight to make decisions regarding your specific salary needs. When it comes to salary, being honest with yourself really is the best policy.

Need advice on making your next career move? The expert marketing and communications recruiters at TorchLight are here to help.

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Posted in Interview tipsJob Search Tips