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Does Salary History Matter to Future Employers?

Does Salary History Matter to Future Employers?

Be flexible, and don’t forget important back-stories when it comes detailing your salary history.

It’s common for employers to request salary history during the application process, says Laura DeCarlo, president of Career Directors International, a professional association in Melbourne, Fla. DeCarlo recommends adding a line to the end of a cover letter, such as, “During the last several years my compensation has grown into the mid-$80K range. However, I am currently negotiable.”

She points out another potential back-story behind a salary history: changing locations. If you moved from Boston to Florida, for instance, and your pay was nearly cut in half, you need to explain that. It’s also important not to include starting and ending salaries for your past jobs, she notes, because that could limit you.

Focus on your competitive advantages when salary history is discussed.

Salary history comes up, says Dr. Rachelle J. Canter, author of “Make the Right Career Move: 28 Critical Insights and Strategies to Land Your Dream Job,” but it’s best to focus on your competitive advantages (experience and skills that make you valuable) for the job, so "prepare a couple of relevant anecdotes that showcase these competitive advantages, and dazzle the interviewer. Make them want you to increase your leverage in salary and job responsibility negotiations."

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