A reader emailed me to ask, “What should I do when a job advertisement asks for my salary requirements?” She had not even been selected for an interview, and yet here they were, asking her to submit this personal information before she would even be considered.
If you are an employer, please don’t do this. It’s wrongheaded in many ways, among them:
Many terrific people will not even apply, being offended by your cheekiness in asking. It’s akin to asking someone’s annual salary on your first date (well, technically before your first date. “Gosh, Jim, I’d love to go to dinner with you, but first I have a question: How much did you earn last year?”)
Of the terrific people who do apply, many will not share salary this early in the sequence. It’s your loss if you rule them out for not “following instructions” because the savviest and most marketable candidates rarely disclose salary up front.
You may think you are saving time by not talking to people outside your salary range, but really all you have demonstrated is how poorly you understand the etiquette of recruiting. Great people expect to be courted, not processed, screened or filtered.
So how should a job seeker overcome this ill-considered salary question?
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