Although rare, some employers as prospective employees to include their salary histories as part of their job applications. Many advocates suggest that job seekers should not supply their salary histories to potential employers when applying for jobs – however, if appropriately worded, a salary history can be part of a good salary negotiation with an employer.
How Is It Used?
Companies generally want to interview applicants who do not feel that they will be taking a pay cut – the employer wants to make sure they get the right candidate at the proposed hourly, monthly, or yearly salary, while job applicants usually seek jobs with more money, better benefits, and/or room for growth.
The salary history can be a way that job candidates market themselves. It can seem at first like the prospective employer wants to hire the “cheapest” candidate, which can be unfair to more qualified candidates. If you are a job seeker and you are changing fields, this can seem scary at first, as well, because your previous positions might have paid you much less than your new career field – and this could lead to underpayment in the new position. If you fear that you might be underpaid because of your salary history, you do not legally have to include this information in your job application, even if the employer asks for it. But, keep in mind some positive potentials for using a salary history in your job application.
If you present your salary history as a separate document, or include it as its own part of your cover letter, reframe the information as a way to talk about your accomplishments at your current and previous positions, and suggest a higher salary that you seek in your new job. There are many reasons job seekers apply for new jobs, but some of the most common include pay raises or more stable careers. Make the ask for a higher wage part of your salary history, and use the document as a way to prove that you are worth the higher income.
You are also well within your rights as a prospective employee to not give that information. You can include a statement along the lines of, “My salary history falls under confidentiality agreements with my previous employers,” or “My salary history is confidential and can only be discussed during an interview,” or even “I seek a salary in the range of X.” These statements show that you wish your skills to be respected and part of the discussion of your worth to a potential company.
If you are looking at an opportunity that is also below the amount of money you make now, but it is an exciting opportunity for growth, you can offer to explain this in an interview without giving details about your current salary.
Why Should I Use a Salary History Template
Most job seekers that wish to include their salary history can do so on their resume, or in their cover letter. However, as more employers ask for salary history information, more of these businesses expect the salary history to be a separate document in the job application packet. Use one of our free, downloadable salary history templates to help you keep track of the most professional, appropriate formatting to answer this question.