Resumes and salary information

I often review resumes that contain information on the jobseeker’s current or desired salary.

This does not belong in a resume.

You need to promote yourself based on your skills, experience and achievements, not your salary.

I’ve heard comments like ‘If they see I am well remunerated they’ll know they will be getting a good employee’ or ‘When they see my salary they’ll think I’m a notch above others because I am well paid’ or ‘I need to tell employers what my target salary is, so they don’t waste my time’.

Some people do things like this in their resume:

Service Manager, 20102014 ($64K per annum, seeking >75K per annum)

Never do this. At the beginning of the process when you’re submitting a resume, it is absolutely no-one’s business what you earn. Given that most people inflate their ‘target’ salary, you may well be pricing yourself out of the market. What if your target exceeds the employer’s budget? What if the employer baulks at your salary expectation?

Consider too that you might rule yourself out of some roles. What if a brilliant opportunity were presented to you, one that would require a slight drop in salary but offered other benefits and perks?

Too many assumptions can be made and you lose negotiating power if you show your hand too early, so leave salary details off your resume.

Sell yourself first and save salary information for verbal discussions. A point will come in the recruitment process when you need to expand on salary, but do it after you’ve shown the employer the value you bring.

The exception to this is when you earn commissions, but that doesn’t mean you turn your resume into a financial breakdown of $s earned through commissions.

If you’ve performed well you should include these results in your resume. But rather than an amount of money received try something along the lines of:

  • Exceeded budget by X%
  • Outperformed colleagues, delivering X% sales each (month, quarter or year)
  • Only team member to make budget in traditionally slower Dec/Jan months
  • Nominated five times for a Company Performance Award in recognition of outstanding sales.

In other words, show the achievements and results rather than a figure. Show potential employers how you achieved your goals and in so doing, helped the company achieve their goals.

Then you’ll be on your way to the salary you’re after.

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