Salary history: Do employers really need to see it?
A typical job posting requires job seekers to submit resumes or CVs to help an employer assess applicants. In some cases, they also ask for a copy of your salary history. But what is a salary history and why should you include it?
A salary history is a document of your past earnings provided to potential employers. It includes the names of previous employers, positions held, salary, and benefit packages.
The argument whether employers should ask for a copy of salary history is ongoing. Many people debate that salary is a personal matter, and therefore it’s unnecessary to disclose it.
In Hong Kong, providing a salary history is not a common requirement. Fortunately, most companies are comfortable enough to compensate candidates based on their performance and past experience, rather than their past earnings, but some businesses will require your salary information.
Pros and Cons
Providing hiring managers with your salary history can both hinder and benefit you, depending on the situation. It can comes in handy when recruiters are going through piles of resumes - they can rely on salary histories to tell them which candidates they can afford. However, the flip side of this is that the possibility of being low-balled is high. Once recruiters realise that you’re willing to work for a lower income, the chance to bid for higher compensation dwindles.
The Choice is Yours
At the end of the day, it’s your call to decide whether you want to share your salary history. It’s not a legal requirement, so companies can’t make you, so it’s really a judgement call. You can oblige and give the necessary information, or respectfully deny the request and explain that such document is confidential. Either of the two options is somewhat of a risk, so you just need to figure out which decision you’re more comfortable with.
In the event you do choose to share your past salaries, here’s an example of a template:
1 Address Lane Anytown, MA 00000 | 215-555-5555 | email@example.com
Top-Producing Sales Representative
Confidential Salary History
XYZ COMPANY – Anytown, ST
Sales Representative: 5/09 to present
● Average $350,000 in monthly gross sales, consistently exceeding quota by 15% and ranking number 1 out of 35 reps in territory.
● Won and currently manage numerous Fortune 500 accounts, including GHI Co, JKL Co, MNO Co and other industry leaders.
● Compensation: $45,000 per annum plus commission
123 COMPANY – Anytown, ST
Sales Representative, 12/07 to 5/09
● Used prospecting, cold-calling and solution-sales techniques to generate and close 36 new accounts in first six months.
● Achieved President's Club membership for outstanding sales performance.
● Compensation: $38,000 per annum
456 COMPANY – Anytown, ST
Customer Service Representative, 7/03 to 12/07
● Commended for outstanding customer service delivery: "Judy's work is of the highest caliber...she is diligent in her follow-through with all customers and possesses a strong sense of accountability" (supervisor's comments).
● Compensation: $28,000 per annum
Want to add a salary history in your Monster resume?:
1. Log into your My Monster account and click the Resumes link.
2. Find your main resume and create a duplicate by selecting Copy. View/Edit the resume.
3. Click on the Additional Info link at the top, then enter your salary history.
4. Save the file.
*When you reply to a job posting requiring a salary history, select the version of your resume that contains this salary information.
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