How to Handle the Salary Question on an Application

One of the most difficult questions to answer (especially prior to an interview) is your salary requirement. There has been a significant increase in the number of online applications that are asking for this information. Obviously, if your salary requirement is too high you are screened out because you are over the salary range. If the salary you list is too low, you could be screened out for not being a strong enough contender or it could result in a low ball salary offer.

The question comes up… do you have to answer this question on an online application form? The answer is Yes if you want to be considered (if the field is mandatory not optional). If you do not answer the question, you could be automatically screened out.

There is something else you may consider doing… you could enter $1.00 or $100.00 which will allow you to complete the remainder of the online application. The person who receives this information will realize that this is obviously not want you are requesting, but it will project the fact that you are “negotiable” or “open” since you didn’t list a specific amount. Most employers I’ve quizzed about this possibility agreed that they would want to talk further with this candidate and would not screen them out because the figure listed is not what they would accept.

Nothing works 100% of the time, but at least this will allow you to complete the application form without having to quote an exact number. Most employers have a salary range.  If you ace the interview, they can go toward the top of their range. If they feel you need additional training, they may decide to go to the lower end of their salary range. Offers always depend on your ability to interview. This idea will increase your chances of booking more interviews from online applications.

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  • Allison Sullivan was amazing! 

    She found my resume online and reached out to me. I had been in the market looking for the right next step in my career for several months and had been receiving calls daily from different recruiters so I didn’t expect anything magical to occur overnight. Allison called me, we chatted quickly about my work experience and she advised me she thought I’d be perfect for a client she was working with….and literally the next day I got a call for an interview with the client. The day after the interview, I was immediately offered a position consulting on insurance claim management. Allison was checking in with me each step of the way and made the transition from unemployed to working at a career I’m excited about in no time at all! I cannot thank her and Patrice & Associates enough for all their help!  

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    She was kind, informative, and very encouraging during the process of applying, interviewing, and finally accepting the position once it was offered to me. I have worked with several recruiters before and Liz was the most friendly and professional at the same time. She made me feel comfortable and also made me feel confident during the interview process. After only a few weeks, I now consider Liz a friend and would certainly recommend her to anyone who is in the looking in the labor market. Thank you Liz, I appreciate you as a person and a professional.

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    I am very thankful for Liz Costa
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    I am truly excited to start this new journey at this restaurant. I can honestly say I don't think I would have been able to pull this off without Jonathan Litt's help. He was more than professional but at the same time he was authentic and explained everything I needed to do to make things work. He definitely set me up for success. My confidence level wasn't what it used to be, but with his help he made me believe in myself. He encouraged me and believed in me as well. I will never forget his efforts. My appreciation for his work and dedication will always be remembered. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this process. I am forever grateful.

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    Latifah Walker

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    I love it at my new career and picture my future here. Rick was awesome in helping me choose where I need to be and how I had to get there. It took a lot of interviews and me turning jobs down because it wasn’t a fit for me. At my new career I’m in the right place!  

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