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Money Resumes Finding a Job

Many employers are requesting or even demanding that resumes include one's salary history. Some ads even say that resumes without a salary history will not be considered. Why is this demand being made?

The main reason that employers are saying, "Show me the money," when they run their ads is a matter of expediency. They typically use the salary data to screen out applicants who are either making too much or too little money, thereby allowing the employers to spend more time with applicants whose pay levels fall within a predetermined range.

While employers may insist on having this pay data, many employment counselors advise job applicants to avoid submitting pay data with one's resume. The idea is to write an impressive resume and cover letter, and talk about pay levels during an interview. It is believed that applicants may cause themselves to be unnecessarily eliminated or ultimately underpaid when they share pay data at the outset of the screening process.

In addition, from the applicant standpoint, individuals moving from one geographical area to another may sell themselves short just because the pay levels were lower in the area that they left. And further, for applicants who are returning to the labor market after years of family and volunteer work, pay levels from jobs held years ago are meaningless.

In today's tight labor market, employers should be doing everything possible to remove artificial barriers that may prevent highly qualified individuals from ever becoming applicants.

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