I really wish prospective employers would stop asking applicants to include their salary requirements with their cover letters and résumés. In normal times, this is a perfectly acceptable practice, but these are far from normal times.
I have been out of work 15 months and counting. Many people are in similar situations and, even if they haven’t approached the one-year mark, just a few months without a steady income usually causes a shift in thinking, especially when factoring in the steady double-digit unemployment rate and the fact that you can’t go near a PC, mobile device, TV, radio, newspaper or magazine without tripping over stories about how recovery is still several months off, about the reduced number of jobs available, or about other assorted negative what-not in the realm of employment and unemployment.
The point I’m trying to make: If you’ve been out of work for a few months and you’re holding out for the same salary as your previous job, or even a raise, you need to seriously rethink your expectations, because it’s not happening.
I realize that the reason why a lot of companies ask for salary requirements is to avoid wasting time if the offered salaries and expected salaries aren’t even in the same ZIP code. But I believe a more effective way to do this would be to include the salary or salary range in job postings. Very few companies currently do so, and I don’t understand why. Personally, if I saw a job in the range of two-thirds of what I was making at my old job, I’d pursue it, but if I saw a job that paid around one-third, I wouldn’t waste their time. As I said, I don’t understand why more companies don’t do this. In today’s environment, how much room for negotiation really exists?
My salary requirements? Yes, I do require a salary. Thanks for asking!