how do I handle salary requirements?

So how soon should you tell a potential employer what salary you demand?  The first interview?  The Last?  On your resume?  The best time to talk about salary requirements is following a job offer.  Until then, you should avoid the subject unless specifically brought up by them.  Often they ask something like: “what kind of salary are you looking for?”  Your response should be vague on the order of enough to provide a comfortable lifestyle for my family, but what is most important to me is doing what I love and making a positive impact in my sphere of influence.  Now you sound like a star!

Try To Be Vague at First

If they press you afor an actual number, suggest something reasonable. Go toward the higher end of what you think (or know) the job pays.  If they really like you, high-balling them won’t rule you out.  However, if you low-ball them, they may low-ball you when it comes times for an offer.  In any case, try to avoid discussing salary requirements until they make an offer or THEY bring it up. That way you’ll look like you’re just in it for the money, which of course you are to some extent, but you want to emphasize the make a difference side of you.

When You Can’t Be Vague About Salary Requirements

However, oftentimes online job applications ask for the salary you seek.  It is best to leave this blank unless it is a required field. Write negotiable if a number is not required. If it is, ask for the top range of what you think they will offer and expect less. Don’t put the low end however. Then they might offer less than you are willing to take, thinking they can get you for cheap.  It is a slippery slope unfortunately, but you should always appear more interested in the job than in the pay. In fact, it is best if you ARE more interested in the job than the pay, but it doesn’t always work that way.