The dreaded ‘salary’ fields

The dreaded ‘salary’ fields

Date: 30/11/2012
Source: Payscale,, eHow


The questions about salary, on an application form, are always a bit tricky. If your salary requirements are too high it may screen you out of the process; too low and you may be selling yourself short. 

The ‘current salary’ and ‘salary requirements’ fields may be optional, in which case it’s usually best to leave them blank. If they are compulsory you could try to avoid giving a real answer by entering a ‘0’, but you may risk annoying the HR department. 

If the fields are compulsory and you need to, or feel you should, enter genuine numbers, here are a few things to consider: 

1. Don’t inflate your current salary. If they offer you a job they are likely to ask to verify your current salary with your current employer. 

2. If you have the opportunity to do so, enter a range rather than a single value as a range gives you more ‘wriggle’ room when negotiating later on. 

3. Be careful about the difference between your current and expected salaries. If the difference is too great you could look naïve, greedy, unprofessional or unrealistic.

4. Research the market value for the role, but remember to factor in geography, scope of responsibility, size of company etc. i.e. make sure you compare like with like. 

5. Remember that the higher the number you give for your salary requirements the greater the employer’s expectation will be of your abilities. 

6. Make sure the number is realistic, but one with which, ultimately, you are happy. 

7. Remember that flexibility is important and that as soon as the employer decides you may be ‘the one’ your negotiating power increases exponentially.