Most job seekers dread salary discussions, and in many cases, it is wise to keep your current or desired salary under wraps. Salary discussions will come into play at some point during your negotiations but having those conversations too early can lead to pitfalls.

When giving desired salary information, you risk underselling yourself. Conversely, giving a number beyond the employer’s range might exclude you from consideration.

Discussing your current salary carries similar risks. This can be especially true when re-careering. You could be willing to take a pay cut to start over in a field that better fits your goals and interests. But a potential employer may worry that what they can offer will not meet your long-term needs.

Your current or desired salary information should not appear on your resume. However, there are situations where you cannot avoid the discussion. A job advertisement may require you to include desired salary information in your cover letter. An application may request pay rate information for your previous positions. Even when not required to divulge this information in the application or interview process, salary must be negotiated if you are offered the position.

The best time to divulge salary information depends on your situation. You must balance your financial goals with your career satisfaction to determine the right course of action. If you fear a position pays too little to meet your needs, it may be best to mention salary requirements up front. If the compensation for a job seems comparable or better than your current pay rate, then you can withhold salary information until it is requested.

These tips can help you handle discussions effectively when the time to talk money arrives.

  1. Determine your minimum salary requirements and stick to them. When you are able to be flexible in salary negotiations, say so.
  2. When asked to give a desired salary, research the average pay for the position in your geographic location and provide a range.
  3. If your current salary is higher than that of the potential job, be prepared to explain why you are willing to take a cut. Articulate why the position fits your long-range goals or lifestyle in spite of the smaller salary.
  4. If your current salary is less than the average pay for the type of job you are seeking, be able to explain your worth and expectations. Perhaps you have recently completed a degree or training program that increases your marketability.
  5. Don’t forget to factor in benefits. If your current job offers more leave and educational assistance than a potential new employer, those perks should be weighed and discussed in salary negotiations.

While an employer may never ask about your current earnings, salary expectations for a potential new job must eventually be negotiated. Knowing your baseline requirements and being ready to discuss both your worth and your flexibility will help bring your salary requirements out of hiding in the most effective manner.

Raise Your Potential Worth and Get What You Deserve

Whether you’re a newbie at your company or you’ve been with your company for several years, one thing you’ve grown to expect is an annual raise, which compensates you for your performance, years of service, or even a promotion to a position with more responsibilities.

Employees often ask themselves what factors play a role in how much their raise is, if they are fortunate enough to receive one at all. One factor has to do with performance. Employees are usually given a set of goals to strive toward during their annual performance review process. They are also given areas of personal development. Depending on whether or not an employee fails to meet these goals, meets these goals satisfactorily, or exceeds these goals generally determines the increase percentage for an employee’s raise.

Another way employees earn an increase in salary is through promotions. Promotions usually require you to compete against other qualified candidates for the same job. Competing means that you need to have the skills, knowledge, and experience required to meet the job requirements of the new position. During the application and interview process for a promotion, a hiring manager will likely want to review your updated resume to see not only your previous background but also what responsibilities you’ve acquired and maintained since you’ve been employed with the company.

Possessing an up-to-date resume that clearly outlines your past and present career achievements is essential in securely landing your feet on the next rung of the corporate ladder. Your resune should paint a vivid, yet concise, picture of who you are, what you’ve done in your career, and why you’re the candidate of choice for this new opportunity.

Often overlooked by many employees is an attention to detail when updating their resume. There are some employees who think that just because they’ve been at the company for a number of years, no effort to impress the hiring manager is necessary. This is far from the case! Putting creativity and thought into a very powerful piece of artwork that will reside directly in front of the hiring manger tends to be underestimated.

Use powerful, bold words to describe your accomplishments. Use a solid, easy-to-follow format on your resume, complete with bullet points and lists so that reading your career history is easy but informative to follow. Career experts wisely advise against using difficult to read fonts, colored paper, paper that has a fragrance to it, or other things that tend to make a hiring manager or recruiter doubt your professionalism and seriousness about landing the job.

If you’re looking for a healthy increase in your salary, remember that returning to resume writing basics isn’t such an antiquated or outdated idea; it may be the difference between you getting the promotion and someone else snagging the bigger bucks!

As a Boss, You Should Motivate Your Employees

The reason why people go to work each day is to collect a paycheck. It can be hard to live your life without having a steady income. However, is money the only thing that will motivate an employee to do more? It can be argued that money is not the only motivation to work hard.

Allow Workers to Take Ownership of Their Work

Most workers have a sense of pride in the work they do. Doing the job right the first time is the only acceptable result. Employers should take this into account when they are looking for ways to motivate employees. Increased recognition for a job well done could be more effective than offering a raise in pay.

Flexible Scheduling Can Work Out Well

Employers should be sensitive to the work-life balance most employees are after. Not all employees are going to do well working during the day. Some employees are more awake during the night hours. Other employees might only be able to work during certain days of the week. Employees are always going to be more productive when everything at home is OK. Therefore, flexible scheduling could be a way to increase productivity.

I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follow with fixed hours, a fixed salary, and very little original thinking to do.

Roald Dahl

Increased Pay Means Increased Expectations

A business cannot just hand out money to its employees. Any raise in pay is going to have to be accompanied by a raise in productivity. However, this is not always the best way to get more out of an employee. Higher expectations can cause an employee to feel more pressure at work. This added pressure could cause an employee to start trying too hard. A company could then be faced with a decrease in productivity.

Giving employees a raise in pay is not always the best way to increase productivity. Employees will react differently to getting a raise at work. Some will certainly try harder to justify getting paid more. However, others may feel too much pressure to perform. A company could lose a great employee because he felt too much pressure to perform. Flexible scheduling and increased recognition at work are two effective alternatives to providing an increase in pay.