Many companies will ask you to include salary history on your job application. Though not the most ethical practice, you can do nothing but follow their directives (unless you want to risk that they won’t invite you for an interview, for not following instructions, or for submitting an incomplete job application).
You can either include the information directly on your resume (at the end of the document, in a special section), or you can create a separate page for the salary history, and submit it together with your resume and cover letter. We prepared for you a standard template as well as some more creative forms of demonstrating how much you have earned in various stages of your career.
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Two things to remember regarding your salary history
Before you start to copy, paste, and enter information into our layout, try to remember a couple of things:
- You should be honest with them. The amount of money you earned before has nothing to do with the salary you can get in your new job. It is not uncommon to see someone earning $50,000 annually, though they were earning just $30,000 a year ago. Such things do happen and there is no reason why it could not happen to you as well.
- Employers should feel that the salary is not the most important thing for you. You should somehow mention it either on your cover letter, or on your resume. At least you should not mention anything that would indicate that money play the prime in your mind, and you do not think about anything else when choosing your job.
Okay, let’s have a look at the templates!
Template of a simple salary history list, attached to your job application
Your Cell Phone Number
Position 1 (the most recent)
Name of the employer (address or website can be included, looks more genuine)
Name of the employer
3333/222 Kensignton Road,
12021 New York City, NY
ATCT Ltd. (atctltd.com)
12/3/08 – Present
Annual Salary: $45,000
This is the most simple salary history template that provides an employer with all information they may need. However, if you want to be more creative, or if you are applying for a position where attention to detail matters, you can use a different template, sharing more details with the employers. For example:
ATCT Ltd. (atctltd.com)
12/3/08 – Present
Starting annual salary: $38,000
Current annual salary: $45,000
Reason for raise: Achievements in marketing department
Reference: Martin Eagelson, Marketing Director, 0029339293
Special Tip: You can download the template in PDF, and directly fill in your details:
Mentioning salary directly on your resume -good, or bad practice?
Some job seekers prefer to include information about their salaries directly on their resume, in the working experience section. However, we do not recommend you to follow this procedure.
It may give the employer a false impression that the salary is the most important thing for you, and therefore you mention it on your resume (so the employers can see how much you earned, and they won’t offer you less).
As a rule of a thumb you should avoid talking (or writing) about your salary, unless they explicitly ask you to talk about it.
Conclusion and next steps
Just like your past failures in job interviews have nothing to do with your chances to succeed in the next meeting with the employer, the salary you got in your last job has nothing to do with the salary you will get in your next one.
Do not make things even more complicated as they already are. If employer asks you to include salary history on your resume, follow their instructions. Use one of our templates, and do not worry much about the numbers.
Write the truth, show them your cards, and get ready for the interview–the ultimate challenge. We at Interview Penguin would love to help you with your interview preparation:
- Fifteen most common interview questions – Test the waters, learn what matters for the interviewers and how to answer the most common questions.
- How to nail an interview – Ten tips that should help you to nail your job interview.
- Salary negotiation tips – Basic rules you should remember when negotiating a salary in a job interview.