How to write a Salary History: All You Need To Know - NewBalancejobs
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How to write a Salary History: All You Need To Know

How to write a Salary History

With the information in this article, you can easily, and quickly understand how to write a salary history as a professional.

When looking for a new job, you may be asked to provide a salary history. Some employers ask for this information in the job application, while others ask about salary during the interview process, before making an official job offer.

Regardless of when an employer asks for your salary history, you must be prepared to address the issue. You can also visit some official salary calculators online for a free custom pay range based on your location, industry, and experience.

Here are some tips on how to share your salary history with potential employers, as well as a salary history template to help you format your answer.

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What is your salary history?

A salary history is a document that presents an employee’s past earnings. Some employers ask candidates to provide them with a salary history list when they apply for a job. Others may request it as part of the interview process when you are definitely in dispute about the job. A salary history generally includes the name of each company, the title, and the salary and benefits package the candidate has received in the past.

Salary history is different from a salary requirement, which is the pay a candidate expects for a new job.

Is it legal for employers to request a salary history?

Some cities and states have passed laws that prohibit employers from asking applicants for salary information or setting conditions regarding such inquiries. Legislators in these jurisdictions believe that putting information on past wages in the hands of employers perpetuates wage inequality, as historically many women have been underpaid compared to men in similar positions.

The AAUW reports that 15 states and territories have restrictions restricting inquiries from all employers regarding salary history, including the following: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Vermont, and Washington.1

Several others, including Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, have provisions regarding candidates for state agency jobs.

Additionally, the cities of San Francisco, New York, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Philadelphia, as well as the counties of St. Louis, Missouri, and Albany, New York, have regulations that restrict the practice of inquiring about employee salary history. most employers. Several other municipalities, including Chicago, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, and Louisville, prohibit city agencies from inquiring about the salary history of job applicants.

Check with your state department of labor for the latest laws in your area.

Additionally, some employers, including Amazon, Facebook, and Google, have banned interview questions related to salary history.

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How to write a salary history: How to provide your salary history

What is the best way to provide your salary history? You can list your salary history in your cover letter without detailing.

For example, you might say, “I’m currently winning in my mid-fifties.” That gives you some flexibility when it comes to discussing compensation if you receive a job offer.

If you are concerned that your salary is high enough to put you out of competition for the position, what you might want to do instead is include a salary range rather than a specific amount. For example, you could say “My salary range is $ 40,000 to $ 50,000.” Below is an example of a cover letter with a salary range.

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Or, your salary history can be listed on a separate salary history page and attached to your resume and cover letter.

Why do employers ask for a salary history?

When an employer asks you to share your salaries from previous positions, it is likely for the same reasons that they might ask you for your salary expectations. These reasons generally include the following:

They want to determine its market value. Your salary history, specifically the salary you earned in your most recent position, is one factor an employer can use to gauge your level of experience and the value you will bring as an employee.
They want to make sure your expectations are aligned with your budget for the position. If your most recent salary is significantly higher than an employer’s if you are prepared to offer it, this is an indication that you may be too qualified for the position.

They want to make sure they are offering a fair amount for the position. For example, if most job applicants provide recent salary history that far exceeds what was budgeted for the position, they may need to increase their offer or adjust the job description to target younger professionals.

What is the best way to write and share my salary history?


There are three ways you can choose to communicate your salary history based on how much you want to share, how much detail the employer asks for, and what part of the process you are asked to provide this information.

Here are the three ways you can choose to handle the request:

Use general terms. Instead of including an exact amount, you could provide a general number. Example: “My current salary is in the mid-sixties.”
Use a range. If your salary has increased during your time in your current role, you can choose to provide a rank or starting salary and the current salary. In addition to complying with the employer’s request, it also illustrates that you provided enough value to earn a raise. Example: “I started my role with $ 55,000 and my current salary is $ 72,000.”


Please provide an exact number. You can choose to provide your exact salary or round to the nearest whole number. For example, if you are making $ 84,650, you might want to round to $ 85,000. Example: “My current salary is $ 85,000.”

If you are earning additional compensation in addition to your base salary, such as regular bonuses or commissions, please also provide this information. If your additional compensation varies, include an average.

Example: “I currently earn a base salary of $ 60,000 plus an average quarterly bonus of $ 2,500.”

You may be asked to provide a salary history list or a salary history template to complete. In this case, list your highest gross annual salary for each position. Your gross annual salary is the total amount of money you earned in a year in a position before taxes.

How to write an example salary history:

Social Media Manager
ABC Company
Start date: present
Annual Salary: I started my role at $ 45,000 and my current salary is $ 60,000.

Social media coordinator
XYZ Company
Start date – Last date
Annual salary: $ 40,000

Digital Marketing Specialist
123 Company
Start date – Last date
Annual salary: $ 35,000

If the employer has not requested your desired salary, you can choose to include it in your salary history.

Example: “I currently earn $ 70,000 and am looking for a position that pays between $ 75,000 and $ 80,000.”

Finally, remember to provide your total annual salary before taxes. Giving your amount after-tax can give the impression that you are being paid a lower salary, which could make it difficult to negotiate the higher amount you want.

Providing your current salary to your next potential employer does not mean that this will be your salary at your next job, nor does it eliminate the option to bargain for a higher amount. Employers understand that many job seekers are looking to increase their income when they move to a new job, especially if the new role comes with additional challenges or more responsibilities than your current job.

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