What if They Ask for a Salary History? My Pay Was Too Low! (Free Guide)

Salary Negotiations

A client asked me this morning, “What if in my job search I’m asked to provide my current salary? I am really worried about people asking this because my salary is sooooooo low.”

Here’s my response (she happens to have had only one job so far, but even a seasoned professional can tweak this to his or her needs):

Avoid giving out your salary information in any case. It’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is your skill set, your distinctive approach to your work, and what those are worth on the open market.


Just because I buy a Picasso at a yard sale for $1K doesn’t mean I won’t sell it for what it’s worth.


If the issue is forced, you can just say that you are grateful to have had a job right out of college that allowed you to learn so much about X, Y, and Z (whatever is most important for the role you are applying to). Of course, now that I have these skills, you expect your salary will be in line with the market.


[Then shift conversation to the job fit...]


Say something like, “It’s natural that you’d want to feel me out about salary before going any further. I can assure you that I just want fair market compensation. The most important thing for me is not salary, but knowing that I’m a good fit with your company and vice versa. Once we establish that, I’m sure we can agree on something that is fair for both parties.”


Also, remember to use websites like Salary.com to prepare for negotiations. You can learn more about my approach in this Movin’ On Up Resumes Salary Negotiations ebook, my gift to you!


To really dig deep on the topic of salary negotiations, I highly recommend the work of Jack Chapman.

February 26, 2013 at 9:21 am 1 comment

How to Get a Free List of Hiring Managers in Your Targeted Companies

This video shows how to get contact information for hiring managers that hold the key to the 80% of jobs that are never advertised. It was made by Mark Hovind who was a true innovator in job search.

My library doesn’t connect with Dun and Bradstreet’s Million Dollar Database, but they have a similar one. Your reference librarian should be able to help, and it is worth it!

Thanks to Mary Elizabeth Bradford for introducing me to this approach!

November 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm 3 comments

Warning: New LinkedIn Feature Could Out Job Seekers to Their Current Company

LinkedIn is at it again. They’re messing with their secret sauce to… well, who knows why. But it could have unintended consequences for employed job seekers trying to keep their search on the down-low.

Savvy job seekers know to turn off the alerts on their LinkedIn profile. A bunch of notifications of profile changes can let people at your current company know that you are on the hunt.

But LinkedIn has released a new feature to some accounts that overrides the general “no notifications” setting. Some users, when updating experience, have reported a pre-selected box that announces a change in company or roles to contacts.

Look carefully before you click “save.” Make sure to un-check any box that might broadcast your changes.

Thanks to Rosa Vargas, Norine Dagliano, and The National Resume Writers’ Association for bringing this to light!

What should you do if you’re “caught” updating your LinkedIn profile?

While it’s not ideal to reveal a LinkedIn revamp to your colleagues, it’s usually not the end of the world either. There is no professional whose on-the-job performance would not be enhanced by having a strong network to draw on for ideas and potential partnerships. Just practice talking about your updates comfortably. If a breech happens, you might even want to proactively mention your LinkedIn activity to your boss. One innocuous way is to share a good idea or article you found on LinkedIn and mention what a terrific resource it’s been in helping to achieve a specific goal your boss has set for you.

October 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm 2 comments

How to Create a Plain Text Resume, aka ASCII Resume, From Word: Easy Version

Ever wonder how to upload your resume to a job board? Or why it gets garbled when you copy and paste it into your LinkedIn profile or a job application portal on a company website?

While I don’t advocate running your job search by applying for advertised opportunities, knowing how to translate your resume into a universal format is important. In the video below, I’ve explained the basics. Later this week, I’ll be showing how to handle translation of more complex formats.

If you have questions, feel free to post them in the comments below. Enjoy!

(Be sure to click the HD button on the upper right side of the player for better resolution.)

October 15, 2012 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Free Webinar: No Dream Job Yet? It Could Be Your Resume

“Kim, my resume was holding me back, and I had no idea until months later.”

This was my respected friend and colleague, Jason Alba of JibberJobber.com in a conversation we had the other day. He started his company out of frustration with the CRM tools available (or not available) for job seekers.

But once you build a strong network and have a system to keep it alive and growing, you’ll still have to provide a powerful marketing document (aka resume) at some point in your job search.

So Jason and I are teaming up to offer a highly actionable training webinar that will get your resume loaded for bear.


Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM MDT (note: that is MOUNTAIN TIME. Schedule this appropriately based on your own time zone)

Sign up here.

Whether you want a straightforward approach to writing your own resume or would like to get a feel for how I work, this is the place to be.

Here are some things we’ll talk about:

The Resume Black Hole: What Happens After I Hit “Submit?” Talking about what the ATS is (software that analyses your resume, but I’ll go into more depth).

Navigating The Black Hole: How Do I Give Myself a Fighting Chance With an Electronic Screener?

Beyond the Black Hole: How Can I Optimize My Resume to Appeal to Human Decision-Makers? Sharing simple formulas for how to write your opening profile, work history, education, and extras. I’ll also include some Word templates to get you started since most people have trouble formatting their own resumes and Word’s templates are pretty bad for visual and technical reasons (i.e. ATS systems don’t read tables properly and Word templates involve many tables).

Sign up here.

October 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm 2 comments

Why and How do I Put Special Characters in My LinkedIn Headline?

Special Characters in LinkedIn HeadlineHave you ever seen special characters in someone’s LinkedIn or other social media profile or updates and wondered how they did it?

The characters are “unicode” and are meant to be viewed on almost any platform. You can find a list of them here.

I put special characters, stars to be specific, in my LinkedIn headline so that it stands out. Notice in the stream of updates above that two people have recently connected with me. I stand out amongst their other recent connections as the stream is scanned because of the stars in my headline.

My eye is usually drawn to updates from social media guru Kim Garst as I scan my Facebook and Twitter feeds because she’s used unicode characters to create a smiley face next to her name.

A word of warning: even unicode characters don’t always show up well. If you go to the unicode link above, you’ll see some of them look like gibberish. To make sure your characters are coming through properly, you can copy characters from other people’s profiles (if they show up for them, they’ll likely show up for you too) or just be sure to have some friends and family view  your profile and let you know what they see.

The other danger is that special characters are not considered by all to be “business conservative.” You can choose how conservative or “out there” you wish to be. Circles, stars, or smiley faces–it’s up to you. But I’d rather be cheesy and found than business conservative in obscurity.

September 27, 2012 at 6:19 am 2 comments

The Secret Formula for an Interview-Getting Resume? W2H

Imagine your dog ate your homework… er, resume.

He left only the top third of the first page intact.

A hiring manager at your ideal company should be able to happen upon that third of a page in the street and decide to call you in for an interview.

The top third of the resume is called the marquee. That’s where a decision-maker chooses whether they will read further and/or call you for an interview.

W2H is the formula that infuses your marquee with interview magnetism.

Make sure you get to the point:

Who are you? Literally, what is your name and how can you be reached? Also, what role are you going for? What kind of person are you? The latter will be subtle here, but as you see in the examples below it can be hinted at with the visual style and language you choose.

Who do you help? If you are looking for a job, the “who” will usually be an “it,” the company. What kind? What industry? What size? If you are in a support role, your “who” could be people, but you’ll want to tie it back to how that help adds to the bottom line.

How do you help them? The “how” should include the exact tools you use (like continuous improvement methodology or digital media) as well as your approach with them (empowering teams, presenting technical concepts in understandable business language).

Feel free to comment here or contact me privately if you have questions.

If, like my clients, you don’t want to become a resume expert just to find a job, peruse my services page. If it looks like we might be a fit, let’s talk!

Follow your bliss,

Kim Mohiuddin, NCRW, CJSS

Career Communications That Lift You Up!

Chief Career Storyteller, Movin’ On Up Resumes
Speaker and Consultant on Careers and Writing

(619) 550-2901

September 13, 2012 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

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