1. Never leave it blank!
Online application systems require that all fields be filled out for you to be considered for the job. So, leaving it blank puts you in the digital trash can.
2. Never write something vague like "TBD" or "Pay Open for Discussion."
A company just wants you to come clean and give them a price range. You know what you are worth and what you want. Create a range that covers your walk-away rate (the lowest you can accept) and your ideal pay rate.
3. Do your homework and put down a value reflective of the market.
There are plenty of sites today that offer information on the current salary ranges for people in the position you are applying for. Be sure to factor in your location and offer a range that is fitting for the current market. Just because you made $80,000 in your last job doesn't mean you are going to get it now. The market might only be willing to pay $60,000 to $70,000. By researching this up front, you can be sure to put in a range that they will accept.
4. Don't assume what you put is cast in stone.
Just because you listed the range, doesn't mean you have to accept an offer within it. If you make it through the interview process and realize that you are bringing far more value to the role than the other possible candidates. Or, that the job is far greater in scope and responsibility than what you thought it was at the time you applied, you can always try to negotiate a higher starting salary. Just make sure they A) have the capacity to pay more, and B) you can 100 percent prove you'll be immediately worth every penny.
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