October 22, 2014 by Jessica Lala

When speaking with a recruiter or HR rep about a potential new opportunity, the impulse to question what it pays is hard to suppress. Whether you are gainfully employed or looking to start working again, it is usually the most important piece of the puzzle-to the job seeker. To the employer? Not so much. Of course, if the employer is looking to fill a position, there is set money in the budget for that resource. They are not naive enough to believe that they are going to get a volunteer. But one of the biggest ways to turn off the interviewer is for that the be the first (or second) question you ask.

If a posted job doesn’t have a salary listed, there are ways to get an idea of where the client is in terms of pay scale. Most job boards have annual reports based on surveys of job titles, industries, etc.

And you know what you are worth. When you read a job description, you should know if it is the job for you. You know what you have earned in the past and what your future earning potential is. There is a number in your head that you should be comfortable with, taking into consideration the opportunity, the company, industry, and what working for them can do for you in the future, beyond the number on your paycheck.

The question will come up, and the employer should be the one to ask it. But when they do, you will have already displayed your value and experience. If you’ve done your homework and are upfront about your expectations and what you can bring to the table, chances are you will both be on the same page as far as money goes and ready to take the next step in joining the organization.

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