How to Calculate Your Asking Salary (Show Notes)

This past weekend on my Blog Talk Radio Show, I discussed How to calculate your asking salary even before you have your first interview. The salary question is often an uncomfortable subject (among many) during the interview.  We often breeze over this subject by throwing out a best guess number. The goal of this post and this past weekend’s show is to help job seekers avoid asking for the wrong salary – too much and the offer could be lost, too little and you’re back in the job search in six months (or kicking yourself with the first paycheck). In case you missed the show, listen here, “How to calculate asking salary”

calculatingStep 1 – Prepare a household budget

In Episode 7 I covered how to prepare budget – to give an idea of how much you need to make to cover the bills

Step 2 – Create a job search plan

A good job search starts with a plan so you identify the job you want. You should target jobs to help you move ahead in your career.  Once you know what job you want, now you can formulate a target salary.  Go to www.salary.com to see the average salary range for the position you want to land.

Step 3 – Calculate your asking salary

Ex. Project Manager I (Charlotte, NC)

  • Budget Salary =  $55K
  • Add 10K to your budgeted salary = 65k is your target salary
    Note: adding 10K leaves room for negotiation
  • Position range: $50k – $88k (www.salary.com)
  • $65 – $75 Asking Range.  After negotiation you could end up at 70K

Think like a hiring manager: 65 -75k is reasonable because you are 3-4 merit increases away from being at the top of the salary range. Thus, you are in range for the position.  When negotiating, keep in mind that managers want to reward you for performing well while in the position.  If you come in at the top of the salary range, there is nowhere for them to go when it comes time for merit increases or bonuses.

The goal here is not to get rich on your employer or even come in at top salary; the goal is to achieve the budget for your lifestyle and well within the employer’s budget creating a win-win for both of you.   -Holly Bunn

idea-lightbulbKey tip: When formulating a target salary, focus on the salary of the position you want not a % of your current/last salary to increase.

Step 3a – Calculate your asking Hourly Salary

Ex. Project Manager I (Charlotte, NC)  

  • Budget $22/ hour
  • Add $5/hour to budget rate = $27/hour target rate
  • Position range $25 – $42 (www.salary.com)
  • $27 – $35 Asking range.  After negotiation you could end up at $32/hour

Additional Calculations to Consider

Now that you have your base salary, be sure you consider other expenses and adjust your asking salary to reflect the impact to your household budget.

  • Location/Commute  (moving state to state or telecommute to office)
  • Benefits (premiums can significantly increase from job to job)
  • Childcare (longer commute, you may require extra childcare, etc.)
  • Expenses (many companies are BYOC – Bring your own credit card for expenses.  Keep that in mind if you are asked to travel)

idea-lightbulbKey Tip: Think about these things before the interview not when you get to the interview.  Ask your recruiter for a copy of benefits costs (medical, dental deductions, etc), expense reimbursement policy.  When you start your job it’s too late to find out if these policies have a negative impact to your budget.

Note: Everyone’s financial situation is different.  It’s always a good idea to consult your tax advisor or accountant when calculating your asking salary and developing a budget.

When to Talk Salary

During the offer stage.

Rule of thumb: don’t bring up until your interviewer asks.  And always give a range, not a hard and fast number.

When NOT to talk salary

  • During the first phone interview – you need more information about the job.  Telling a recruiter that you need more time is not a fake out. It’s the truth. You will know more once you talk to your hiring manager about your responsibilities.  It is then you have a better picture of the type of salary you are worth. Try not to lock yourself into a salary during the first interview.
  • When asked, “What is your current salary?” – try not to answer this question without a job offer – verifying your current salary is a part of a background check.

How to answer: First, try to respectfully deflect by asking for the budget or salary range for the position.  Second, express that your current salary does not reflect the intended position. It’s a different position and different salary so not really that relevant.  Finally, if demanded, give a range for the salary you are looking for based on the information you have right now with a reserved right to change that amount after the interview process is over.

idea-lightbulbKey Tip – Always provide a salary range, but have a bottom line number in your head.  Only provide a range to an employer if you have prepared as described in this post so you don’t end up with the wrong salary for your lifestyle and budget.

How to fix it if you’ve accepted the offer

  • A reasonable time frame to revise an accepted offer is within 24 -48 hours after you accept the offer. 2 weeks out or the day before you start your first day is not reasonable.
  • Craft an email with bullet points (3 max) and links (if applicable) to market research, etc. to back your request about the new salary.  Do not call to revise your salary.  Send it in writing.

Revising an accepted offer is scary and may seem unbelievable. However, a well crafted, well researched, reasonable revision often works. More importantly, the goal is not to be in this situation at all where you have to revise an offer. Do your research before the position and only answer the salary question at the offer stage when you have enough information to present a well planned, well thought salary for yourself. 

Helpful_Links_icon

Top resources for Calculating salary

Top Resources for Calculating a Budget

Note: Track expenses for a month or minimum 2 week period.

Top Budget/Bill Pay Apps for mobile:

win-win

Ending Thought:  The key to landing the right salary for your lifestyle and budget is research and preparation.  The goal of this post and my BlogTalkRadio Show was to show you how NOT to be in a position where you’ve asked for the wrong salary.  How not to be in a position where you may have to go back and fix it or kick yourself 1 month, even 6 months later when it’s too late.  With the proper preparation and research, you can and will land the perfect salary for the job you seek, creating a win-win for both your potential employer and you.

Want more job search and career tips? Join my mailing list: http://bit.ly/msresumehelptips

Career Talk with Holly Bunn Online Radio Show, Saturdays at 12:30pm ET. Click to learn more: http://bit.ly/msresumehelpradio

Holly Bunn is a resume writer, career coach, and motivational speaker with more than 15 years of experience in Human Resources, recruiting, and technology.  Her clients have secured interviews with Fortune 100 companies.  She is sought after as a subject matter expert on LinkedIn and has delivered workshops and speeches to hundreds of job seekers.  For more information on career coaching or resume help, contact Holly at (305) 791-6965 or holly@msresumehelp.com. 

Temporary Work: Your Bridge to a New Job (Show Notes)

This past Saturday, my BlogTalkRadio Show, Career Talk with Holly Bunn, focused on how to earn an income while looking for a job by accepting temporary and contract work. In case you missed the show, click here to listen to the recording.

I was joined by special guest, Patsy Silva, a recruiter with 15+ years of experience.  During the show, Patsy shared some of the benefits of working a temporary assignment while job searching.

Reasons to consider temporary work. 

  • Sharpen your skill set(s) while on the job.
  • Exposure to hiring managers for permanent positions. The temporary assignment can be a working interview because managers are able to see you in action at work.
  • Try before you buy – determine if the culture is the right fit while on the job and earning a paycheck with very little to lose if it doesn’t work out.  Try the job before you take the permanent job.
  • Generate an income while still searching for a permanent job. Temporary jobs often pay double what unemployment pays (in the United States).

Did you know?  As a temporary worker, you are often eligible for health benefits after working a number of hours with the temporary agency.  Ask your recruiter when you accept a position.
plans for temp work

According to CareerBuilder’s 2015 US Job Forecast report, 46% of employers plan to hire temporary workers in 2015. As a result,  the temporary job market is highly competitive.  This means anyone looking for temporary work must bring their “A” game to win the job assignment.

During the show, I asked Patsy to share some of her best tips for candidates to land a temporary job.

Tips for landing a temporary job.  

  • Submit an error free resume – is the key to opening the door.  The resume must be nearly perfect.  Consider hiring a professional like Holly Bunn to give you an advantage.
  • Create a professional voicemail – set up a professional voice mail with a silent background.  Remove songs and other distractions.  Click here for examples on creating a great voicemail.
  • Set up a professional email address and send error free messages – ensure your email address is professional (first and last name) and your message is grammatically correct and error free.  Remember, the interview starts from the first point of contact which is often an email or voicemail.
  • Find a quiet place to return phone calls or conduct a phone interview – minimize background noise. Ensure your communication is clear and energetic.

Jump start your job search for temporary work by searching for top temporary agencies by industry: http://www.bestofstaffing.com/for-job-seekers/agencies-by-industry/ 

ENDING THOUGHT:

Be passionate about your career and job search.  Invest time in your job search by formulating a plan to include temporary work.  Seek out positions that will expand your skill set and position you for success. Bring your “A” game by including up-to-date tools and refined skills.  You can win if you prepare and seize opportunities when they arrive.

Want more job search and career tips? Join my mailing list: http://bit.ly/msresumehelptips

Career Talk with Holly Bunn Online Radio Show, Saturdays at 12:30pm ET. Click to learn more: http://bit.ly/msresumehelpradio

Holly Bunn is a resume writer, career coach, and motivational speaker with more than 15 years of experience in Human Resources, recruiting, and technology.  Her clients have secured interviews with Fortune 100 companies.  She is sought after as a subject matter expert on LinkedIn and has delivered workshops and speeches to hundreds of job seekers.  For more information on career coaching or resume help, contact Holly at (305) 791-6965 or holly@msresumehelp.com. 

Career Talk with Holly Bunn: You’ve been laid off, now what? (Show Notes)

Thank you for listening to my Blogtalk radio show on what to do once you’ve been laid off.  If you missed the show, listen to the recording here: Career Talk with Holly Bunn: You’ve been laid off, now what? (EP07)

During the show I revealed my best tips for survival once you’ve been laid off or find yourself unemployed.  Below are show notes for your reference.

What To Do As Soon As You Are Laid Off 

DAY 1

  • Don’t panic.  Pray – be grateful for what you have and be thankful for what’s coming.
  • Prepare the family – be honest and tell them what’s going on because life will change a bit, even if temporarily.  This will be a hard transition, if you panic.  The family will panic if you panic.  If you are calm, they are calm.finances
  • Evaluate your finances: your lifestyle may change a little as a result of being laid off or unemployed. Decide what you will temporarily give up, adjust, or change until you land a new job.  Reminder,  the job search can take 2-3 months.

DAY 2

  • File for unemployment – Google unemployment for your state and follow instructions on how to file.  File for SNAP Food stamp benefits – please do not be too proud to ask for these benefits.  In some cases, you are eligible for emergency cash and food benefits for a couple of weeks until your unemployment starts.
  • Formulatkeep-calm-and-i-have-a-plane a job search plan – target the job you want. A focused job search plan creates optimism, hope, and direction – a purpose.  Decide if you want the same job you had or is this an opportunity for a promotion, new career, or time to start your own business.   Listen to Episode 5 of my show archives on creating a job search plan.

DAYS 3 – 5

  • Prepare your tools: Resume, Social Media profiles starting with LinkedIn. Invest this time.  It will pay off in the end.  For more information on preparing your resume, listen to Episode 6 of my show.
  • Prepare your workspace: (listen to Episode 5 for more detail)

WEEKS 2 – 3

ID-10087395

  • Apply for jobs only after you are prepared (Days 1 – 5)
  • Register with temporary agencies and/or headhunters.
  • Become a consultant  or start your own business. 

What NOT To Do As Soon As You Are Laid Off 

  • Do not look for a job on Day 1.  The key to a successful job search is preparation. You will be frustrated and your job search prolonged if you don’t have a plan or the tools in place.
  • Do not go on vacation, make large purchases, or go on a shopping spree with your severance.
  • Do not post, tweet, email, or otherwise broadcast that you are unemployed and looking for opportunities.  You will appear desperate.  Instead, post interesting information that shows you are an expert in your field; keyword optimize your social profile for the job you are targeting.

Social Media Tips

  • Remove or hide anything that would be a challenge for you being a credible candidate.
  • Remove/hide pictures and videos of alcohol, violence, nudity, or other risque photos and videos.
  • Do not use profanity in status updates or references to drugs.
  • Omit spelling and grammar errors on status updates. (Grammarly is free and checks grammar/punctuation of all posts automatically)

job-search-resources

Top Job Search and Employment Resources 

Job boards: www.Monster.com, www.Dice.com

Job search aggregators:
www.Indeed.com   
www.SimplyHired.com
   
www.usajobs.gov

Social Media:
LinkedIn.com (Episode 2)
Twitter, (Episode 3)
Meetup.com for networking

 Unemployment Resources:  
www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp
www.careeronestop.org
www.211.org 

ENDING THOUGHT:

Losing a job is not the end of the world. It’s a change, a new chapter.  Preparation is key.  Remain calm and rest in the fact that you have a plan and it will work if you stick to it.  It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!  Be encouraged.  Your next job is in sight.

Want more job search and career tips? Join my mailing list: http://bit.ly/msresumehelptips

Career Talk with Holly Bunn Online Radio Show, Saturdays at 12:30pm ET. Click here to learn about the radio show: http://bit.ly/msresumehelpradio

Holly Bunn is a resume writer, career coach, and motivational speaker with more than 15 years of experience in Human Resources, recruiting, and technology.  Her clients have secured interviews with Fortune 100 companies.  She is sought after as a subject matter expert on LinkedIn and has delivered workshops and speeches to hundreds of job seekers.  For more information on career coaching or resume help, contact Holly at (305) 791-6965 or holly@msresumehelp.com.

How to Handle an Interview If You’ve Been Fired.

You’ve heard the cliche, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Just because you’ve lost one job doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t get another. Your presentation and focus is what makes the difference in getting the offer or decline. If you make the fact that you were fired an issue (lemons), then it will be.

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