Inquiring About Salary Before Applying

  • Article by: MATT KRUMRIE , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: August 9, 2010 - 11:36 AM

Many job seekers are tempted to e-mail hiring managers and ask about salary before applying for the job. Don't do it.

Dear Matt: If I see a job posting online with the hiring manager's name and info listed on the website, is it appropriate to send an e-mail to ask how much the position pays? Why waste time by applying or interviewing for a job if the salary is not a match? Can people do this and get a response, and still be considered for a job?

Matt: I think we have all done this. We see a job posting and it fits our background, experience and interest and our first reaction is, "I wonder how much this job pays?"

However, simply asking what a job pays instead of applying for the job is not a good move, according to a number of Twin Cities recruiters.

"Recruiters receive hundreds of résumés each day, so we prefer to look through the applicants to choose the best to be contacted," says Eric Putkonen, a Twin Cities-based corporate recruiter. "The application often asks what your salary range is, so if it's not a match no time will be wasted. If you're not asked your salary, don't worry - that's my first step as a recruiter - calling the handful of top applicants to find out what their salary requirements are. I won't waste your time, my time and the hiring manager's time by bringing you in to interview for something that is not a fit salary-wise."

Jen Ensign, HR manager for Nightingale Home Healthcare, agrees. "I would never encourage an applicant to contact the recruiter or hiring manager and inquire about the salary range," says Ensign. "It could be viewed as poor etiquette, and remove them from consideration."

Alissa Henriksen, president of Premier Alliance Group (www.premieralliancegroup.net), a Twin Cities-based staffing firm warns job seekers, saying: "If the money is all you care about, then you probably won't be considered for the position. Even though it's extremely important, you have to find interest in what xyz company does and show how you can impact their business."

My advice is this: Why not just apply? As Chasity Bailey, a corporate IT recruiter points out, if you have the skills and experience a company wants - and they want you bad enough, they just might be willing to pay you more than originally budgeted.

And you'd never know that if you didn't apply.

Do you have an employment related or job search question for Matt? E-mail him today at askmatt@startribune.com.

All responses will be in the paper and no names will be used to protect your privacy.

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