Is it the Right Time to Ask for a Raise?

Career & WorkplaceSalary

Going to your boss and asking for a raise is always a sensitive topic of discussion. But if you ask at the right time and do a little homework beforehand, then you can at least minimize some of the awkwardness. The point of asking for a raise is to tell your boss you believe you’ve gone above and beyond in your current role and believe you should be compensated accordingly. Or you may simply think you’re underpaid to do your day-to-day duties. Any executive resume writing service will tell you to proceed with caution when asking for a raise, and to consider waiting to do so until you’ve come across these situations.

When You’ve Added On Responsibilities

If your job responsibilities continue increasing, but your salary remains the same, there will probably come a time when you think you aren’t getting compensated fairly. Don’t ask for the raise upfront though. Wait until you’ve had some time to show the ability to handle these additional responsibilities. That way you have some backbone to your claims in asking for more money since you’ve proven to be able to handle them all.

Look At Your Company’s Recent Performance

When writing resumes and cover letters during the job searching process, you likely researched the performance of the company you currently work for. That research may have helped you land the job, just like the research could help you land a raise as well. No matter how many accomplishments you’ve had at your job, it’s never appropriate to ask for a raise if the company as a whole is performing poorly. On the other hand, if the company is performing well and you believe you contributed to the positive performance, talk it over with your boss and see if your performance merits getting a raise.

Consider Waiting Until Your Performance Review

Your executive resume writing service may suggest waiting until your annual performance review is approaching before bringing up the idea of a raise. So a few weeks ahead of your anticipated review, talk to your boss about a potential salary increase so they will take it into consideration while performing their assessment. Then you can wait for the answer during the actual review and can discuss further as needed.
At Professional Resume Services, we help executives create quality resumes and cover letters, enhance their LinkedIn profile and even provide tips on the best ways to handle sensitive subjects with your current employer. The hope is your employer will recognize great work when they see it and reward employees accordingly. However, there are different reasons and circumstances why that’s not always true. If you’re put in a spot where you think you need a raise and don’t know how to approach your boss, contact us for some helpful advice.

Money isn’t the Only Thing That Should Contribute to Happiness at Work

BlogCareer & WorkplaceProfessional ResumesSalarySuccess Strategies
top resume writing services

Are you happy with your job? When people are asked this question, they often times aren’t sure how to answer it. They might be happy with the paycheck they receive every two weeks, but they might dread going into the office every day. Money is required to live the lifestyle you desire, and fair compensation should contribute to overall happiness. However, there are plenty of other factors that contribute to happiness at work, and these factors go well beyond what can be written in your executive bio.

Positive Relationships With Colleagues

If you’re like many people, you likely spend more time with your co-workers than you do your own family. Work can be a miserable place to go to every day if you don’t get along with the people there. Try to go out of your way a bit to form positive relationships with your colleagues. This can simply mean talking to them about their weekend, discussing a favorite sport or grabbing lunch together. These relationships can make you feel like you are part of a team and can lead to overall happiness on a daily basis.

Meaningful Opportunities

When you spend a lot of time writing resumes and cover letters to find a job, you likely want an opportunity for growth. It may take a while for you to advance, depending on your level of experience, but knowing the opportunities are available should be encouraging. Setting goals and working toward them can make your daily job worth the effort. Plus, you may eventually find yourself in a leadership role you never imagined, which will be a great addition to your executive bio.

Work-Life Balance

No one likes to work all the time. In fact, many people today say having a work-life balance is more important to them than the money they make. Having more time to do things outside of work can make you happier when you’re at work. Burnout is a real thing and can occur quickly when you work too many hours. The top resume writing services always suggest taking a close look at the work-life balance you desire before accepting any job.

Overall Company Culture

Finally, the overall culture of the company you work for should be a fit for you. If you never feel comfortable talking to someone, your manager is never accessible or if there’s simply a negative vibe in the office all the time, it will eventually wear on you. A company’s culture is important for employees today, and many of them will write about the culture they desire in their executive bio. Being comfortable, confident and happy are all signs you’re happy with the environment you work in.
Professional Resume Services is one of the top resume writing services for many reasons. While our expertise is in writing and revising resumes, cover letters and more, we also work with executives to help them discover the right workplace environments for them. Happiness is a choice, but it’s easier to choose to be happy when you work in the right environment. Never hesitate to contact us if you need to talk about your current or future career.

What Not to Say When Negotiating Salary

BlogCareer & WorkplaceProfessional ResumesSalary
executive profile

There’s always a right and wrong time to negotiate salary, but there’s also things you should say and shouldn’t say. When you’ve made it through the interview phase and have an offer on the table, your method of negotiating will go a long way in getting the salary you believe you deserve. Saying the wrong things could lead to some tension and possibly having your offer pulled, regardless of how strong your executive profile is. Here are some things you should never say when negotiating salary.

“This offer is insulting”

The art of negotiation involves keeping a conversation going until you receive the result acceptable to you. If you are very blunt about an offer being insulting, the conversation could end right there. Consider other alternatives instead. If the employer states they can’t pay any more than what they offered, then negotiate for vacation or other benefits to make up for it. The employer may end up budging on the salary, but if they don’t, then you can respectfully decline.

executive profile“That’s not enough money for me to live my desired lifestyle”

You worked hard on writing an effective resume to get the job you want in the salary range you need. However, your potential employer doesn’t necessarily care what your desired lifestyle is. All they care about is what you bring to the table and bringing you on at the lowest cost possible. Make your negotiation about them instead of you, and you’ll likely end up with a better result.

“This may not be the right time considering the budget, but I need a raise”

Let’s assume you’ve already visited a professional resume writing service, accepted a job and now believe you should be in line for a raise. Instead of just flat out asking for a raise, present different points to your employer to backup your case. Coming in with confidence instead of being hesitant will give you more credibility. Plus, you never want to give your employer an easy opening to say “no,” which you can do if you acknowledge budget constraints upfront.

“Thank you. I accept your offer”

Negotiations can’t happen if you accept an initial offer. Any professional resume writing service will tell you an employer always leaves wiggle room when offering a salary. They want to bring you on at the lowest price possible, so you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t at least make one counter offer. Just don’t be too outlandish with your offer, and your employer will likely consider it.
Professional Resume Services not only will help you with writing an effective resume, but we can also provide tips on the negotiation process for your salary. Getting into an interview is the first step we help executives with, but then the real work begins when you have an offer on the table. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any advice throughout the process of searching for a job, or if you’re in an active negotiation with your current employer.

Everything You Should Know About Salary Negotiation

BlogInterviewingJob SearchSalary

Think ahead to your compensation when writing a professional resume.

When writing a professional resume, think ahead to your compensation.


When you’re looking for a new job, you likely have a salary goal in mind. As you’re writing a professional resume, you begin thinking about what you’re really worth. However, when you’re presented with a job offer, you may feel like you either have to take it or leave it. However, this is not the case. With careful c-level personal branding and these tips, you can negotiate a better salary and gain the compensation you deserve.

Research Average Salaries

Salaries vary dramatically due to a variety of factors, including location, industry, education level, experience and employer budget. What you make at a position in one location may be significantly more or less in another location. Performing your due diligence can help you learn how much you can expect to earn in a given position. Consider both local and national statistics for a clearer picture. Be sure to bring this information along to show a prospective employer.

Think Creatively

Compensation isn’t limited to what you bring home in your paycheck. There are other ways you can be compensated for your time and can help you boost your salary negotiations. If your prospective employer won’t increase your starting salary, consider asking for a performance review in six months to give you time to prove your worth. You may also inquire about:

  • Signing bonuses
  • Stocks
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Paid time off
  • Flexibility in your work schedule or location

These terms can bring value without increasing the salary your employer will pay.

Be Prepared to Walk Away

If you’re writing a professional resume, you are looking for a new job, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept whatever comes your way, no questions asked. Instead, you need to understand your worth and be prepared to walk away if an employer doesn’t realize that value. If you are the ideal candidate for the position, there is a chance they will offer you more once you let them know you are no longer interested. However, you need to be prepared to follow through if they don’t change their offer.

Practice

Like all other areas of life, practice makes perfect. There is value in practicing your negotiating skills with family members or a friend before you head to the negotiating table. Make sure your loved one offers some resistance so you can practice what you will say when the time comes.
Negotiating your salary can be one of the most difficult aspects of interviewing for a new job, especially for women. While you focus on your c-level personal branding when writing a professional resume, you must understand what your real worth is so you can fight for every cent you deserve.

A Simple Tool To Compare Salaries by State

Salary

a simple tool to compare salaries by state
When you are looking at a job change there are lots of variables complicating your task. One of the challenges is getting an idea of how far your current salary would stretch in another state. Living costs can be quite different and the same dollar amount may translate into the equivalent of a nice raise — or an unwelcome pay cut.
Rasmussen College has a nice tool for comparing your options. Salary by State: Where Can You Really Earn The Most? is part of their Career Research Hub and this looks like it can be useful for more than a graduating senior.

Get An Idea Of Your Living Costs

The way the Salary by State tool works is simple. First, you select your occupation from the drop down menu at the top of the page. Then, you can choose up to 5 states to compare the average salaries in that career and the average salary adjusted for the cost of living. Here are the numbers for an executive in a random selection of states:

  • Connecticut: $211,850 becomes $193,647 when adjusted for cost of living
  • Pennsylvania: $180,950 becomes $183,333 when adjusted for cost of living
  • Minnesota: $160,750 becomes $164,872 when adjusted for cost of living
  • South Carolina: $141,290 becomes $155,777 when adjusted for cost of living
  • West Virginia: $96,280 becomes $108,668 when adjusted for cost of living

Those are some big variations for the same basic position of an executive, and it makes relocating a bit more adventurous because of the changes. A tool like this calculator is a good way to get an idea about what you could expect. It’s important to include any benefits offered by a potential employer in your calculations, too. Before you change jobs, make sure you are looking at all the data, including adjustments for location.
 

Should Your Salary Be On Your Resume?

Executive ResumesSalary

should your salary be on your resume?
One of the uncomfortable parts of a job search is discussion of salary. Most of us don’t really like negotiations over salary and fear that putting our current wage on paper might doom us to repeat it. For the most part, you really don’t need to put salary history on your resume. At the same time, if a job posting asks you to include salary history or requirements when applying, they will be looking for that information when you apply.
Employers have various reasons for requesting salary information. They may want to screen out those who expect more than they are willing to offer or find someone who is qualified and willing to take the least amount of compensation. They certainly want to know you will follow instructions. You could comply with a request for salary history in several ways:

  • attach a salary history to your resume on a separate page
  • include it in your cover letter
  • use a salary range rather than the specific amounts

It should go without saying that your salary history should be accurate. You will be jeopardizing your career when they check with former employers and discover the truth. At the same time, if you think you were underpaid, there’s no reason to avoid saying so if it can be said diplomatically.
Salary requirements can be handled with statements that show your flexibility and willingness to negotiate the overall compensation package including benefits. Here, too, a range can be helpful as long as it is within reasonable limits. Tools like a salary calculator help you figure out what the range for your expectations should be. Salary may not be on your resume, but it is definitely on everybody’s mind, and you need to be prepared to discuss it.
 
 

One Surprising Way Work/Family Balance Affects Salary Negotiation

Executive ResumesSalary

one surprising way work/family balance affects salary negotiation
Most of the time you hear about the wage gap between men and women — and how the gap is caused by the struggles women face in balancing work and family responsibilities. But the effects of that struggle are not all bad, because the result of your efforts has given you strength as well.
This applies to both men and women. I don’t want to act like men don’t struggle to keep job and family priorities straight. But since the majority of the wage gap conversation seems to focus on how women have lower wages as a result of motherhood, it’s a good thing to consider the strengths you have when it comes to negotiating your salary.

  • You have a life outside your cubicle. No matter what the result of your negotiation brings, your identity is not solely defined by the title on your paycheck or the amount written on it. This can give you the strength of perspective, allowing you to negotiate without focusing on one issue at the expense of others.
  • You have a lot of experience in negotiation. How many times have you had to work out the details to juggle childcare and career? If your kids are older, how much negotiation have you done over chores and homework? You have the strength of past experience in countless encounters in figuring out compromise.
  • You have a solid goal in mind. You know what the bills are and you know what your income is. If you can’t reconcile the numbers on your current salary, you need to be prepared to look for a different position if this one can’t provide the paycheck your family needs to survive. You have the strength of vision, that goal of providing for your family.

Set Your Goals With A Salary Calculator

Salary

set your goals with a salary calculator
Many times, we set our goals using the wrong data. We have dreams of a certain job or lifestyle, but the steps it will take us to get there in reality are nebulous. The Job Search Resources page has a number of tools for your use, and the variety of salary calculators listed there will give you real help.
Using a salary calculator to find the reasonable expectations for what your job should pay gives you the range of salaries you can expect for that job. Location, skill set, education, and experience can be factored in. That means you can look at where you currently are and decide if there are steps you can take to get to where you want to be:

  1. Is this the field you want to stay in?
  2. Can you meet your financial obligations with your current salary? How about the top range of salary in your bracket?
  3. Are there other, higher paying jobs within this field (or others) that interest you?
  4. Do you have the skills, education, or experience to reach that level?
  5. What practical steps can you take today to gain the skills, education, or experience you need to reach your goals?

The salary calculator is simply a tool that equips you with facts. You can print out a graph or data sheet showing what your level of experience in your location should reasonably be paid and show it during salary negotiations. You can answer confidently when an interview question about salary expectations comes up. At the same time, you have a reality check about the job market.
Like any tool, this one is only as effective as the person using it, but the person using it can learn how to use it properly to get great benefit from it. Your goals are achievable with the right tools!