Desired jobOn by Ramsey
Choosing a job title to use in your resume isn’t just a matter of guesswork. Neither is it an issue of being creative and inventing a job title. This can negatively affect your chances of even getting considered for a future role. Professionalism is always necessary.
How to Answer the Question “What’s Your Desired Job Title?” On Your Resume
You’re about to write your resume and send it to that company you hope to work in. You’ve done enough homework and are equipped with the necessary information. You’re sure that not only will your resume impress, but you’ll also pass the interview.
If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, then that’s because you’re likely among those who don’t use job titles on their resumes. Many job candidates only mention a job title in their cover letters and not on their resumes.
And just to be clear, we’re not talking about specifying what title you had when previously working at a given company. No, we’re talking about mentioning the job title you’d like to hold in the new position you’re applying for.
Don’t worry. If you’ve always thought that being a job seeker means that you’re the underdog in the negotiations, you might think that this is crazy. But if you’re the kind that has developed enough confidence in your skills, then you know you can indeed dictate some terms of your employment.
Each Online Application Form is Different
Test different things. If it won’t let you leave it blank or enter “000”, then try “999”. Or if you must, enter a range. That’s better than giving a single number. I’ll explain more about how to provide a good range instead of a single number later in this article.
The best responses for “what is your desired salary” in an interview will inform the interviewer that you’re focused on finding the best-fitting position for your career and you don’t have a specific salary target in mind yet. This will prevent the interviewer from “pushing back” and continuing to pressure you for a desired salary.
Now let’s look at examples of how to avoid telling employers your expected salary…
You’re giving them some information about your compensation so they can tell you if the company can at least afford to pay you an increase over your last role. But you’re not putting yourself into a corner by telling them the exact number you’re targeting.
Desired salary example answer #1:
Desired salary example answer #2:
Example interview answer #3:
“I don’t have a specific number in mind yet. At this point in my job search, I’m focused on finding the position that’s the best fit for my career. Once I’ve done that, I’m willing to consider an offer you feel is fair.”
There’s also one more way to answer desired salary questions in the interview…
I like combining this tactic with some of what we covered above. You’ll see this in the example coming up below. You’re deflecting the question by saying you don’t have a specific desired salary in mind yet, AND you’re asking what they’ve budgeted.
Example answer #4:
The Goal: Save Salary Discussion Until You Know They Want To Offer You Their Job
- Delay providing a specific number until you’re sure they want to offer you the job
- On job applications forms, leave your desired salary blank, put “negotiable,” or “999”. Then include a note saying that base salary is negotiable can be discussed in the interview
- If the employer asks about your desired salary in the interview, tell them you don’t have a specific number in mind yet, but you’ll consider any fair, reasonable offer
- The goal is to delay discussing your desired salary until after you’re sure the employer wants to offer you the job, because then you have leverage to negotiate with
- If you’re in an interview and not sure if they’re ready to offer you the job, say, “I typically reserve salary discussion for once I know a company is interested in offering me the job. Is that the case here?” (And if not, go back to discussing the job).
- Be firm and don’t let an interviewer or recruiter bully you. If they keep pushing you, just repeat, “I really don’t have a specific number in mind yet. I’m focused on finding the job that’s the best fit for my career.”
You know what to put for desired salary on applications and how to handle questions about desired salary in the interview. This will help you get more interviews and stay calm all the way through the process – up until you receive an offer!
Hold Up! Before you go on an interview.
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List of Job Titles
Use the job title lists below to help you get a sense of what positions are available in career fields that interest you. Look at job titles for occupations of interest to see what types of jobs might be a good fit for your background.
Business Job Titles
The world of business includes many job titles and a number of them refer to specialty areas within the business arena. For instance, an accountant could work for himself and provide services to individuals. In this role, he might simply have the title of a CPA. He might also work for a corporation where he takes on the title of chief financial officer, director of financial operations, or bookkeeper.
Many of these business titles can be used in a variety of industries. For instance, the title of manager can mean a variety of things and be used in any number of industries. These could include finance, retail, medical services, etc. See a list of job titles related to business below:
Creative Industry Job Titles
Quite often, a career in a creative field can open up your prospects for a greater variety of job options. The skills needed are often interlinked and the experience you gain at one position can be useful in another.
Service Industry Job Titles
There are also jobs that are designed to provide a service to the public. Most work with consumers and help them purchase items and enjoy experiences they value. Others, such as police officers, firefighters, and other health and safety services, have a completely different goal in mind. The key skill universal to most service jobs is communication and the ability to work with a variety of people.
Skilled Trade Job Titles
Skilled trades are the backbone of many of the things we enjoy in daily life. From building the bridge you drive over every day to making your TV set or getting it to your local store, the men and women in these fields are essential to modern life. Many of these positions require on-the-job training or some degree of technical education in order to learn the specific skill set required on the job.
Technical Job Titles
It’s time to get technical, and the job titles in these industries can get very technical and complex. The majority of these positions require a four-year degree or more and are among the highest-paying careers.
Job Titles for Beginners
Your first few jobs are important for experience, and you can use these to build your resume. Over time, you may be able to drop them from your list, but for now, they show your work ethic and that is important to potential employers.
More Job Titles
These job titles have either very specific or very universal purposes and don’t really fit into any of the other categories. Within each segment is a variety of individual positions that provide services, entertain, are technical, or have some other outstanding quality.
HOW EMPLOYERS USE JOB TITLES: Different organizations use different types of job titles in their organization chart to clearly define their chain of operations and leadership and available career paths.
USE JOB POSTINGS AS YOUR GUIDE: When you apply for jobs, use the specific job title listed in the job posting in your resume and in your cover letter. The job title is one of the most important keyword phrases that employers’ applicant tracking systems will look for when screening the applications they receive.
The job search process is analogous to conducting a marketing campaign. Consider for a moment that you have a product (your skills and training) to sell and the potential employer is the consumer. As a salesperson, you must identify potential consumers of your products and learn how they can use your product. You must be aware of your competition and know the product you are selling. To successfully close a sale, you need to carefully prepare your advertising tools (resume, cover letter, interviewing skills), target a specific consumer group (potential employers), and determine the best mode of marketing (approaching employers).
Top 5 Skills Employers Look For
The ultimate goal of going to college is not just to get the degree, but to land a career as well. Obviously, employers want to make sure you are qualified for the job by having the appropriate degree, but they also need to know if you have the skill set too.
Critical thinking is necessary for almost every job. Employees need to be able to analyze evidence, question assumptions, test hypotheses, observe and draw conclusions from any form of data. Critical thinking is not just a skill, but a habit formed to help with problem-solving.
Although critical thinking can be taught in the classroom, it needs to be applied during studies and real-world experiences so you can make a habit of using critical thinking in your daily life. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, critical thinking skills are the top priority for an employer to hire someone. Although critical thinking skills are what employers desire and find most essential, the average employer thinks recent graduates are only “somewhat proficient” in critical thinking skills. This means that, while employers think critical thinking skills are 99.2% essential, only 55.8% of graduates are proficient.
How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills
By engaging in active learning, students will begin to apply critical thinking skills to their work. Active learning occurs through many opportunities. Whether it be a cooperative educational opportunity, an internship, practicums, labs, or field experience, active learning puts the students directly in the situation they would be handling in their career. By doing so, the student not only gains real-world experience but is able to put their problem-solving skills to the test and truly begin to develop them.
Critical thinking skills can also be developed through engaging students in learning during class. By being involved in class discussions, activities and engaging with other students and the professor, you will not only develop your problem-solving skills through collaboration but will also work on your teamwork skills.
The Importance of Teamwork & Collaboration in the Workplace
While college group projects at times might feel burdensome, these team assignments will prepare you for your future workplace environment. Teamwork is necessary for jobs all across the spectrum. From construction work to marketing, nursing to acting, teamwork and collaboration is a vital part to keeping the organization or company running smoothly.
By interacting and collaborating with your colleagues, the organization or company will have growth and success. Everyone has a different skill set they bring to the table. By interacting with your co-workers, you may reach a better conclusion or idea than you would have on your own. When arriving at your new career with quality teamwork skills already in your pocket, you can be a step ahead of the competition. Although critical thinking skills were something many employers thought graduates could improve on, teamwork and collaboration were skills most employers were highly impressed with. 97.5% of employers think teamwork and collaboration are important in the workplace while 77% believe that graduates are demonstrating these skills proficiently.
How To Answer Desired Salary on an Online Application
Many job applications ask for your desired salary, but it’s not necessarily in your best interest to answer the question. The most strategic approach is to delay the salary discussion. Depending on the specific requirements of the application, your options for avoiding it may vary. Familiarize yourself with these three answer options so that you’re ready to tackle this question in your next job application.
Option 1: Leave It Blank
Your first option for delaying the salary discussion is to leave it blank. The reasoning for this is because any number you choose to specify could limit your salary options or eliminate you from the running in case your answer was out of budget. Check out how both scenarios could play out below.
If your specified salary is too high…
The hiring team may decide not to pursue your application. You’ll have more leverage to negotiate a higher salary after discussing the value you can bring to the team with your skills and experience in an interview. So don’t hinder your chances of getting an interview by listing a salary that may be out of the company’s budget.
If your specified salary is too low…
It may be harder for you to negotiate your compensation package later in the hiring process. For example, if you originally specified $50,000 in your application but learned through market research during the interview process that $60,000 is a fair salary for the position, it would be difficult to justify a counter offer. The hiring team may state that based on your application, they were prepared to meet your salary expectations and can’t accommodate anything more.
Option 2: Write in “Negotiable”
Another option for avoiding the salary discussion early on in the hiring process is to let them know that you’d like to negotiate the salary based on a full understanding of the position. In an application, you can communicate this by simply writing “negotiable” into the field designated for desired salary.
Not every application will allow a nonnumerical answer for this question. If that is the case and you can’t submit “negotiable” as your answer, try writing in a number as a placeholder like “000” or “999.” This should satisfy the number requirement without limiting your salary later. When using a numeric placeholder, it’s wise to also specify somewhere in the application under a comments or notes section that salary is negotiable and can be discussed at a later time.
Option 3: Identify a Suitable Range
Some applications may require an answer in the form of a range or they may not accept “000” or “999.” If this is the case, your last option is to identify a desired range. It’s important to do some research about salaries for your position and location and to list a range based on the current market value. Start by looking up the median salary for the position and don’t forget to compare it against competitive salaries in your area to determine a reasonable range.
How To Answer the Desired Salary Question in Interviews
Remember that you have the best chance of successfully negotiating your salary if you wait until after you’ve shown your value and you’ve been offered the job. Use these tips for delaying the discussion during interviews so that you can secure a salary that matches your worth.
Option 1: Postpone the Conversation
When it comes to the dreaded salary question during an interview, the best strategy is to postpone the conversation, preferably until after you have a job offer. In theory this seems easy, but the pressure of a job interview can make it hard to think on your feet. Prepare a few lines to respond with so that you can adeptly navigate away from this discussion during an interview. Try out one of the examples below:
Option 2: Ask Questions
Another way to stall the salary discussion is by asking questions. This option may take some more preparation, but it’s an effective strategy nonetheless. Feel free to divert the question by asking about the budget for the role. You can also inquire about particular job responsibilities that will inform how you determine your desired salary. Some examples of what to ask are listed below:
THE CAREER PLANNING PROCESS
What you will do for a living depends a lot on who you are. This may sound obvious, but many people neglect considering this important side of selecting a career. You can avoid joining the ranks of people who are dissatisfied with their work by making a conscious effort to assess yourself. There is no way you can be absolutely certain that a career will meet all of your needs, but there are things you can do very easily that will help you learn more about who you are. Once mastered, techniques of self-assessment can be repeated throughout your life.
What is self-assessment? Essentially, it is a way to enhance self-understanding. It is being able to describe your unique characteristics clearly and accurately regarding what you do well (skills), what is important to you (values), and what you like to do (interests).
Since there is no better source of information about you than yourself, the easiest method of increasing self-understanding is to review and analyze your past and present experiences with a career counselor. Increasing your knowledge of your skills, values and interests will help determine the type of work which fits you best.
Skills. Skills are sometimes thought of as general talents/strengths or specific knowledge/abilities acquired through training. Your skills, however, also include a variety of attributes and personal characteristics which give you your greatest potency. An undergraduate education is more than just learning the subject matter of your major. It also involves acquiring and developing transferable skills in a wide range of fields outside your major. You are the best judge of your skills if you take an accurate reading of your own experiences. Consider the skills which have contributed to your successes, and you will likely notice areas in which you excel.
You may wonder how knowing about skills can help you choose a career. Simply look at any job description. A job is made up of a series of "tasks" for which the person in that position is responsible. In fact, most jobs are described in terms of duties or responsibilities. If you closely examine each of these tasks, you will discover that it requires a specific set of skills to perform them. For a partial list of skills, refer to the Action Verbs handout.
Values. A value is a vague, global concept, sometimes difficult to understand. Essentially, a value is something that is important to you or that you feel has worth, such as marriage, family, religion, or education. What has little value for one person may be of great value to another. Values tend to permeate and influence all aspects of our lives. As values are acted on repeatedly, they become the basis for our lives. For example, a person who strongly values service to others may choose to become a counselor or social worker. In this instance, the likelihood of job dissatisfaction is decreased because the person’s career choice is consistent with his or her personal values. Just as life is ever-changing, so are values. Values evolve and continue to develop just as the individual grows and develops.
Work-related values encompass a wide variety of specific elements. Here is a representative list: advancement opportunities, affiliation on the job, autonomy, benefits, change and variety, creativity, decision making, excitement and adventure, flexibility in work hours, helping others, high earnings, independence, influencing others, intellectual growth, job security, location of employment, moral fulfillment, physical challenges, power and authority, prestige, professional accomplishment, public contact, recognition, working alone, and working conditions.
Interests. The meaning of interests is straightforward. What kind of activities do you like? What types of work do you enjoy? What subjects do you enjoy studying? What kind of people do you enjoy being around? Specifically, your interests are those things that grab your curiosity, the activities that give you pleasure. They are the sum of your preferences that give definition to who you are. Exploring different courses or types of activities are great ways to try out new interests.
There is an infinite number of subjects or activities in which you might develop an interest. Here are a few examples: animals, art, books, business, computers, engineering, entertainment, environment, fashion, gardening, health, history, law, machines, mathematics, media, museums, music, outdoors, people, photography, school, science, sports, theatre, travel, and world affairs.
At first glance, assessing and identifying your skills, values, and interests may seem to be a simple method for matching people to career fields. Ultimately, your career choice will involve a complex evaluation of many factors about you including personality traits and aspirations. The CDO offers a number of resources and assessments, including MyPlan, an online career decision-making program, that will help you gain more information about yourself and various occupations.