Tips for Applying for a Job When the Listed Salary is Low
What can you do when you are applying for a job with a listed salary range that you don't think is enough? Should you apply for the position, or not bother? Unfortunately, in this scenario, you often don't have many options. That's because if a company has this information listed on the job posting, it's probably not a randomly chosen range.
Tips for Applying for a Job When the Listed Salary is Too Low
At most organizations that post a salary range, a committee evaluates each position, assigning it a job level with an associated salary range that is based on educational requirements, skills, and responsibilities.
This evaluation is done prior to the position being publicly advertised.
If a job advertisement has a salary range that's well below your requirements, this may be a tip-off that it's just not the right job for you. However, if the salary range is close to what you're seeking, it may be possible to negotiate even you want an amount higher than the top of the range.
When You Want More Money Than the Listed Range
There may be some wiggle room to get an offer at the higher end of the range, but it would be very doubtful that any candidate would get more than the high point because that would require the job to be reevaluated.
However, the hiring salary range may not be the same as the actual salary range for employees in that position. So, if you were hired at the top end of the scale, there may be room to get increases in the future.
When to Mention Salary and How to Negotiate
If the salary isn't what you expected for the position, I wouldn't recommend bringing it up as an issue until you have a firm job offer.
Rather, you could say that your salary requirements are flexible, and not say anything about the range being low, because the company will probably have plenty of other candidates if you're not interested. Plus, the hiring manager likely knows they are stuck with the range and will need to find someone who will accept it.
That said, when it comes to the point where you have a job offer you can definitely mention that you have been making a higher rate for equivalent work and ask if there is any possibility of flexibility in the salary—either now or in the future. While the company may not be able to give you more money at your start date, this could open a conversation into how the company provides frequent year-end bonuses, or raises after performance reviews.
You can also do salary research on the industry and position. Is the range the company has fair? If it does reflect the market rate in the area, you may not have much recourse. But, if you can show that comparable jobs consistently offer a higher salary, it's possible you'll be able to convince the company to reevaluate the salary range.
If you do try to negotiate, try to stay close to the posted range. If the company says the salary range is $25,000 to $30,000 a year, and you ask for $50,000, that's double the low-end of the rate. Not only are you unlikely to receive that amount, but it's so high compared to the posted range that the company is unlikely to want to engage in negotiations. However, asking for $35,000, especially if you can point to that being what other companies pay, or provide ample evidence of why you're worth the extra money, might be a more reasonable ask.