She also says to research job sites, like Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com and CareerBuilder.com, to find posts that list a salary or salary range. She encourages candidates to use that information to help determine if your target is in sync with what employers are offering in metro Atlanta. In addition, many of the government job sites, like USAJOBS.gov, list a salary range, as does Emory University and Emory Healthcare.
Other suggestions include:
• Come up with the lowest acceptable number and put down a salary 10 to 15 percent higher.
• If you are able to answer the question by providing a salary range, do so. Spivey suggests a range that spans at least $5,000. Be practical, she cautions. Offer a range you're truly willing to accept.
• Utilize professional groups. There are scores in Atlanta and often you can attend your first meeting without having to pay a membership fee.
• Also, since job responsibilities vary, don't lock into one salary figure. Determine a pay range for different job titles.
"If a candidate is using a recruiter, most recruiters will already know what the position pays," said Paul Chappell, president and CEO of Crestar Corporation, a national recruiting firm. "But no matter how qualified the candidate, if he/she is currently earning $125,000, most likely a new employer is not going to offer them, say, $200,000 for a similar type of position."
Sam Hall, communications director for the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL), agrees. "A person should research the employer and job even before applying to know what salary range to expect," he said. "Don't shoot for the moon. Be realistic. But don't undercut your value, either, just to get the job. That can make you appear desperate."
There are several online research tools which offer current, area-specific salary research. Spivey likes Glassdoor.com. "You get the inside scoop by reading the reviews, and salaries for specific companies are also listed," she said. "It's people really telling it like it is. They talk about everything." Other websites that offer real numbers for Georgia wages include payscale.com, careerbliss.com and salary.com. Recruiters are also adamant you put off discussing salary for as long as possible, or until there's an offer on the table. If the question does come up, Chappell said the response should be something like, "I am interested in finding a position that matches my educational background, my previous experience and my interests. I am sure that you are offering a salary that is competitive in the marketplace."