desired wage/salary on application? re: new graduates.

  1. 0 I am a new graduate and have seen this on applications. what should I put for my entry-level position? I am most interested in Med/Surg floor, and definitely interested in the St. Barnabas Health Care system.

    Thank you.
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  3. Visit  file03 profile page

    About file03

    Joined Dec '07; Posts: 23; Likes: 1.

    6 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  llg profile page
    In most places, it is perfectly OK to leave it blank. That's what I always do.
  5. Visit  elkpark profile page
    I usually put "negotiable" in the blank. Leaving it blank is fine, too. Just don't put an actual figure in that box ... :uhoh21:
  6. Visit  file03 profile page
    really? I feel like leaving it blank would be rude, I mean, it's there for a reason?

    also putting negotiable, don't you think it makes it look like you aren't confident?

    I don't know what to think of this at all, haha.
  7. Visit  SteveNNP profile page
    Noooo... it's so they can pay you LESS than they normally would....
  8. Visit  llg profile page
    Quote from file03
    really? I feel like leaving it blank would be rude, I mean, it's there for a reason?

    also putting negotiable, don't you think it makes it look like you aren't confident?

    I don't know what to think of this at all, haha.
    I've hired a lot of people in my career. When someone leaves it blank or writes "negotiable," it doesn't make me think less of them at all. If anything, it signals that they are not coming into the process with an expectation that might be unreasonable. They are looking to learn about our salary scale and compensation package before making a decision.

    When I have been asked about desired salary during an interview, I have always said that I was more interested in the job itself and in receiving compensation that was reasonable in light of the salary structure at that institution than I was in a specific figure. I ask about the salary range and where I will be placed within that range and why. I ask how that range compares to the salary ranges of other positions within the hospital -- seeking a salary that "fits" appropriately within their compensation in general and considering my qualifications.

    I don't go into it with a specific figure in mind to start.
  9. Visit  elkpark profile page
    Keep in mind, also, that the classic rule for any financial negotiation -- salary on a new job, buying a car, buying a house, anything -- is that the first person to mention a specific figure "loses" (has the weaker position in the transaction). Would you voluntarily show your opponent your hand in a card game? Of course not. This is (practically) the same thing.

    Let's say you are feeling very confident and assertive (or just don't know any better), and put down a figure that is significantly higher than what the hospital typically pays new grads. That by itself may get your application dropped from consideration, because the HR department will figure why should they waste time on you when the hospital has plenty of applications from new grads who are happy to take whatever the hospital offers, while you have already established you are looking for more than they want to pay.

    On the other hand, let's say you happen to put down a figure that is noticeably less than what the hospital typically pays new grads -- the HR department immediately thinks, "Hmmm, we would have willing to go as high as X, but we won't have to in this case because s/he's willing to work for less."

    The game is a lot more subtle and nuanced than that, of course, but it is a game, and that's basically how it's played. The reason that blank is there on the application form is to lure you into putting down a figure, but please don't do it! You have nothing to gain by doing so. Once you name a figure, you've locked yourself into a particular position and given them the upper hand in the situation. Go through the entire interview process and make them be the first to name a figure (and marvel at how long they'll take to do that ... ).

    "Negotiable" does not at all sound like you lack confidence; it sounds like you are open to considering whatever they may offer you. Plus, as llg noted, there are many considerations to weigh in deciding to accept a job besides how much money they're offering you, and you want to find out about and consider all of them before you lock youself into a particular position re: money.
    4lotus8 and VikaRN_2008 like this.

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