Find out how well you are paid

Friday, August 7, 2009, AM | Leave Comment

With the jobless rate near 10 percent, employers enjoy all the leverage. It used to be that applicants were advised to not talk about their financial compensation. They were advised to make sure that the job was offered to them first. And then they can discuss pay.

But now in this lousy job market, when they like the applicants qualifications from their resume, the first thing the employers do is to ask what the applicant’s demand is for salary – before the interview.

Well, to prepare the applicants what their peers make in the same job position, we must turn to some websites that can give us a good feel for what the compensation structure is for different positions and what others are making in comparable fields.

Salary.com
The site’s free data, based on information it buys from corporations, provides only a bell curve of the average salaries for each of the 3,700 job categories. A company spokesperson says the most common mistake users make is choosing the wrong category. A more personalized report factors in details like education and experience but costs $29.95 for entry-level candidates and up to $79.95 for executives.

Payscale.com
All data here comes from users, not companies. In theory that means the data could be unreliable. The company says users have no incentive to lie. You can peruse salaries and bonuses of other individuals who had filled out profiles. For $19.95, the premium membership allows users to research up to 10 job descriptions, as opposed to four in the free version.

JobNob.com
This startup, launched in February 2009, claims to differ from the two industry leaders above by showing actual salaries of current employees. One big plus: All the information is free, as the site aims to make money from job listings. Currently, it features 4 million job profiles, compared with 16.5 million for Payscale.com.

In a Nutshell
Whether you are looking for your first full-time job or you are a more seasoned and experienced candidate, go ahead and find out what folks are being paid in your field. It would give you some indication, and probably some leverage, of how best to negotiate your compensation more rationally and intelligently.

What do you think?

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