Over the past 24 hours I’ve been monitoring a thread online called “Ask the News Director.” It’s a forum that allows TV Journalists to ask a News Director the best ways to get hired, manage their careers, etc. I immediately jumped into the fray, asked the following questions, and received answers. They could be bogus for all I know, but the answers are sensible and I just had to share:

RESUME WRITER: Are there employment agreements that specifically state that compensation packages must remain confidential?

TV NEWS DIRECTOR: Yes in every station in which I’ve worked.

RESUME WRITER: Some companies ask for applicants to state a salary history in their cover letter. Wouldn’t that violate a contract agreement with a current or former shop?

TV NEWS DIRECTOR: Yes, and no one ever fills that out in my experience. I wouldn’t.

RESUME WRITER: If you ask for a salary history, and the applicant doesn’t oblige, would you still consider him/her for employment?

TV NEWS DIRECTOR: Yes. I don’t expect a job candidate to reveal her/his salary. However, I don’t want to waste time, so I may ask, “This job pays about $70,000. Is that in your range.” If they guys says, “I’m making more than that now,” I know we both need to move on.

So there you have one decision maker’s view on how to respond to a request for a salary history.

Need help with responding to other sensitive information? Contact me through my website at 1stRateResumes.com.

Susan Geary, Certified Resume Writer and Career Coach
Because Your Career Matters