Yes, You Have To.

We get asked: If a job posting asks for salary history or requirement, do you have to fill it in?

Sadly, yes. It’s a horrible system. But HR has to institute every possible automated screening tool because they are overrun with candidates, many of whom are not in the least qualified.

One of our candidates said he was frustrated with online applications. They always asked for his salary history, he said, and he was concerned that his response would get him eliminated. I explained to him that by not following—fully—the instructions and requests in an online posting he was probably wasting his time using that venue.

Too many people, too few jobs. And it’s hurting everyone — keeping the talented, qualified people from getting the attention they deserve. But you really need to apply online exactly as the employer has requested.

Once again, that’s why it’s important to network. You need pull-through from a networking contact on the inside of the employer organization, to overcome being tossed aside for arbitrary, unknown criteria.

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