5 Ways Your Resume Can Command a Higher Salary

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: July 15, 2015

The Negotiation Process Begins Earlier Than You Think

Have you ever felt undervalued or offered a lower salary than you are worth? Were you afraid to ask for a higher salary?

If so, you are not alone. Many people avoid salary negotiation out of fear. However, even among those who are willing, it is a common misconception that the process must begin with a job offer. Salary negotiation begins much earlier in the job seeking process. How much earlier? As soon as you submit your resume. While this might be a surprise to some, it’s important to be aware for those who potentially risk undervaluing themselves for fear of asking for a better salary.

The key is to make yourself irresistible to the employer. In this age of corporate cost-cutting, having a respectable resume can help you command a better salary without having to ask. What does your resume need to accomplish in order to set the stage for additional compensation? Well you are about to find out.

5. Use Powerful Language

Impress a prospective or current boss with crisp and powerful language.

Action verbs are a great start. A poorly written resume reflects badly on you, providing a preconception that has nothing to do with your skillset or how you are able to add value to the company.

4. Resumes Are Proof of Your Value

It is your marketing, your advertisement. It is an opportunity to succinctly highlight your value.

What is your monetary value? Not the salary you are requesting, how much are you going to save or make the company? Highlight metrics. If you helped generate $2M profit in 2014, make sure that stands out like a big flashing beacon. Or if you were the #1 seller in the company, then be specific and say that.

Do not be arrogant. Be confident in your value. It shows you are worth the $10,000 more you are asking for, the #10,000 more you deserve.

3. Make Them Need YOU!

You need to be unique. What makes you different? What makes you stand out? Why are you an asset to the company? What makes you better than someone else in a similar role? Try to lock in on your USP (unique selling point) and make it stand out on your resume.

2. Make Sure Your Skills Fill a Void

Companies hire new employees to solve problems. There is a reason that position is open.

Find out the importance of the job to the company's bottom line and show them you understand the value the candidate needs to bring to the role. Highlight this by clearly marking your achievements and previous awards. Display your value and successes at previous companies and don't make them search hard for it on your resume.

1. Don't Discuss Salary Too Soon

Ok, so I have given you tips of what you should state in a resume to get paid more. But ironically, the one thing you should definitely NOT discuss is salary. Don't talk about it in your application, cover letter, or resume. Figure out if you want to work there and if they want you, and then ease into the salary discussion.

Remember, an employer wants to see drive for something, other than financial benefit.

Salary.com Can Help You Negotiate When the Time Comes

Once you nail down your resume and use it to get in the door, they'll make you an offer. Then it'll be time to negotiate salary. But are you ready?

The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.

Good luck.