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TL;DR:
A while ago, I was looking for a new job to get a change of pace and try a new work environment. I was underpaid when I started, got some raises, but I was making more than enough for my modest lifestyle and a nice investment in the future.

When management found out (from me), they asked how much money I wanted to stay. I explained that I wasn't leaving because of my salary or any problems with the company. We agreed I would stay for another year and my salary was raised from $65,000 to $125,000.

Now, one year on, I started looking for a new job.
How can I show off this large raise on my resume?

I'm not looking to get the highest salary, but the best work environment, and I don't want to scare off potential employers. At the same time, it is a very real indicator of the value that I can provide from an cost/benefit point of view.


Full story:

A while ago, I was planning on looking for a new job to get a change of pace and try a new work environment. I was underpaid (compared to standard industry salaries) when I started at an entry level at my current job, and even though I got raises, my duties and responsibilities increased at a much faster pace. After a couple of years the tech department had grown from 3 people to 7. I was responsible for managing the team, as well as being the lead architect and working in several other areas that are usually done by highly paid specialists.

Money is not a large motivator for me - even at the low early salary I was making more than enough for my modest lifestyle and a nice investment in the future, so I had never asked for a raise. Being underpaid was not a factor of my desire to try something new.

When management found out about my plans to leave (from me), they asked me in to a meeting room and asked how much money I wanted to stay. I explained that I wasn't leaving because of my salary or any problems with the company, but that I wanted to work in different fields and try new things. They again asked me how much money I wanted to stay. I explained that it would be stupid of me to turn down a huge amount of money, but I didn't want to get complacent; if they really wanted to pay me a ton of money, I would stay, but only for another year. They again asked me how much. It was obviously a high pressure setting, so I quickly estimated how much I could be making somewhere else, and added $10,000 as the incentive to stay, to come up with a final figure of $120,000. They responded with "How about 125?". This ended up being just short of a 100% raise (from $65,000).

I am now coming up on the end of that year, and have started looking for a new job. How can I show off this large raise on my resume?

Should I list it in the employment history, along with all the technical achievements and projects I worked on? Should I mention it in a more casual way in my cover letter (I have a "Hey, I'm really awesome because of all these reasons" informal type of cover letter)? Should I wait to talk about it in the interview? Should I not mention it at all?

I'm not looking to get the highest salary I can, but the best work environment, so I don't want to scare off potential employers who might think I would require a salary out of their range, or that I overvalue my worth or am full of myself. At the same time, it is a very real indicator of the value that I can provide from an analytical cost/benefit point of view (and they knew I was planning on staying long enough to hire a replacement and get them up and running, so it wasn't a case of them having to pay me whatever I said or being screwed). It also shows the fact that I don't just do the job I'm paid to do and no more, I do the best job I can.

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    I don't have any salaries listed on my resume. This isn't the place for it. If you're in an industry where salaries reach that level, jobs are probably filled through recruiter placement. This would be a discussion you would have with any recruiters you're communicating with. – Joel Etherton Jun 20 '14 at 15:47
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    @JoelEtherton Well, I don't want to mention the number specifically, but that they wanted me to stay badly enough to give me a huge raise. I see it the same as saying "I started at an entry level and was quickly promoted because of my work" – user22433 Jun 20 '14 at 15:51
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    If the salary reached that proportion then there should be an appropriate title that accompanies it: Senior Underwater Basketweaver, Lead Bunny Wrangler, Hambone Operations Manager. – Joel Etherton Jun 20 '14 at 16:19
  • You show off what you've done on your resume, not necessarily what you received :) I wouldn't be shy about saying that I was promoted to team lead within 12 months, though. As for money, they'll do the math. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jun 20 '14 at 18:25
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    If you were to highlight that big a jump in salary in the same position, I'd be inclined to wonder why you took a lowball to begin with. – Blrfl Jun 20 '14 at 19:15
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I think the best approach for this would be to highlight the increase in responsiblity in your resume rather than the increase in salary. Increased responsibility implies increased salary already, and I don't think it's at all appropriate to mention specific salary (or even percentage of salary increase) in a resume.

Focus on the specific ways in which your responsibilities grew, with special attention to the ones that match the things that you want to be doing in the future. If this is done correctly, the confidence that your employer has in you should speak for itself.

Edit: I would not recommend bringing this up in the interview either. As a hiring manager, I would be a bit concerned by any mention of salary increases in an interview - you don't want to give the impression that you're making a decision strictly in terms of salary, especially since you've stated that salary isn't your primary motivation. If you feel that you must mention this, you should do it in the most general terms possible, e.g. "My manager was so pleased with my performance that I was given raises that greatly exceeded the industry average."

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I would personally not put it on the resume at all. Your resume gets you the interview - you don't want to put anything on there that could get a potential employer to decide that you might be too inexperienced/expensive/what-have-you.

Once you're in the interview, I would also not mention a figure - unless to say that in your final year, your compensation went from below market-competitive to just over the average, due to your steady pursuit of additional skills and knowledge which made you a more versatile member of the team. Follow that up immediately with "What I really value most is learning new things, and the chance to expand my skillset and grow within a company if possible." That shows a new employer that while you got a large increase in compensation, being paid immense amounts is not your primary motivation - learning new things, is. Telling them that you would be interested in growing within a company if there's opportunity, reassures them that you won't come down with a case of One-Year-Itch and move on from them the way you're looking to move on from your current employer.

(This, of course, assumes that your current employer does not have internal opportunities that appeal to you.)

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How can I show off this large raise on my resume?

You should not mention money in a resume, unless it mentions public figures related to the project, not you.

Example: "I successfully completed ACME project on time, within budget (large, high risk 3 year public project, with a budget of over XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX EUR/USD/10 karat rubies)".

Consider if you were to say this (not in your CV, but in a negotiation, after an employer looked at your CV and called you):

"in my current position, my income is a= XXX.XXX per year".

This will push a possible employer to offer you a - 5% (or similar), if you are leaving because you dislike your current position, and a + 5% if they think you are content in your current position, but they want to convince you to change anyway.

When an employer states a figure first (i.e., they mention a figure first), it is the opposite: they expect you to ask for a + 5%.

Normally, in any (future) salary negotiation, the party that specifies a figure first, is at a disadvantage.

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You show off what you've done on your resume, not necessarily what you received. Unless what you received tells them a compelling story as to why they should hire you e.g. "I received a McArthur genius grant" :) I wouldn't be shy about saying that I was promoted to team lead within 12 months, though. As for money, they'll do the math.

A promotion tells a prospective employer what you can do for them. Mentions of compensation tell them what it's going to cost them and what they'll have to do for you. Mentions of compensation don't indicate anything about what you can do for them.

The focus of a resume is not what they can or should do for you but what you can do for them. Because the reason they read resumes is that they need someone. You resume is not about you, it's about them and their need for you. That's why you don't include these heart-tugging stories about your compensation :)

protected by enderland Jan 25 '17 at 18:53

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