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I am looking for a new job at the moment. Last week I was sending my resume to employers. Today I received an email stating that they like my resume and that it is a good fit for the position I applied to. In the same email they are stating a salary range offer (which depends on experience) - and this happened before I was interviewed.

As far as I understand salary and pay offers usually come after the interview, and certainly not as a first email. It feels like they are trying to filter people by offering a low pay right a way.

This is an entry level position in Massachusetts.

Any thoughts about it?

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    I generally ask about salary ranges before an in-person interview so I don't waste their time or mine. If they have my resume, they have an idea of my experience, so they should be able to give a realistic range. – Kathy Jun 8 '15 at 20:05
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    @Kathy No offense, but I don't think it's a good idea for two reasons. 1) You may strike them as only interested in money - I can't blame you for that, but even if the main purpose of the job is to pay bills most recruiters tend to be sensitive to the "oh this job looks really interesting" speech 2) you don't give yourself a chance to impress them and think "well this interview was really good, he would be a real asset for our team. Maybe it's worth making an effort on the paycheck" – ero Jun 9 '15 at 14:28
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    @ero Sorry I didn't make clear that the pay question is only one of many questions about the position+culture and is asked only after a phone interview that has gone well, and is only one of many factors I consider. Could I be eliminating a company that might come up on the pay? Sure. But I'm also eliminating taking half a day off to interview at a company that has so many issues with the position (pay being only one) that there's almost no chance they will come up with an offer that will make me leave my current job. – Kathy Jun 9 '15 at 17:01
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    This is far too rare, IMO. Personally, I'm glad to see such ranges up front. I've never understood why honest companies treat salary ranges as a secret. It makes them appear ignorant as to why virtually all of us who work for someone else do so. While other factors may determine whether a salary is or isn't worth it, it is usually a or even THE key reason we take or reject roles. – John Spiegel yesterday
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They are telling you up front what their range is, so you can decide if it's a range you can work with. They are being considerate! If it's lower than you would ever accept, let them know, and they can either tell you that is negotiable, or you can part ways without the interview wasting time for either of you.

They are trying to filter people right away. If you're not interested, then don't waste anyone's time, and allow yourself to be filtered. Isn't that better than taking time to prepare and go to an interview, only to find out later that you are not interested because of the pay?

  • One job I will always curse myself for taking is the one where at the opening interview after throwing out a pay rate well within the range of what I was worth I heard the reply, "Oh, well we pay everyone a 'socialistic' <way too little pay for the job> a year." Except it later turned out that wasn't true and there was nothing at all "socialistic" about their pay structure -- unless socialistic means everyone equally bears the burden of a poorly run company. I quit after 90 days. If you know the number's too low don't take the job. And as thursdaysgeek points out, they're doing you a favor. – Dave Kanter Jun 8 '15 at 19:27
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    Companies that do this tend to be big companies or government, where salary ranges are essentially fixed for a given job description. – DJClayworth Jun 8 '15 at 19:41
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(pretty much summed it up in my op comment, but I thought this might be worth an actual answer).

Maybe they are indeed trying to avoid wasting their time and yours if your expectations are way above their pay range. Maybe it's some kind of bargaining strategy to lower your expectations before the proper money talk begins. But if the range they give you is somewhat decent, even though not what you expected, I'd still go to the interview if I were interested in the position, because there's a chance that you really impress them and they think you're worth making an effort wit the budget.

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