Salary, Negotiating, and Interviews
Money Management
Cash and Burn Rate Spreadsheet
About Asking for a Raise
Costly Mistakes
Job Hopping Means More Money
Negotiating Your Salary
Retiring is a Large Source of Money
The Art of Negotiating
You Can Ask for More Pay
Financial Management Software
Online Time Card

Salary, Negotiating, and Interviews


It's important to find out if there are other candidates for the position. Is the agency that is putting you up for this job also sending other candidates? Are there other agencies also submitting people for this position? It's no consolation to be reassured that "we're the only agency providing candidates for this opening" when you're one of fifty.


How to resign (article)

Never ever accept them. Will you have to do this every time you want a raise? As soon as you are in a vulnerable position, they'll do something to retaliate. Guaranteed.

Hiring Psychology
Why bosses hire the "safe" candidate as opposed to the "best" candidate

The best candidate - isn't. Think about it the way an aging, paranoid boss would. So you're older, and not as up on your skills as you used to be. Someone like you can't get another job very easily any more. You know the competition is out there - lean, mean, hungry. They're a lot younger than you, and they have a lot more energy. They get more done. So you've got to fill a key position - it doesn't matter how the opening happened. Maybe they left of their own volition, maybe you fired them. Does it matter? They're no longer around to do your bidding. It's an inconvenience to look for a new employee, but you have to do it because you can't do the workload yourself. You wouldn't anyway - what a comedown that would be. So you're looking over the crop of resumes. You pick a likely few and proceed to the interviews. They're all young and eager - but most of them are gullible enough to do whatever you say and be darn grateful for the paltry wages you will toss their way. But this one - yes, this one is a problem. They're not as stupid as the others. They could slide right into that slot without even having to blink. They've done this work before, and well, too. They have maturity; they'd show up to work, for sure - no worries. Oh look - it says there on their resume they've been a technical lead. That means they can manage groups of people. And they're making considerably less than me. Wow. I could go on vacation, and this person could run things for me, and there wouldn't be a hitch... except that MY boss could see I wasn't irreplaceable any more. They could sack me, promote this person and save a ton of money doing so. Hmmm... I think the dopey guy in the yellow polyester shirt will do just fine for this position. Wouldn't want to create any situations in the future that I couldn't control...

Difficult interview questions (article)

Job Applications

Typical first page of application
Typical second page of application

Ensure that there is nothing on your job application that is technically inaccurate, especially since this is a signed legal document. Be as generic as possible. If you knowingly falsify information on the application, which you have signed, it's grounds to dismiss you. But you're not stupid enough to claim a degree that you don't have. You're brighter than that. Look at how sparingly the job form is filled out. Just because they ASK for the information doesn't mean they're going to get it all. Make sure everything you put down on the application does not conflict with what is in the resume. You put down the college you are attending or have attended. And then you leave it at that. Are you claiming a degree on that form? No. So have you signed a legally false document? No again. Not telling ALL the truth is not the same as lying. They're not priests and you're not in the booth at Confession. You do not have to tell them anything you do not want to. Especially salary. If they know you only got minimal increases in the last two jobs, why should they give you that 20% pay jump? Anything you say can and WILL be used against you. So don't give them the ammunition.

Mass Resume E-Mailing
  • Paying to blast your resume to thousands of recruiters
  • "Executive-level" recruiting companies who make a point of saying that they are for those who make over 100K/year
  • Posting resume on one site (fee for service) and it posts it to other career sites so you don't have to
  • "Career marketing"

What do all these have in common? Desperation. If you are having to pay to get your resume sent out to hundreds of recruiters, what is wrong with your skill set or the way your resume is written that you are not getting noticed? Plus, unsolicited e-mail sent to others is SPAM. It just isn't done. It won't get you much of a response for your money, either. The real executive recruiting firms, that cater to the CEOs and movers and shakers of this world, do not need to advertise that they are aimed at those who make over 100K a year. Please - that's pocket change for the average telecom CEO. So don't get caught up in the hype by your own ego and greed. They charge you 15% of your first year's salary for the privilege of catering to your inflated sense of self. Other recruiters can do the same without sucking the lint out of your pockets. The protocol is that the employer bears all such costs to hire employees. Any violation of this is a good warning that things are not as they should be. Posting a resume to one site in order to have it populate to many others is theoretically a good concept. But how do you set up all the e-mailings that make such sites worthwhile? How do you change your resume? Do you have to pay again? Moreover, you still have to apply to the job postings each day... There really is no shortcut but to take control of the process and ensure it is done in a quality manner. Speaking of which, top athletes need an agent. Famous actors and TV personalities need an agent. You are in IT. It's a career based on your skills, which is probably a large part of why you're in it. You do not need your career "marketed". Unless you are being offered a job by an employer, or you are engaging in an activity which will lead directly to this result, you shouldn't waste your time.

Good Advice
On a need to know basis

Never work for anyone who needs to see a pay stub to "verify" your previous pay level. They do not have a need to know. Do we have to say any more?

Proper use of attitude

Hold in utter contempt those who insist on your faxing or mailing them a paper version of your resume. You're in IT. If they can't handle paperless, don't worry about punting the "opportunity". They would never have provided the latest computers or software, and their compensation would have been well below market rate anyway. You're not missing anything. Ignore them.

Yes, you can make fun of them behind their back

Make sure you are properly contemptuous of those e-mail newbies who do not understand the use of the BCC function when replying to many different people, none of whom need the others' e-mail addresses. Yes, when I'm applying for a job, I really needed to know who the other hundred plus competitors were for the same position. Oh yes, and thanks for giving them my e-mail address too - how silly of me to have forgotten it! Oh, some of them are my former colleagues! What a surprise - some of them are also my current colleagues? Gee, which one of them is going to rat me out to the boss that I'm looking for another position? Inability to use e-mail correctly is not a good sign in your future IT manager. Trust us on this; your career wouldn't really have gone anywhere working for someone like that.

Why not to "pursue" a job

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