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Why Lowering Your Price Won’t Get You Hired Faster

Source | Forbes : By Liz Ryan

Dear Liz,

I am job-hunting. I got laid off in September and I didn’t have a lot of savings to tap into.

I’m not panicky but I am pursuing every lead. I have also dropped my “asking price” from my original salary goal of $80,000 per year which I earned in my last job, to $40,000 to $50,000. There are ten times as many job openings posted in the $40,000 to $50,000 range as there are in my old salary range, and I need a job.

However, applying for lower-level jobs hasn’t gotten me anywhere yet. I have been interviewed on the telephone but they always tell me I’m overqualified for the jobs I apply for.

I would have thought it would be much easier to get a relatively low-paying job but I’m finding that it’s not true. If you can’t get a job quickly by lowering your salary target, what is a job-seeker supposed to do?



Dear Perry,

It is frustrating to realize that lowering your asking price as a job-seeker won’t get you hired any faster. If you were thinking about buying a house that seemed fairly priced at $250,000, would you be excited to learn that the owners had dropped the asking price to $165,000 overnight? It’s more likely you’d be wary.

Your value on the talent market is bound up tightly with your self-image and your confidence. Everybody knows that job-hunting sucks away mojo like few other activities. When your mojo fuel tank is nearly empty, your radiance and purpose are almost invisible. It’s understandable that you would think of grabbing the nearest lever — your target salary, that is — and pulling on it. It’s understandable, but it doesn’t work very well for most people.

Yes, there are more jobs at lower salary ranges, but a lot of them are likely to be jobs where the sight of your resume will freak the resume screener out. It’s not what they were expecting. There are also much larger  numbers of people applying for less-high-paying jobs.

Lowering your price doesn’t make your job search easier — it just raises questions in a hiring manager’s mind. Those questions are reasonable. Your story is your brand. Your drastic price is probably not going to make you a more appealing candidate to many employers except the ones who cannot grow your flame anyway.

Get a consulting business card and start talking with everyone you can about your consulting business. It will be easier to get consulting work on an hourly basis than to get a new $80,000 job in a hurry. Sign up with contract agencies and temp firms if you want to and/or take a retail or catering job.

Read On…

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