Business Careers Future of work Interviews And CV's Recruitment

Salaries In Job Descriptions: Candidates want Employers to be Upfront

Find Your Flex is a platform with a purpose. And that purpose is to build a better future of work for all. Today we are discussing salaries in job descriptions!

Recently we conducted a poll on various social media platforms on the inclusion of stated salaries in job descriptions. The response was overwhelming.

We asked the question: “If a Salary isn’t stated on a Job Description does it put you off?

The post went viral, reaching over 100,000 views and over 4,100 people voted. 84% of people who voted said; yes they would be put off by a job description that does not state a salary.

Many of the voters supplied their reasons why and we noticed a particular pattern forming.

No Time for Time Wasters

It usually puts me off entirely. If the job sounds like a particularly good fit and I enter a discussion with a recruiter about it, the salary range is the first question I’ll ask. If the recruiter won’t give me the salary range at the start, I’ll politely end the call there as I don’t want to waste my time.

The most prominent reason given for why people would be put off applying, was that they didn’t want to waste time.

Supplementary to that was that most people apply for jobs that will continue to facilitate their lifestyle needs.

Applicants don’t want to waste their time applying. Only to find out further down the line that the salary will not sufficiently meet their needs.

How can you make a decision about viability of changing a role/ company if you can’t equate whether you could continue to afford to live your existence?

Applicants also see this as a lack of respect in valuing their time. Or even shows ignorance about the amount of time and effort candidates put into their job applications.

If a candidate really wants a role they can spend hours catering their CV and covering letter specifically to that role and company.

Why should you spend the time and energy polishing a resume, applying, stressing, interviewing, waiting…just to find the salary range is something you would have never applied for in the first place?

Salaries in job descriptions – a lack of transparency results in a lack of trust

Good candidates who pull out are less likely to apply to the organisation again and more likely to share their experience with their connections.

No company should ever underestimate the power of word of mouth.

It only takes one applicant to have a bad experience during the recruitment process for this to snowball. Social Networking and Social Media is a huge part of our daily lives.

All it takes is one post by an applicant with the right social connections to spread the word about how poor an employer’s recruitment process is.

I somehow always get the impression that these companies are looking for the highest skilled employee who ticks all the right boxes whom they can then insult by offering as little as possible for their services.

This all contributes to a company’s brand reputation. When it is clear that one aspect of the business has a negative reputation, it starts a domino effect in the eyes of the public. It’s clear to see their train of thought:

If a company has poor recruitment, they must be a poor employer. If they’re a poor employer, the service can’t be great. If the service isn’t great I should take my custom elsewhere.

Even in its simplest form, if you’re not being open about yourselves as an employer, why should candidates trust you?

Believe you are good and fair employer? Then literally put your money/salaries where your mouth is so candidates will know it!

If you are proud of what you pay your people you will have no problem, putting this out.

Don’t play games with people’s livelihoods

What puts me off is when the recruiter asks what salary you expect. I just reply, asking what the company is offering. You can’t beat around the bush… it gets you nowhere and does no one any favours in the long run … Be up front and don’t treat it like a game. Life is too short!!

Even if salaries are negotiable, a range between the minimum and maximum should be advertised to show applicants where they stand.

And once those negotiations begin, both parties need to be forthcoming about what their expectations are to meet a certain salary.

This is important as salaries can also help an applicant determine their level of seniority.

The ludicrous requirements for even the most junior roles make it difficult to determine the seniority, in a way that salary absolutely defines.

In negotiating anything, both sides need to be aware of the stakes. A candidate needs to know what it is they are negotiating for. It is better to state a salary in the job description than make applicants struggle to negotiate in the dark. This is just another form of playing games.

And its important that the employer is not considered a dictator, as this once again impacts their reputation. If the salary is negotiable, both parties must have something to negotiate with.

“Negotiating power lies with the employer if a salary isn’t listed. Whilst you can negotiate during the final stage of interviews, you should at least see salary expectations and that your potential employer has done some research into the role before you apply.

Just ticking a recruitment box?

It makes me feel like the recruiter is just trying to collect CVs to stick in a database and tick a box.”

This may not be just about salary. A lack of effort and details in a job description will be a sure sign to any applicant that the employer is not overly interested in the quality of the applicant.

But it is clear that to some applicants, an unstated salary is a red flag that employers do not care about the application and are just ticking a HR box.

Thus sending a message that employers don’t care enough to put in the research of the role they are recruiting for. And what the standard salary is for such a role.

If you don’t advertise a salary then for me it says to a potential applicant is these guys are potentially looking to do this on the cheap or have no idea about the marketplace and so can’t even pitch a salary for the role.”

It can also show a poor HR department or recruiter. As top quality candidates who know their value will be looking out for a salary. These will be less likely to apply for the role.

Where an abundance of perhaps under-qualified candidates will be in their place resulting in hours of sifting through applications.

“It usually means HR and hiring managers spending unnecessary time sifting through more CV’s and interviewing candidates that if they discover the salary is too low will pull out.”

Salaries in job descriptions: The candidates have spoken. Now employers must listen

The response was loud and clear. The general theme that employers have a responsibility to state salaries in their job descriptions cannot be ignored.

If employers continue to omit such crucial information from the job description they not only risk losing potentially amazing recruits, but could be doing substantial damage to their brand reputation.

To conclude, its not difficult to state a salary in job description, even if its a range between the minimum and the maximum, at least then everyone knows where they stand. The only one that stands to miss out on not stating a salary is the employer.

Career Change Careers Interviews And CV's

CV Clinic: 10 Tips for Choosing the Right Words

Your Guide To CV Writing

CVs can come in waves, clogging up in-boxes. Busy professionals, with a burgeoning schedule of other things to do, have just enough time to skim through them. You have a window of opportunity, perhaps seconds, to present yourself to full advantage and catch an employer’s eye. Your word selection can either tank your application without a trace or fast forward you to the interview stage.

Follow These 10 Tips To Get Your CV Noticed For All The Best Reasons. 

  • What not to write – do not put “curriculum vitae” at the top of your CV, as it should be obvious what the document is. Instead write your name as the header which is the first thing the reader should alight upon. Avoid irrelevant information such as your marital status and date of birth. There are legal protections against discrimination, so an employer is not required to be privy to certain types of personal data.
  • Me, myself and I – there is no need to keep repeating “I”, as it can be cumbersome. It is, after all your CV and the sense should be clear from the context. Fast forward to your accomplishments by skipping over redundant words.

x I created a new distribution system

Created a new distribution system

  • Say it, spell it – some words sound the same but are spelt differently. As this is not always picked up by computers, be vigilant and proofread your CV carefully. Even minor slip-ups can suggest a lack of attention to detail and damage credibility. 

x Principle lead for there projects

Principal lead for their projects

When your CV is up to scratch, print it out. It is easier to pick up on spelling and grammatical errors in hard copy than on a screen.

  • Cut out superfluous words – as Thomas Jefferson said, “the most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words where one will do.” Avoid verbose phrases and stick to simplicity.

x Undertook the implementation of


x Achieved the completion of


  • Generic v specific – ditch sentences that could be applicable to anybody in any situation. These have limited appeal. Instead cite examples which differentiate you from your competitors and which showcase transferable talents relevant to a prospective employer. It is important also not merely to state your general duties but what you impact you had.

x Enthusiastic about knowledge transfer

Established monthly training sessions to give updates on market developments 

x Responsible for personnel development

Mentored junior colleagues to achieve industry accreditations

  • Jargon busting – unless writing for someone who understands sector-specific language, beware of abbreviations and acronyms. They are confusing and few have the patience to work out what a jumble of letters might signify. Your task is to provide a smooth read, not a guessing game.

x Member of ACEVO

Member of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations 

  • Active verbs – highlight what you actually did by using engaging verbs which suggest a dynamic rather than a passive or marginal contribution. 

x Attended a product launch

Demonstrated a product at its launch and handled all customer queries 

x Helped with the marketing strategy

Created a digital marketing platform

  • Add it up – some buzzwords are so over-used as to be meaningless and can become wearisome to read. But figures turn your expertise into concrete, memorable facts rather than vague, forgettable assertions. Quantify your success.

x Passionate about achieving cost savings

Achieved cost savings of 25%

x Gained experience in people management

10 years managing a team of 12 employees

  • Easy reading – avoid the temptation to cram more into your CV (the standard format is two A4 pages) by reducing the size and type of font. If a recruiter is left squinting, it’s game over. Opt for Arial or Times New Roman in font size 12. 

Your CV also benefits from white space, headings and bullet point lists in order to be user-friendly. The solution is in changing your words, not your layout. Consider different phrase formulations until you hit the most succinct one. A thesaurus is a helpful tool in this regard as it can suggest a range of suitable words.    

  • Made to measure – whilst you may have an all-purpose CV, attract more interest by tailoring it for each employer. What exactly does the job ad specify and how can you respond convincingly with words that resonate in this particular situation? Bespoke clothes feel special. So do bespoke CVs.

A smart move is to read your CV aloud, either to yourself or to a trusted person who can give practical feedback. Is your text punchy? Are you precise enough about your results? How do you come across? Edit and edit again. With the appropriate word choice, you can do justice to yourself and your talents – and be several steps closer to the job that you want.

With thanks to Rob Ashton of Emphasis Training, a consultancy specialising in business writing and communication –

Looking for more CV writing tips… How To Approach CV writing After A Career Break.


Transferable Skills

Top 10 Transferable Skills

Writing A CV Using Transferable Skills

Writing a CV after a career break or a career change can be tricky task. Our post about how to approach writing a CV after a career break discusses what you need to consider when writing your CV. But, in this post we wanted to dig deeper into discussing ‘what are transferable skills’.

What Are Transferable Skills?

Transferable Skills:

Skills acquired from a variety of settings than can be applied in a different setting. Consider non workplace acquired skills too.

Compared to

Job Related Skills:

Skills that are specific to a particular role or industry.

Adaptive Skills:

More in relation to personality traits that can aid you in your work.

Types Of Transferable Skills

Management / Supervisory / Leadership Skills:

Can you delegate responsibilities and establish an appropriate system of accountability? Are you able to monitor team progress and assess performance?

You may have managed a team at some point in your leisure or work commitments. Perhaps in your workplace you had a team report to you. These transferable management skills can be transferred across industries and different roles. Maybe you manage a sports team, school club, scouts or social clubs. Management skills show that you are capable of leading a team, spotting team members forte’s and enable team efficiency. These management skills inevitably contribute to increased productivity.

Organisational Skills:

Perhaps you sat on the PTA Committee and organised school events. Have you ran a playgroup and organised toddler activities. Maybe you organised workplace socials, meetings or rota’s. What did you do in previous roles that required you to be organised. Being organised is a transferable skill and that is a requirement for pretty much all jobs. Think about how you can provide evidence of good organisational skills.

Numeracy Skills:

If you have worked in commerce you will have varying degrees of handling figures. Did you cash up at the end of the day? Maybe you had to keep a stock log? Did you work in healthcare and have to deal with drug calculations. Perhaps you come from teaching, you may have taught maths at some level but also been involved with performance stats. Have you kept the books for a small business or voluntary organisation. Do you work out the finances for a partner or relative who is self employed?

These numeracy skills can be applied across different roles and industries. Think about how you have used math before and it what way. Use a simple brainstorming sketch.

IT Skills:

Many roles involve a degree of IT skills. Which systems did you use in a previous role? Have you experience of a Customer Relations Management (CRM) package or a Data Collection System? You may be familiar or expert at using productivity software which is invaluable for team efficiency and effectiveness. This may be Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), or Google Apps for Business (G-Suite, Sheets, Documents, Slides, Calendar).

Maybe you have experience setting up presentations in Microsoft Powerpoint or Google Slides. Have you managed spreadsheets in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel? Maybe you used other productivity software such as Open Office or Zoho?

However limited you feel your IT skills may be, they are relevant as a transferable skill. But, if you haven’t any IT skills or feel that you need a refresher to get up to speed then consider doing a short course to give you the confidence to say you have these skills. We have a collection of courses on site here.

Social Media:

Social Media is a large part of most people’s lives these days. Usually it’s to search the market place, check out local events or keep in touch with friends and family. But maybe you go one step further and you have a group on Facebook or you are a page admin. Is it successful? If so, you have social media skills which are vital to nearly every business. If you enjoy social media but want to learn more then consider courses by Digital Mums or one of our associated courses.


Have you worked to deadlines? Meeting deadlines with a valuable piece of work shows commitment to the cause, good organisational skills and effective work planning. Again all valuable transferable skills across roles and industries.

Reading / Writing:

It sounds simple but the good use of language, vocabulary, spelling and grammar are fantastic skills to have. All businesses have a form of internal and external communications. Good reading and writing skills are essential for effective communication. If you construct well written sentences, with perfect spelling and grammar then you have excellent written communication skills. If this is a key skill in the role you are applying for, provide evidence.

Maybe you are applying for a role that is not your first language? If this is the case, document what qualifications or experience you have using the language in question.

Mentoring Skills

Whichever role you have previously worked in, you have probably mentored someone junior to yourself. In which case you will have developed mentoring skills. Essential for any kind of management or supervisory role. Can you give feedback in a constructive way? Can you help others build on their knowledge and skills?

These mentoring skills are also associated with the ability to build up trusting relationships, key to productive teamwork.

Interpersonal Skills

Can you interact successfully with a wide range of people? Can you communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and cultures?

Great interpersonal skills are key to building effective relationships. Think about previous and current roles, both in the workplace and leisure time.

Negotiating Skills

Negotiating is learned from an early age. Even though we can all negotiate to some degree, how good are you at it? What have you had to do in previous roles? Can you listen, contribute, guide and compromise in negotiations. It is important to know where you can compromise and where you need to persist. Again good negotiating skills are built on the ability to build effective relationships.

What Now?

Remember, you are trying to convince a stranger that you are the person they need in their team. You must communicate your confidence and self belief in your CV. After all, why would they want to hire someone who doesn’t have confidence in the skills they are saying they have.

Good Luck and look out for more posts about rocking that CV soon.

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