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mary03
October 15th 2006, 10:47 PM
I am in the process of applying for an entry-level position in pension consulting. The application includes a section for expected salary. I have done some research regarding entry-level salaries. I am not sure what I should list as my expected salary because there seems to be quite a wide range. A friend told me to leave that section blank, but I have been told by employers in the past that leaving that question blank is a bad idea. Should I leave it blank, or should I list the range that I have found? I would like to have your professional advice. Thanks in advance.

Denny Crane
October 16th 2006, 08:14 AM
I would suggest putting "open". That conveys you are more interested in the opportunity than the money. The same applies for an interview but if you are asked more than once or twice by the same person, you should then give a wide range but still preface it with...that you are more interested in the opportunity, the company, the jobs, etc.

Irish Blues
October 16th 2006, 08:36 AM
Agreed. If you put a number down, you could (A) be asking for more than the going salary, which will knock you out of consideration off the bat for obvious reasons; (B) be asking for less than the going salary, which means you either underestimate your ability, are really desperate to get a job and thus underpriced yourself to look more attractive, or don't have an idea of costs in the area - all of which could knock you out of consideration; or (C) ask for one end of the scale and thus box yourself in to what you could actually be making if you negotiate without revealing what you really want.

Of course if it's an entry-level position they'll probably say, "Here's the starting salary," and there won't be much (if any) room to actually negotiate.

mary03
October 16th 2006, 05:26 PM
Thank you very much for your advice. Considering that I have been asked more than once, I feel that it would be best to not leave it blank. For my geographical location, I have been told by people on this message board that I should expect 48000, and salary.com has a range that starts around 45000. I feel that these figures may be a little high considering my experience. I graduated with honors with a B.S. in Math, I have passed Exam P, and I am sitting for FM in Nov. My weakness is a lack of experience with the applicable computer software. I am thinking about listing 42000-48000 as the range. Do you feel that this is appropriate? I don't want to seem greedy or arrogant by any means.

Irish Blues
October 16th 2006, 06:13 PM
Perhaps we weren't clear:

I would suggest putting "open".

mary03
October 16th 2006, 06:42 PM
Thanks, I must be an idiot.

mreevit
October 17th 2006, 01:00 PM
Irish Blues is right. For entry-level actuarial position I don't think they really care what you ask for- they know what they are going to pay you. Most companies have a base salary and then adjust that based on experience and exams. For example, a company has a base of 45,000 and gives 1000/hr exam. If you have P & FM you get 50,000. Maybe adding 4% for each year of work experience. For example, if you have an internship and 1 year you might get 5% on top of 50,000 or 52500.

Writing a number down can only disqualify you. As stated above, it's best to write open.

Irish Blues
October 17th 2006, 01:35 PM
Thanks, I must be an idiot.
Nah, we all have senior moments. :D

mary03
October 17th 2006, 08:21 PM
''', if I am already having senior moments, the outlook for the future is not good. I guess I have been overthinking everything. I have been very stressed with my studies, work, and looking for my first actuarial job. Thank you for all of the advice. BTW, the company is sending me an offer!