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Salary History?

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29 Dec 2012, 13:11
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Why do adcoms care so much about your salary history? Do they believe that if you earned $125k you're more qualified than someone who earned 75k? Current Student Status: Too close for missiles, switching to guns. Joined: 23 Oct 2012 Posts: 787 Location: United States Schools: Johnson (Cornell) - Class of 2015 WE: Military Officer (Military & Defense) Followers: 17 Kudos [?]: 316 [1] , given: 175 Re: Salary History? [#permalink] Show Tags 29 Dec 2012, 13:45 1 This post received KUDOS stochastic77 wrote: Why do adcoms care so much about your salary history? Do they believe that if you earned$125k you're more qualified than someone who earned 75k?

History is the more imortant word here. Getting significant raises = promotions. They want see a good upward trend, not a plateau.
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05 Jan 2013, 06:36
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embamaybe2 wrote:
Is it just progression that they are looking for?

I ask because I've been looking at eMBA programs at the top 3 or 4 schools, and - coming from the healthcare and not-for-profit fields - have been a bit intimidated by the incoming salaries of their intakes... $165/170k at Wharton?!? All of my numbers are in line with the class profile, and I have a graduate degree from the IvyL, but I just can't see them taking seriously someone who is making 60k. Is this a valid fear? Thoughts on this? Anyone else in a similar spot; academically serious, steady salary growth, but low salary industry? Maybe Wharton doesn't want my 60k salary pulling down their average? I seriously doubt it - I live in the UK and had to report my salary in US$. Average salaries are a lot lower here, even for generally well-paid positions. I'm not in finance or consulting but I'm also not in non-profit, education or charity. My salary would be a tiny fraction of what people in similar roles would report.

If they were really that concerned about the average, they wouldn't take international students
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30 Dec 2012, 10:08
CobraKai has it right. There is a lot of debate about how much your current salary matters but your salary history is definitely important. If you have been working for 5 years with no pay raise that says a lot. You should be able to show a history of promotions and pay raises in your past to show you are competitive.
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30 Dec 2012, 16:45
This is something i'm extremely worried about but is totally beyond my control. I worked in finance but it was a very small firm (not banking or PE), and for multiple reasons my compensation was low despite my contributions. My recs are very stellar, but i'm worried that adcom will penalize me based on this.

Last edited by Shawshank on 30 Dec 2012, 19:02, edited 1 time in total.
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30 Dec 2012, 18:46
It's probably not a good idea to post about (what sounds like) defrauding the admissions committee. Between your posts here and your posts on WSO, it'd be fairly easy for an adcom member to figure out who you are if they really wanted to.
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30 Dec 2012, 19:01
Shawshank wrote:
This is something i'm extremely worried about but is totally beyond my control. I worked in finance but it was a very small firm (not banking or PE), and for multiple reasons my compensation was low despite my contributions. My recs are very stellar, but i'm worried that adcom will penalize me based on this.

From my understanding, kroll is unable to verify compensation since employers are not allowed legally to divulge your salary or bonus info. Is that correct?

Yeah definitely don't lie! I am in the same boat (also work in finance, also have a low base for the industry) and I was admitted to Darden and invited to interview at Fuqua (interviewed at Tuck too but that's was an open invite). I know Darden and Fuqua definitely asked about salary information, too.

The bottom line: there's nothing you can do to change your salary at this point. Salary will not make or break you, and you most certainly can get in with a low base (I am a case in point!). What CAN make or break you is if you lie on your application. So just don't do it.
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30 Dec 2012, 19:04
lb2015 wrote:
Shawshank wrote:
This is something i'm extremely worried about but is totally beyond my control. I worked in finance but it was a very small firm (not banking or PE), and for multiple reasons my compensation was low despite my contributions. My recs are very stellar, but i'm worried that adcom will penalize me based on this.

From my understanding, kroll is unable to verify compensation since employers are not allowed legally to divulge your salary or bonus info. Is that correct?

Yeah definitely don't lie! I am in the same boat (also work in finance, also have a low base for the industry) and I was admitted to Darden and invited to interview at Fuqua (interviewed at Tuck too but that's was an open invite). I know Darden and Fuqua definitely asked about salary information, too.

The bottom line: there's nothing you can do to change your salary at this point. Salary will not make or break you, and you most certainly can get in with a low base (I am a case in point!). What CAN make or break you is if you lie on your application. So just don't do it.

I have ZERO intention of lying. Kingfalcon turned a question into an accusation on my character. I asked because a friend also expressed frustration and worries regarding the salary issue, and he said, "I don't know why they ask since employers legally can't divulge your salary to a third-party source."

I had similar issues with headhunters, and i would give them a range.
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30 Dec 2012, 19:05
kingfalcon wrote:
It's probably not a good idea to post about (what sounds like) defrauding the admissions committee. Between your posts here and your posts on WSO, it'd be fairly easy for an adcom member to figure out who you are if they really wanted to.

With all due respect, please don't accuse someone of lying on their application.
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30 Dec 2012, 19:08
Shawshank wrote:
lb2015 wrote:
Shawshank wrote:
This is something i'm extremely worried about but is totally beyond my control. I worked in finance but it was a very small firm (not banking or PE), and for multiple reasons my compensation was low despite my contributions. My recs are very stellar, but i'm worried that adcom will penalize me based on this.

From my understanding, kroll is unable to verify compensation since employers are not allowed legally to divulge your salary or bonus info. Is that correct?

Yeah definitely don't lie! I am in the same boat (also work in finance, also have a low base for the industry) and I was admitted to Darden and invited to interview at Fuqua (interviewed at Tuck too but that's was an open invite). I know Darden and Fuqua definitely asked about salary information, too.

The bottom line: there's nothing you can do to change your salary at this point. Salary will not make or break you, and you most certainly can get in with a low base (I am a case in point!). What CAN make or break you is if you lie on your application. So just don't do it.

I have ZERO intention of lying. Kingfalcon turned a question into an accusation on my character. I asked because a friend also expressed frustration and worries regarding the salary issue, and he said, "I don't know why they ask since employers legally can't divulge your salary to a third-party source."

I had similar issues with headhunters, and i would give them a range.

It wasn't an accusation. If I had wanted to accuse you, I would have said it straight away instead of warning you what it SOUNDED like. Notice that I also did you the courtesy of not quoting your original post so you'd have the chance to edit your post to protect yourself. After all, if it sounded potentially fraudulent to me, couldn't it sound fraudulent to someone whose opinion actually matters?

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30 Dec 2012, 19:13
Shawshank wrote:
lb2015 wrote:
Shawshank wrote:
This is something i'm extremely worried about but is totally beyond my control. I worked in finance but it was a very small firm (not banking or PE), and for multiple reasons my compensation was low despite my contributions. My recs are very stellar, but i'm worried that adcom will penalize me based on this.

From my understanding, kroll is unable to verify compensation since employers are not allowed legally to divulge your salary or bonus info. Is that correct?

Yeah definitely don't lie! I am in the same boat (also work in finance, also have a low base for the industry) and I was admitted to Darden and invited to interview at Fuqua (interviewed at Tuck too but that's was an open invite). I know Darden and Fuqua definitely asked about salary information, too.

The bottom line: there's nothing you can do to change your salary at this point. Salary will not make or break you, and you most certainly can get in with a low base (I am a case in point!). What CAN make or break you is if you lie on your application. So just don't do it.

I have ZERO intention of lying. Kingfalcon turned a question into an accusation on my character. I asked because a friend also expressed frustration and worries regarding the salary issue, and he said, "I don't know why they ask since employers legally can't divulge your salary to a third-party source."

I had similar issues with headhunters, and i would give them a range.

I can symphathize with your worries (I overthought just about every aspect of this process, believe me!) and thought it was a little invasive when I saw the salary question on the first MBA application I filled out. But then it turned out to be a question on all of my apps (maybe not Sloan, but definitely the rest). You're not gonna be able to submit without answering the question, so I just think you gotta fill in the field and move on and try to take your mind of it. Easier said than done, I know, but hopefully you've got some fun new years plans?

From a fellow financier, best of luck!
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30 Dec 2012, 19:20
Lb2015, thanks for your thoughtful response. Yes it's frustrating but decided against using the optional essay to address it since it would come across as defensive. I'm fairly confident that my recs, resume, gmat score, and essays will get me over the finish line.

Best of luck.
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30 Dec 2012, 19:23
Shawshank wrote:
lb2015 wrote:
Shawshank wrote:
This is something i'm extremely worried about but is totally beyond my control. I worked in finance but it was a very small firm (not banking or PE), and for multiple reasons my compensation was low despite my contributions. My recs are very stellar, but i'm worried that adcom will penalize me based on this.

From my understanding, kroll is unable to verify compensation since employers are not allowed legally to divulge your salary or bonus info. Is that correct?

Yeah definitely don't lie! I am in the same boat (also work in finance, also have a low base for the industry) and I was admitted to Darden and invited to interview at Fuqua (interviewed at Tuck too but that's was an open invite). I know Darden and Fuqua definitely asked about salary information, too.

The bottom line: there's nothing you can do to change your salary at this point. Salary will not make or break you, and you most certainly can get in with a low base (I am a case in point!). What CAN make or break you is if you lie on your application. So just don't do it.

I have ZERO intention of lying. Kingfalcon turned a question into an accusation on my character. I asked because a friend also expressed frustration and worries regarding the salary issue, and he said, "I don't know why they ask since employers legally can't divulge your salary to a third-party source."

I had similar issues with headhunters, and i would give them a range.

Lying or not lying aside your friend is mistaken. There is no law that prevents employers from disclosing your salary. Not sure where he got that information but typically when contacted HR departments will disclose dates of employment, job titles and compensation as the 3 main things for confirming employment.
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03 Jan 2013, 16:22
Is it just progression that they are looking for?

I ask because I've been looking at eMBA programs at the top 3 or 4 schools, and - coming from the healthcare and not-for-profit fields - have been a bit intimidated by the incoming salaries of their intakes... $165/170k at Wharton?!? All of my numbers are in line with the class profile, and I have a graduate degree from the IvyL, but I just can't see them taking seriously someone who is making 60k. Is this a valid fear? Thoughts on this? Anyone else in a similar spot; academically serious, steady salary growth, but low salary industry? Maybe Wharton doesn't want my 60k salary pulling down their average? Founder Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 14549 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3796 Kudos [?]: 23672 [0], given: 4554 Re: Salary History? [#permalink] Show Tags 03 Jan 2013, 16:53 I was also under the wrong impression that the salary could not be disclosed (but it usually is after doing a quick google search) http://jobsearch.about.com/od/backgroun ... cansay.htm and more interesting (can be verified by third parties too but with some disclosure: http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/201 ... story.html It also seems Maryland adopted some kind of a privacy law, though the article is pretty vague by using a VPR "it" all the time...) _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News Rankings progression - last 10 years in a snapshot - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Director Status: Final Countdown Joined: 17 Mar 2010 Posts: 563 Location: India GPA: 3.82 WE: Account Management (Retail Banking) Followers: 17 Kudos [?]: 284 [0], given: 75 Re: Salary History? [#permalink] Show Tags 03 Jan 2013, 19:58 How about the experience letter which one gets after leaving the company? Do adcoms require "proof of work(experience)"? or letter of recommendation is all they look for before admission(if not during the application process)? _________________ " Make more efforts " Press Kudos if you liked my post Intern Joined: 03 Jan 2013 Posts: 4 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: Salary History? [#permalink] Show Tags 03 Jan 2013, 20:30 @thevenus this discussion is really about salary and not about proof of work experience, so I suggest starting a new discussion or seeing if this has already been addressed elsewhere. To comment briefly, generally you'll include contact information on your employer, and the adcoms can follow-up with them. Additionally, in the US there are services that do background checks and can determine where you worked, for how long, salary, etc. But, again, I'd bring this up elsewhere. Director Status: Final Countdown Joined: 17 Mar 2010 Posts: 563 Location: India GPA: 3.82 WE: Account Management (Retail Banking) Followers: 17 Kudos [?]: 284 [0], given: 75 Re: Salary History? [#permalink] Show Tags 03 Jan 2013, 20:54 embamaybe2 wrote: @thevenus this discussion is really about salary and not about proof of work experience, so I suggest starting a new discussion or seeing if this has already been addressed elsewhere. To comment briefly, generally you'll include contact information on your employer, and the adcoms can follow-up with them. Additionally, in the US there are services that do background checks and can determine where you worked, for how long, salary, etc. But, again, I'd bring this up elsewhere. I appreciate that you noticed and mentioned it but I posted that because i saw the first URL posted by BB, and that includes everything and not just the salary. Don't worry we have efficient mods who can shift/delete posts here if they find the posts irrelevant. As far as salary is concerned the level of work and salary should be synchronous. Some NGOs, or community service orgs pay less but allow a wider span of leadership unlike a small company which might be paying huge salary without a leadership role such as roles in direct sales, marketing, commission based jobs. I would request 'experts' to chime in and clarify. _________________ " Make more efforts " Press Kudos if you liked my post Manager Joined: 04 Nov 2012 Posts: 90 Location: United States Concentration: Finance, International Business GMAT 1: Q44 V38 GPA: 3.7 WE: Science (Pharmaceuticals and Biotech) Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 34 [0], given: 82 Re: Salary History? [#permalink] Show Tags 03 Jan 2013, 21:22 [/quote] There is no law that prevents employers from disclosing your salary. Not sure where he got that information but typically when contacted HR departments will disclose dates of employment, job titles and compensation as the 3 main things for confirming employment.[/quote] Do AdCom's contact the HR departments of current employers? Wouldn't this blow the cover off of applicant's who are trying to be discreet about their future plans? _________________ kudos are appreciated Intern Joined: 03 Jan 2013 Posts: 4 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: Salary History? [#permalink] Show Tags 04 Jan 2013, 15:24 @lahai1dj - No, but there are 3rd party services that adcoms can and do use to run these kind of background checks. If you say you were working when you weren't, they can find this out. If you say you got a$50k bonus, but it was only \$10k, they can find this out.

I'm not sure how they run these checks on international applicants. But top schools see thousands of applications from around the world each year. They know when something doesn't look right. I'd imagine schools outside the top 15 or 20 don't care as much, and if you have a good GPA and GMAT; they are happy to take your money.
Re: Salary History?   [#permalink] 04 Jan 2013, 15:24

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