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Ask Amy | The One About The Pay Range

Every Wednesday I give advice to an anonymous reader about a sticky professional situation they're currently in.

Do you need advice from Amy? Submit using the button below!

This week our reader has a problem with the pay range on a job post.

"Would it be considered a red flag if there is a notice within the companies job descriptions that say it's not typical for people to be paid at or near the top of the range listed? What's the point of the range then if you know you won't ever be at the top? Why don't they just list a lower range?"

So they found a company they want to work for, and realized all of the job descriptions have basically a warning label that it's rare to be paid at or near the top of the range.

Our reader is wondering if this is a red flag, or why the company doesn't lower the range...

I can't help but giggle, and I'm sure every other recruiter is too.

We see posts on social media pretty often outraged by companies or recruiters giving a "fake" pay range, $10-20K lower than the actual pay range.

This is done because the company and/or recruiter knows that nobody is going to be that 100% perfect candidate who will be able to secure the top of the actual pay range. They don't even want to mention the top, because it's an unrealistic top that most candidates won't be able to negotiate up to.

Of course if a recruiter DOES find that 100% perfect candidate they will give the actual top of the pay range specifically to them.

This company seems to have taken the jobseeker outrage about this to heart... someone in HR said, "we're going to tell everyone what the top is, but we're also going to tell them that they probably aren't going to be able to secure that top."

This is not a red flag in my opinion, it's just a different kind of approach to the same thing everyone does anyway. I've never seen this approach, but I can understand and appreciate it.

I'm going to go even deeper for you all here with how you can know if you can grab that top range or not. How can you tell if you're that true "unicorn" or "purple squirrel"?

Every job has requirements or minimum qualifications, and they also have preferred, nice to have, or bonus qualifications.

If you hit every single one of those minimums AND every single one of the nice to haves... you're their purple unicorn squirrel, and you can grab for that top range, assuming your background check is clear and you aren't too super job hoppy.

Do you need advice from Amy? Submit using the button below!

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