What’s Your Worth?

September 19, 2008

Are you in the job market or considering a new career? I have a tool for you! AAUW’s new partner organization Job Search Intelligence recently launched a free fair pay compensation tool that can help you determine your personalized target salary goal. The tool asks you for information relating to your personal background, education, and employment history and the geographic location where you are seeking a job. Then it gives you many valuable pieces of information, including

  • your market ranking
  • how many people in your target area have the job you’re seeking
  • the annual average salary range and median salary of the people in your area with the job you’re seeking
  • the salary the market will likely offer you based on your background and qualifications
  • the salary the market would offer someone with your same qualifications who is gender-neutral and race-neutral (this will show if you have a good chance of being offered less or more money than the market average because of your gender or race)
  • the estimated number of weeks it may take to find a job in your desired field
  • three alternative jobs you may consider
  • the three geographic locations where the pay is the highest for the job you are seeking

This information can help you make informed career choices and give you tools to engage in intelligent salary negotiation with a future employer, particularly if you are a woman and/or a person of color. In Behind the Pay Gap, AAUW found that just one year out of college, women working full time earn less than their male colleagues earn, even when they work in the same field. Being informed about the salary in your field can help you know when you are being shortchanged and provide you with accurate data about your worth. Learn more about pay equity in the public policy and legal advocacy sections of the AAUW website.

Do you have any advice for job seekers when negotiating their worth?

Holly Kearl By:   |   September 19, 2008


  1. Avatar Paul Hill says:

    Dear Mr. Kirkwood,

    I am part of Job Search Intelligence, so I thought I’d take a moment to respond to your concerns.

    Regarding the methodology we use to create salary values, we utilize a series of programs that we developed, which are comprised of defensible datasets and fairly advanced stats techniques. We have been vetted by some of the largest edu and research institutions in the country, so we’re quite comfortable with our methods. Yes, the methods are proprietary.

    Regarding the queries we employ, all queries have been developed based upon their use in the employment field. Not all queries apply equally to all job descriptions, but all are there because they exist in the market.

    To comment on your concerns regarding data collection and privacy, we only collect info for purposes of creating output values and for further refinement of our programs. Please do note that we do not ask people to register for our service in any way. At this point, I am not aware of any means of being less intrusive than we are.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Avatar DaveKirkwood says:

    Holly, relevant post and an interesting website for career planning. There are many good attributes of the website, but I’m very concerned about the methods used to establish a target salary (which are likely considered proprietary).

    The user is asked to provide their GPA. GPA is rarely, if ever used, to establish salary. It may be used as a selection critera (offer vs no offer), but in most jobs, GPA is not a strong indicator of performance.

    The user is also asked to provide their credit score. This question is both intrusive and offensive. Not unlike: asking “are you married?”, “do you have children?”, etc.

    So, what is the purpose of these questions? Is our partner using these data to estimate salary or gather data for other purposes?

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