The Interview Coach: Military Pay History

April 30, 2012 |


I’m a former Marine. I spent 8 years on active duty. I attained the rank of Sergeant/E5 rather quickly and in combat lead a re-enforced squad of 24 Marines plus vehicle crew. When I got out I earned a BS degree and began an MBA. Since most of my jobs since leaving service were very flexible to allow me to attend school and watch my kids while my wife worked during the day as an RN, my pay history has always been a bit low. It sometimes feels like my biggest hindrance is my pay history. Is pay history something that is looked fairly seriously?


First of all – congratulations on serving and then moving forward with your education. Very good move on your part.

Salary issues are a slippery slide. Most companies will have a hiring budget and salary range.

You can try putting a line for the salary instead of a number for the salary you rather not put on the application. If they tell you they need a number then you will have to give it to them.

It is always to your advantage to wait to discuss salary.

Job interview expert Carole Martin has been a prime contributor to our Veteran Jobs blog, and now she’s offering her advice to veterans and servicemembers who have questions, general or specific, about tackling the civilian job interview process. Send Carole your questions at, and moving forward, we’ll feature her answers in this blog.

The Interview Coach, Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. She is also a contributing writer at and featured on talk radio. Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries. You can download her free worksheet for determining your Values Exercise at the Interview Coach website. Follow The Interview Coach on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to learn about current workshops and seminars Carole is offering.

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.