Why companies offer promotions without extra pay

Does a job have to be paid in order to be listed on a resume as work experience? Is volunteer experience viewed less favorably than paid experience?

First of all, there are no strict laws governing resumes. You can do whatever you want, except lie. Well, you can lie, but if you get caught, you will not get hired, and if you’re found out after the fact — even many years later — you can lose your job. But experience doesn’t have to be paid to be considered by most employers as valid. More important is to list the most relevant experience you have that relates to the job you are applying for, regardless of whether it was paid or not. Typically, though, experience listed as volunteer work covers things that people do in their spare time and may be unrelated to their careers. So in that sense, yes, it is less important, but it will still be relevant in conveying a complete portrait of the candidate.

I was offered a “promotion,” which meant a higher title and more responsibility, but what it didn’t mean — much to my shock — was more money. How can they do that?

That’s like getting one of those obvious money cards for graduation — the ones where you expect a greenback to be inside — but instead, it just has a note of congratulations. But a raise in title and responsibility without a corresponding increase in compensation is not as uncommon as you might think. Sometimes it’s due to a company’s pay practices and where your compensation is relative to others. You might have been getting paid as if you were at the next level already, and the new job and title simply brings you in line. Sometimes employees actually want the title even if they can’t get more money, feeling it is valuable to their career to achieve the title and responsibility. Usually, those things are discussed with your boss and the expectations and rationale are clearly understood. Since this seems to have come as a surprise, you need to have the conversation with your boss in an unemotional way, discussing your accomplishments and expectations for your career. Congrats on the promotion… I think.

Gregory Giangrande is a chief human resources and communications officer in the media industry. E-mail your career questions to [email protected] Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande. His Go to Greg podcast series is available at iTunes.

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