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Sydney career coach and recruitment expert reveals how to get a pay rise

Best way to get a pay rise: Top career coach reveals the surprising tricks that can boost your pay packet – and why you should never compare yourself to other colleagues

  • Recruitment expert Deb Houston reveals how to ask your boss for a pay rise
  • Recruiters spend six seconds looking at your resume before they move on
  • In your resume, have examples about how you were successful in your old job


A top recruiter has revealed the secret to asking your boss for a pay rise is to be confident, know what you’re worth and don’t get emotional.

Deb Houston, a recruitment expert who owns Sydney-based coaching service iRecruiter Tutor, said workers are usually nervous about asking their boss for a salary increase – but they don’t have to be.

‘Be calm and confident, and understand why you’re asking for that pay rise,’ the 41-year-old told Daily Mail Australia.

‘If you want to get ahead you have to start negotiating, so go to the meeting armed with examples – show evidence as to how you’ve been over-performing in your role.’

Deb Houston (pictured) has worked in recruitment for 17 years in Australia and in the UK

When speaking about resumes, Ms Houston said her pet hate is when they're riddled with spelling errors (stock picture)

When speaking about resumes, Ms Houston said her pet hate is when they’re riddled with spelling errors (stock picture) 

Ms Houston also urged people not to let their emotions creep in or compare their income to what their colleagues earn. 

‘Stick to the facts – try not to pull on their heart strings by saying you have bills to pay or you know other people earn more than you,’ she said.

‘Say you’ve been reflecting on your successes and you are really proud of what you have achieved for yourself and for the company.’

When speaking about resumes, Ms Houston said her pet hate is when they’re riddled with spelling errors.

She also said some resumes are formatted so badly it’s hard to tell where the key information is.

‘Loads of people think they need as much information as possible, but the strong ones are really tailored to the job – less is more, it’s about quality and not quantity’ she said.

‘Recruiters will spend about six seconds looking at your resume before they decide whether to add you to the short list.’

‘They need to stand out – don’t just label what you can do, but include examples to prove what you can do and why you were good at it.’ 

The recruiter pointed out that trying to hide gaps in employment by not including dates raises red flags, but said gaps aren’t a bad thing at all.

Deb Houston (pictured) said one of her pet hates is seeing spelling errors in resumes

Deb Houston (pictured) said one of her pet hates is seeing spelling errors in resumes

‘Everyone is entitled to have gaps in their employment, and you’ll have a chance to talk about them in the interview,’ she added.

‘You might have been travelling, taking care of someone, studying – there are all sorts of reasons, but own it and don’t shy away from it.’  

Ms Houston has 17 years experience in recruitment in Australia and the UK, and offers a range of one-on-one coaching sessions, along with group and online classes to people who want to improve their employability.

She believes anyone can land their dream job, even if they’re nervous about the interview. 

‘You don’t have to be the best at interviewing,’ she said. Just prepare and be true to yourself.’ 

To check out more of Ms Houston’s tips and tricks check out her website and social media pages.  

How to ask your boss for a pay rise, according to expert Deb Houston

Ms Houston has 17 years experience in recruitment in Australia and the UK, and offers a range of one-on-one coaching sessions

Ms Houston has 17 years experience in recruitment in Australia and the UK, and offers a range of one-on-one coaching sessions

– Prepare. Know why you’re asking for a raise, and what you’re worth.

– Define what you’re after. Is it just hard cash you are looking for or could there be extra benefits you can negotiate as a back-up, like extra holiday leave or health insurance.

– Gather supporting evidence. Take a look at your achievements and use them as evidence of your success.

Do your research. What is the typical pay rate for your role?

– Be calm and confident. Start the meeting by saying that you’d like to talk to them about a pay rise.

 – Don’t get emotional and compare our pay to others, or say you have bills to pay. Stick to the facts.

Source: iRecruiter Tutor 

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