One way to respond to job ads that describe the salary as competitive

You might have seen the brilliant ‘Show The Salary’ campaign that has been calling for organisations to ditch salary secrecy and ensure that every job ad includes a salary (or, at the very least, a salary range).

Their website lists a number of reasons why salary secrecy is a harmful and unfair practice. One of the main reasons is that it has been shown to perpetuate pay gaps, having a disproportionately negative impact on women and people of colour.

You can (and should!) read more about their campaign here –

However, despite the campaign team’s continued hard work there are still some organisations and recruitment agencies who refuse to show the salary, simply listing the salary as “competitive”. (Seriously?! What a ridiculous euphemism. We all know that if it was genuinely competitive they’d be shouting it from the rooftops!)

So, I’m suggesting a light-hearted way to respond to recruiters who continue to perpetuate pay gaps through salary secrecy to highlight how unhelpful “competitive” is…

Presenting my Competitive Vitae

Simply send a copy of the Competitive Vitae to the email address on any job ad that lists the salary as competitive, negotiable or available on request.

Childish? Maybe

Cathartic? Hell yes!

Helpful? Who knows…

But if you want to give it a go you can download your own editable Competitive Vitae below. Customise it and send it to try and get organisations to sign up to the Show the Salary pledge.

Want to do something more constructive?

I should clarify that, while I massively support the work Show The Salary are doing, I am not part of the campaign leadership or involved in any official capacity. So, if you want to do something far more helpful and constructive, visit the Show The Salary website for other ways you can support the campaign, including getting your organisation to sign the pledge: