When applying for a job you may be required to include salary requirements in your resume cover letter.
First of all, it is recommended to avoid indicating the salary expectations in cover letters unless you’ve been explicitly asked to provide them. This is because you will not have an idea about the job description and salary ranges until you receive the job offer and/or the interviewer raises this issue. This would lead to a premature and ineffective decision at the preliminary stages.
Therefore, remember to include your salary requirements (i.e. salary expectations) only when you have been asked for this piece of information.
So how would you go about this?
This article deals with the elements that comprise the salary range for a job opening. The article also discusses the way one should include the salary requirements in his/her cover letter and provide a sample letter for the same.
How to write salary requirements in a cover letter
The dilemma starts with the fact that most (if not all) job hiring ads do not contain the employer salary limits.
The employer’s position:
Employers require this info to have an understanding of your salary expectations to obtain their first selection criteria. In fact, it appears that you may find yourself in 3 no-win situations:
1. If they find that you are looking for a higher salary, they will not waste any further time, since they will not be able to pay you that amount.
2. They might have the idea that you will not be happy working for a lower salary.
3. On the other hand, if your current expectations are lower, you might land yourself a lower salary package.
That is why your salary requirements in the cover letter have to demonstrate your desire to keep the door open.
1. You can state that your salary package is negotiable based on the overall compensation offered, including benefits.
2. You may provide a base salary (from-to) after researching the current market, like $50,000 – $75,000 – with the lower number representing your original salary expectation.
Both these options put you in a good position since they offer you flexibility during the salary negotiation stage.
Salary expectations and salary requirements cover letter
Before writing the cover letter that includes your salary requirement, you have to research the average salaries of the position based on several variants. Make sure you take a good look at the following factors:
Salary survey and salary range
You need to spend time reading the current industry reviews (salary surveys) and the salary ranges for people having a similar career status to the one you are applying for.
The company field
It is also necessary to look into the field of the hiring company as their salaries mostly depend on the industry they are engaged in.
Cost of living also forms an important part of determining your salary since it differs from location to location. For example – a financial advisor in New York is paid higher than one from Arizona as these two places have a cost of living gap. Hence job location needs to be kept in mind during your research.
Supply vs. Demand This is one of the most important factors for determining salary range. If the industry is saturated with a lot of people with the same qualifications and skill set, employers gain the upper hand resulting in a lower salary being offered than would have been the case were people in short supply for the required position.
On the other hand, if the demand and the supply are high, as in the case of s/w programmers, the company would want to grab these employees from the market and therefore offers a high salary package in order to be the first company to hire these professionals.
Compensations including benefits
Some professions (like marketing and sales) are based on benefits. You need to find out not only the salary range but also the total compensation structure that comprises all benefits for a given position – this is called the total Cost to Company or simply CTC.
Comparing apples to apples
Some professions require more competencies than others. The hiring company is going to consider your overall skills, experience and qualification as their pay factors. Therefore, these points should be highlighted in your cover letter or your resume.
Sample cover letter with salary requirements
Refer also to the article – Resume Cover Letter Samples
As regards your request, I have researched the market based on the job description and have come up with a salary range of $50,000 – $70,000 without any benefits or supplements added to the scale.
This is negotiable depending on the total compensation, career growth opportunities and other factors.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
As for the salary requirements, my expectations are as follows – $X.
However, I trust you will consider this figure following a job interview as I am flexible to negotiate all aspects of the job offer.
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Job advertisements sometimes ask you to specify salary requirements when submitting your cover letter. If a job posting requires you to address salary requirements in cover letter or resume form, not all is lost.
Related: 7 Examples Of Fresh New Ways To Start Your Cover Letter
But, many job seekers feel uncomfortable revealing their desired salary before they’ve even scheduled an interview. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry—there are some ways to comply with the employer’s request while avoiding having to immediately provide a specific answer.
One technique for addressing this topic in a cover letter is to list a range of salaries you’ve earned throughout your career. For those who have been in the workforce for a while, it is common for this range to be fairly wide. So you could say, “ I’ve earned between $50,000-$75,000 in previous positions, and I would be happy to discuss salary after an interview.”
Another way to address the issue is to offer a ballpark figure. For instance, you could say, “My current salary is in the low six figures.” Or, “My current compensation, including bonuses, is in the $80s.” Remember to factor in bonuses, 401(k) matching, mileage reimbursement, and other additional forms of compensation when providing them with a number.
Sometimes employers will specifically ask you what you earn in your current position. Non-employee workers (subcontractors) can easily avoid this question by stating, “As a contractor, my compensation varies from month to month.”
If you suspect a position for which you’re applying pays less than you currently earn, you can say, “My current salary is $65,000, but I am willing to negotiate if that is out of the hiring range for this position.”
When asked about salary, the most important thing is to not sell yourself short. Unless the number you stipulate is significantly above what an employer is willing to pay, it shouldn’t prevent you from getting an interview.
In addition, providing a somewhat general answer about salary requirements can aid you in appearing flexible and willing to negotiate.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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About the author
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. Want to work with the best resume writer? If you would like us to personally work on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile—and dramatically improve their response rates—then check out our professional and executive resume writing services at GreatResumesFast.com or contact us for more information if you have any questions.
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