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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Cover Letter Example With Salary Requirements
When and How to Mention Compensation in a Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter can be difficult, especially when you are asked to include information that you think could affect your chances of getting an interview. Some employers ask applicants to include a salary requirement in a cover letter, which can feel awkward or uncomfortable. However, there are ways to include this information without hurting your chances of getting a job.
Here are tips on when and how to include a salary requirement in a cover letter, as well as an example of a cover letter that lists a salary requirement.
Also see below for more cover letter samples, and tips for emailing a cover letter and resume.
When to Include Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter
If a job application does not require you to include salary information (such as your salary history, a salary requirement, or a salary range), do not do so. If you request too high of a salary, the employer might not even look at your application. On the other hand, if you request too low of a salary, they might offer you less than you are worth. In some locations, employers cannot legally ask about your prior earnings.
However, if the job posting or application states that you must include a salary requirement, be sure to do so if you are not in a location where employers are prohibited from asking. It's important to follow directions and provide all the information the employer requests. Otherwise, you risk being tossed out of the application pool.
Options for Including Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter
If the employer does not give specific instructions on how to include salary requirements, you have a couple of options to consider.
Include a Salary Range
One way to include salary requirements in a cover letter is to list a salary range. This gives you and the employer some flexibility.
Make sure your salary range is realistic. Research what the position is worth by using salary surveys and salary calculators.
Salary Requirements are Negotiable
You can also state that your salary requirements are negotiable based on the position and the overall compensation package, including benefits.
State That You're Flexible
No matter what, make sure you emphasize that your salary requirements are flexible. This will help keep you in the running and also give you options when negotiating salary later on.
Cover Letter Example with a Salary Requirement / Range
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Hiring Manager:
I'm writing to express my strong interest in the Web Design Specialist position listed on Craigslist.
I have experience designing consumer-focused health-based websites. While much of my experience has been in the business world, I understand the social value of the non-profit sector.
My responsibilities have included the design and development of the site's editorial voice and style, and the daily content programming and production of the website. I worked closely with health care professionals and medical editors to help them provide the best possible information to a consumer audience of patients and health care professionals.
Experience has taught me how to build strong relationships with all departments at an organization. I have the ability to work within a team as well as cross-team.
I can work with web engineers to resolve technical issues and implement technical enhancements, work with the development department to implement design and functional enhancements, and monitor site statistics and conduct search engine optimization.
My salary requirement is in the $70,000 - $80,000 range. However, my salary is negotiable based on the overall compensation package.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Sending an Email Cover Letter
If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message.
Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information. Start your email message with the salutation.
More Sample Cover Letters
Cover letter samples and templates for a variety of career fields and employment levels, including entry-level, targeted and email cover letters for many different jobs.
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