Salary requirements – how to talk about it?

Employers often ask the job applicants to mention their expectations when it comes to salaries, directly on the cover letter. Doing so, the employers follow several goals:

  • They can easily select out candidates who’s salary requirements are too high, simply because they are not willing to pay that much.
  • Sometimes they can identify the appropriate salary for a chosen worker (employers sometimes do not know what salary to offer).
  • If they know the max they are willing to offer but you mention less on your cover letter, they can offer you less money.


As you can see, it is not an ideal situation for the job seekers. It fits the employer very well.

  • If your requirements are too high, they will easily reject your application.
  • If your requirements are too low, they will easily pay you less than you could (or even should) get on that position.
  • If you do not mention any salary requirements, they may simply select you out, because you do not follow their directions.


How to handle this problem?

Although to request your salary requirements is not 100% fair from the employer, he can ask for it. Although it is bad for you, there are several good things you can do to handle the situation. Let’s have a look at several tips:


Do not mention the expectations if you do not have to do so

  • If they do not ask you to mention salary requirements on your cover letter, then do not do it. It makes no sense. It is not standard to mention it. Therefore, if it is not written on the job description, do not mention it what so ever.


Check out the average salary for your job

  • Nowadays, you can find everything on the internet. You have found this website and likewise you can find the statistics of average salaries by position and the years of experience. These statistics can help you to choose the right number to use on the covering letter.


Mention rather the range than the exact number

  • It is better to write $40,000-$50,000, than to write $45,000. With the chosen range, you leave yourself an area for negotiation in the job interview. If they like your application, you will be able to negotiate the higher salary from the range.


Never mention less than you are willing to work for

  • It makes no sense to write that your requirements are $25,000, if you do not want to work for it… You should be honest when it comes to your salary requirements. Lying, you can only waste time of both you and the employer at the end of the day…


Check also cover letter writing tips and other pages on, in order to compose a perfect cover letter. We wish you good luck!