Questions often asked by prospective employers is the applicant’s desired salary range. This is almost a standard necessity that employers require which the applicant must furnish, if and when it’s asked for. But disclosing this expected salary can sometimes feel uncomfortable for the applicant. But since it’s a requirement, you may have to furnish a salary requirements cover letter to the prospective employer. When and how to disclose will be our subject for this article.

Salary Requirements Cover Letters

What is a salary requirement?

Simply stated, a salary requirement is how much payment a person would require to accept for a certain position. You can base this on many factors like:

In some cases, the employer may request you to provide him with a salary history, rather than or along with the salary requirement letter. Salary history speaks for itself, it’s a document that includes your earnings in the past from other companies and may include information such as:

  • the names of the companies you have worked for
  • your position or title in the workplace
  • how long you’ve held the position
  • salary benefits package

It’s legal for employers to request this information about your salary requirements. But this does not apply to all cities and states where employers have restrictions when it comes to demanding past salary information. To set your mind at ease, check with the Department of Labor of your state if providing such information falls under their jurisdiction. You might as well ask for the latest updates on the laws which apply to your state or city too.

If an employer asks you for a cover letter with salary requirements, don’t take the request against him. This is because employers need your salary information for several reasons. First and foremost, if your price range is too high, they may not even consider you for the position.

The employer may also think that you may not be happy working for a lower salary. On the other hand, if your salary is lower than what the company will pay, they may offer you an even lower salary than they would another prospective applicant.

Salary Requirement Letters

Why do some potential employers ask for salary requirements?

Applicants need not provide a salary requirements cover letter or any information which pertains to money or desired wages for that matter if there’s no formal request made by the employer. Doing so could knock you out of contention for the position even before you reach the initial interview. However, if the position advertised will specifically require you to provide your salary expectations, then, by all means, do so without any hesitation.

This is a simple way for employers to gauge you on how well you follow instructions. For employers, if you cannot follow simple rules, what more when they choose to hire you? Here are the most common reasons why potential employers will need your salary requirements:

  • With the salary requirement letter, employers can readily get an idea on how much compensation you would want and how it will measure to the position advertised. It can also save time, resources, and efforts for the potential employer as they can readily disqualify candidates who expect salary requirements which are too high.
  • Employers can easily deduce that based on your salary requirements, you may either be over or under-qualified for the job.
  • A cover letter with salary requirements can also be an effective tool in determining the applicant’s self-worth. This means that if you expect too low a salary, the recruiter may deduce that you don’t value yourself too much and that you might not be able to cope with the demands of the position.
  • On the other hand, this low expectation may be of advantage to an applicant, especially in small companies where saving resources is important. In such cases, they will hire applicants who don’t require high salaries.
  • Then there are those applicants who have very high expectations. This means that they are either overqualified for the job or the hiring company has overestimated the advertised position’s the scope.

With all these in mind, a practical suggestion when making the document is to give a salary range that’s balanced and reasonable.

Cover Letters With Salary Requirements

Considerations when writing a salary requirement cover letter

One thing any applicant should avoid is to indicate his salary expectations in the cover letter unless it the employer explicitly requested for it. Why so? For one, you have yet to determine the job category and the salary range for the position which the interviewer will raise, when and if he makes the job offer. Salary expectations in cover letters without the request is a premature and ineffective decision on the part of the applicant. In short, only provide salary requirements if requested to do so.

Even if you compose a salary requirements cover letter, one issue is that almost all hiring ads will not include the employer’s salary limits. Potential employers would require salary requirements so they can have a basis for your salary expectations, and this becomes their first criteria in selecting the right applicant. Sadly, for applicants, they may have to face some no-win predicaments:

  • If you’re aspiring for a high salary which the company can’t afford, they won’t waste any more time. You would get disqualified because of your high expectation.
  • The employer may have the notion that you won’t feel happy earning a lower compensation.
  • On the flip side, should you have lower expectations, you might end up accepting a lower salary package.

A good suggestion for a cover letter with salary requirements is to state that you’re open to negotiations. Before drafting the letter, do a little research on the position’s average salaries based on these factors:

  • Compensations and benefits
    The basis of some professions is on the benefits and this especially applies to marketing and sales. Aside from the salary range, you also need to look at the whole compensation structure. This means that it comprises all the benefits for a certain position.
  • Job location
    The cost of living will always play an important role in determining the salary because this will be different from one location to another. For instance, a financial advisor in who lives in New York will receive much higher pay than one who works in Arizona since the cost of living in New York is much higher. Job location should be a factor to consider as you do your research.
  • Salary range
    Spend some time learning about the salary range through current industry reviews and salary surveys for those who have a career status similar to the one that you want to apply for.
  • Supply and demand
    This factor is quite easy to understand and is also important for determining your salary ranges. For instance, if the industry is already saturated with people who have the same skill sets and qualifications, employers will have the advantage as this will lead to hiring people with lower salary scales. Should there be a short supply of applicants for a position, salaries offered would become higher.
    But if both supply and demand are high, the companies would definitely want to acquire the best employees by offering them a high-salary and benefits package sooner than later.
  • The field of the company
    Dig up information about the field of the company you want to enter as the salaries they offer will depend on the type of business they engage in.

Apart from the salary, keep in mind that not all applicants will possess the same competencies. When deciding on who to hire, hiring companies will consider the applicant’s overall experience, qualifications, and skills. These will determine the applicant’s salary. You should, therefore, highlight these in your resume or cover letter.

Sample Salary Requirements Cover Letters

Some helpful tips to keep in mind

Apart from the salary requirement letter, employers can request your salary history as this could serve as a measure of reliability. They will base their hiring decision on what will be the applicant’s “suitable” wage. This request rarely happens, but some employers may still ask for this information.

Applicants will really won’t have much of a choice when the employer makes the request. If he deems that he deserves a higher salary, he can fight his case during the initial interview. Consider the following helpful tips when asking for a better pay:

  • Don’t disclose anything about salary issues in your curriculum vitae.
  • Avoid including salary requirements on the cover letter unless the employer would ask for it. It’s better to discuss such issues face-to-face during the interview phase.
  • Avoid rigidity on your salary demands. Be both reasonable and flexible, especially if the offered salary still falls within the lower end of your expected salary scale. Bear in mind that employers do have a maximum limit with regards to the amount they’re able or willing to pay. With this in mind, negotiate if you have to, you may still get a better deal.
  • If you’re applying for different types of jobs, make sure you don’t use the same salary requirements cover letter. Not all companies are the same. Remember the factors we’ve discussed and consider them.
  • Adopt a confident attitude and never undersell yourself. Only you will know what you’re worth, so go out there and obtain what you’re worth.
TemplateLab May 5th, 2019