Including salary requirements in a cover letter is sometimes asked of employers. It could be listed in the job posting to include a cover letter outlining salary requirements for the position.
How do you write salary requirements in a cover letter?
Learn how to do this professionally. And how to properly determine the correct salary requirement to place into your letter.
Should you include your salary requirements in a cover letter?
Unless the employer asks for it, it’s best not to include it.
Including salary requirements in a letter where it’s not specifically asked for doesn’t help the employer or the hiring manager in the hiring process.
In fact, it deters them from your resume entirely. Because this act seems far too forward. And makes it appear that the intention of the job application is strictly monetary based. Rather than applying for the position out of passion or interest.
Here’s when you shouldn’t include salary requirements in a cover letter:
- When you want to stand out.
- If the job description doesn’t list it.
And when you should:
- Only when the manager asks for it.
Follow directions included in the job ad. If the prospective employer has specific instructions for how to include compensation requirements, follow those guidelines.
How to include salary requirements in a cover letter
Here’s how to include salary requirements in your cover letter.
Provide a salary range
An expected salary range is far better to list than specific salary expectations. By providing a range, the manager can have a discussion with you. Rather than the ask being a strict one.
Include an average salary range or an expected range based on your research.
Offering an exact figure could eliminate the entire bargaining process of discussing salary. Creating potential for the salary offer to be lower than what you could deserve.
Tell them your salary requirements are negotiable
Always indicate that the salary requirement is a negotiable discussion. For obvious reasons, this makes the manager want to have a conversation with you.
During that conversation, they could find that you’re far better for the position than initially anticipated.
There are many outcomes that could happen from a discussion. And it’s best to make sure the discussion occurs.
Here’s what you’ll want to say:
I’m extremely passionate about this position. Because of that, I’m open to discussing salary. And these requirements are not strict. Nor do they include any benefits that come from an overall compensation package, which could change my request entirely.
Pro tip: Writing the perfect cover letter is near impossible. The best thing to do is to reference a sample cover letter, consider what makes you unique, and tailor the cover letter and resume to the company and the job. Always target your job application to the business you’re interested in.
Research the average salary
Before adding any type of salary requirement to your cover letter, research the average salary for the position. There are many tools available to do this research.
Primarily, you should use these sources:
These tools will provide you with a general range for the position when it comes to a job title. Though, this is not the only information that you need to factor into your research.
Consider your geography
Adding in your geography will certainly help to assess your salary requirements should be. Even in a completely remote position, a professional’s geography will have an impact on their actual salary.
Using the tools provided, add geographical factors into the salary range.
If you’re moving or desiring to be relocated, make sure to include the geography that you’re moving to in your research. For example, moving from Chicago to San Francisco could cause you a great deal of stress if you included Chicago-based geographical data rather than San Francisco’s.
Consider your education
When thinking about your desired salary, consider your education level. In some circumstances, education is going to have a major impact on your compensation level.
For example, teachers with a Master’s Degree are more likely to receive a higher level of salary.
Pro tip: Not sure if your resume and cover letter are great? Consider getting a free resume review from one of the many services available on the internet.
And consider your experience
Most commonly, experience is going to play a major role in the salary that you could expect. Consider how many years of experience that you have.
The more years of experience you have, the higher end of the spectrum you can ask for in the salary ranges provided by Payscale, Salary.com, or Glassdoor.
If you’re looking to join an entry-level position, then always tailor your salary toward the bottom end of the spectrum when it comes to the range provided through your initial research. For example, administrative assistants will have smaller figures and ranges to choose from. Making your experience a relatively unnecessary factor to consider.
Include your desirable skills
In order to ensure the hiring manager sees why you’re asking for certain salary requirements, consider emphasizing your desirable skills. This could be proficiencies, soft skills, technical skills, or programming languages.
Job seekers should utilize prior work accomplishments as a way of positioning key skills in the workplace. And how those competencies dictate their desired salary.
Determine your level
Many prospective employers evaluate employees based on level, rather than experience. If you have any experience in a particular level at a corporate entity, try to align your level of compensation with their level of compensation.
Look at your salary history and determine whether the job you’re applying for will be able to maintain or improve those compensation numbers.
Pro tip: If you aren’t sure how levels are compensated, speak with the HR manager before you submit your resume. Or try to meet with an employee who works at the company you’re looking to get employed at.
Mention certifications and licenses
Including any mentions toward certifications and licenses can assist in suggesting your desired range of compensation. Ideally, those who hold job-required certifications should only use those as a way to suggest their qualification for the role. Rather than their competitive reasoning for being considered for the position.
Pro tip: Ask a friend or mentor to review the job requirements with you. Ask them about a particular skill set that sets you apart in your job role. This could help to get a better idea of what to mention when you write a cover letter.
Always take your current compensation and add 5-8%. This will ensure that you have a clear career path or career trajectory when it comes to earning potential and salary.
Remember, other benefits could be included in your job offer, which could reduce your cash compensation.
How to write cover letter salary requirements
Here’s how to word salary requirements into the body paragraph of your cover letter. And in a way that shows your prospective employer that you understand average ranges for this type of position.
As mentioned in the posted job description, I wanted to provide my salary requirements for the position. Based on the company’s budget, I’m very open to discussing this salary. My salary expectation would be somewhere in the $45,000 to $53,000 range. This is based on the average salary ranges for this job, in this job market, and geography.
Before mentioning my requirement for this position. I’d like to recognize that I’m asking for a higher salary due to my Master’s Degree and prior work history. I understand that this could be perceived as an aggressive initial offer regarding salary. I’m very open to discussing salary. I’m suggesting that my compensation be somewhere in the $70,000 to $80,000 range per year.
I’d like to say that my salary request is negotiable based on other relevant factors, including stock options or paid time off. With that said, my professional worth comes from my bachelor’s degree in computer science, my extensive experience in the industry, and my research on recent salary information in this geography. I’m looking for $120,000 to $160,000 per year in my next job. Once again, this could change based on additional benefits offered to me as an employee.
Cover letter example including salary requirements
August 1st, 2021
Dear Ms. Boyle,
I’m writing this cover letter to suggest my interest in the open Software Engineer position that’s available at Apple Inc. I’ve always found myself gravitating toward your products and services. Since I was very young, I was always working with computers. And Apple computers was one of the first that I really found a strong passion for.
I have 12 years of experience in this position. And I noted in the job requirements that you were asking for a cover letter with salary requirements included. Before I mention my requirements, I want to suggest that this is negotiable depending on the types of benefits that are offered to employees. This could include stock options, paid time off, or 401k options. After researching this role and my geography, I am asking for $120,000 to $140,000 per year.
I’d love to discuss this role in more detail. And have a discussion regarding pay and my prior work experience. I have a strong track record of driving software engineering products at all my prior jobs. This includes Facebook, Google, and Alphabet.
Look forward to meeting with you. I’m available all week. Good luck with your job search.
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