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Cover Letter Salary Requirement-win The Game

Oct 10, 2007
Cover letters are often the most difficult portion of the job application process. While you want to provide a good overview of the details that are pertinent to the position and whether or not you qualify there are times when a certain bit of information is simply too much information. Your salary history is one of those bits of information. There is really no space for a salary history or salary requirements on a cover letter. In fact, many people have found that giving a salary history or listing a salary requirement is often an act of shooting themselves in the foot. For this reason it is best to offer too little rather than too much information.

What if they company requests a salary requirement? This is indeed a sticky situation. Many companies use this to eliminate employees that are out of their price range off the bat. In some case, companies have used lower salary requirements listed in order to make lower offers rather than offering the standard rate. This can hurt in a big way in the long run and creates a lower salary history than you may be worth. In other words, if it isn't a direct request on behalf of the company, avoid it all together.

If the company has requested your salary requirements or a salary history be sure that you give a salary range (and be as broad as you are comfortable being) and explain to them that the salary you will be willing to work for on this particular job depends greatly on exactly what it is you will be expected to do. This accomplishes two things. First, it gives you an opportunity to put off the final answer to that question for a while. Second, it invites further details and, quite possibly, an interview with the company in order to further discuss what will be expected of you in the position for which you are applying.

You definitely want to avoid giving out a salary requirement that could hurt you in the long run. To avoid this situation is it wise to check a general range of salary for the position you are applying for and make sure that it is applicable in the location of the position for which you are applying. Knowledge is rarely a bad thing and by understanding the going rate for the position in your area you have a better idea of what to expect financially from the work you will be doing but also how much is a fair salary for the position in which you are applying.

You should also compare the salaries according to experience if possible. Entry-level positions will pay considerably less than those available for mid-level careers or even those who are filling very senior positions. You want to compete on a level that is appropriate to your experience, skills, and others in your field.

If a company continues to push even after you've attempted to be vague or offer a range rather than a specific salary it is quite possibly a good time to seriously consider whether or not you really want to become part of their organization. These companies are often focused far more on profits than they are on the people who work for them, which could be a rather unpleasant working environment for most. Most of us would much rather take a lower salary working for a company that appreciates its staff than make more money working for a company that is hyper-focused on productivity and profit. Most companies such as this, however, are going to offer salaries on the lower end of the scale at any rate but you should beware and talk to others who work for the company before coming on board once you make it to the interview process. Remember you should interview the companies you are considering working for rather than merely allowing them to interview you.

Keep these things in mind if the company specifically requests that you include your salary requirements in your cover letter. If you are not instructed or advised to do so however, you should avoid including salary information whenever possible. It is better to allow the company to make a genuine good faith offer and negotiate from there than it is to get a lower offer or overlooked for a potential position on the basis of salary constraints alone.
About the Author
Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For more information on cover letter salary requirement checkout his recommended websites.
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