How To Define Salary Requirements In Cover Letter

Getting a job is about many things. We all want to put our knowledge into practice, get self-realization, grow professionally, and just do what we love to earn a living. The question of money is always one of the priorities for both employers and job applicants. Indeed, we all have to work, and we get our skills and collect experiences to sell them properly. 

That’s why when we search for a new job, we pay utmost attention to the recompense information. Many vacancies postings provide such data together with the information of other compensation means. We consider it when evaluating different vacancies. Other companies provide general phrases like “a decent compensation” and leave the rest of the details for personal communication. However, the question of money arises inevitably. One of the methods is to provide the salary requirements in the cover letter. 

Is it always necessary? And how should you define the amount, and how to shape your salary demands appropriately? These are essential concerns of all job seekers. So, we’ve prepared this article to clarify all the vague moments and equip you with the actual code for dealing with this issue.

How to Put Salary Requirements in Cover Letter – Understand the Logic

First, let’s consider why the companies ask the candidates to let them know about their wages requirements right at the start. It is clear what guides the companies when they provide the pay range in the vacancies – they filter candidates at that stage. Still, many other employers leave it to the candidates. 

The reasons are the same: to filter some candidates who would certainly not match, and get some information about those who applied. Even the fact that you reply to a vacancy posting and inform about the desirable wages makes great analysis material. 

The first reason why the potential employer wants you to tell about your payroll expectation is to understand if the company budget would allow it. A company opens a vacancy with certain terms to the applicants’ qualifications. They also analyze the salary range they can afford to pay. Thus, their request to provide your salary expectations has several goals: 

  • Check if they can pay such a salary to you;
  • Consider if your claims match your level;
  • Consider your motivation. 

The first two concerns are logical and quite obvious. Any experienced HR specialist would estimate the candidate’s level, defined in a cover letter and a resume. They define whether the recompense requirements are justifiable. However, there are cases when the claims seem lower for the qualification. There can be different reasons for that. 

For instance, an applicant did not research the question properly and did not value their skills appropriately. It might signal that the candidate would not be the best match. Or, they would want to get that job for other reasons like self-realization or additional benefits that would compensate for the lower fees.

This issue is crucial, and you should consider it carefully when you decide to apply for a job.

Encourage the Employer to Set Good Salary

Employers always seek the opportunity to save money and pay less. On the other hand, they get suspicious when they receive applications claiming that candidates would agree to lower wages. Here is the first rule: reason your every statement.

One more thing is the growing significance of soft skills. If hiring managers get interested in your application, they examine the information thoroughly. They will always analyze the soft skills level. It does not relate to the features listed in your cover letter and CV only. What you write in a cover letter and how you write it tells much more.

The payroll demands in your cover letter (or sent via the dedicated field of the application form on the website) make high-quality “food for thought” for hiring people.

It lets them know how you evaluate your competence. It comes as a sum of many factors. So, if you value your qualification and soft skills reasonably, you understand your capabilities properly. It suggests that you’ll use them at full capacity to do yourself justice. Also, it is crucial if your job duties would include team leading. When you know what each skill is worth, you can evaluate your subordinates’ work better. 

How to Estimate Your Reasonable Salary Value

So, assume that you have just noticed a job posting that interested you. You match its demands, and you are ready to send your resume. However, you need to present your wage requirements in your cover letter. You can’t ignore this demand. As it is specified in a vacancy posting, the company expects to get this information from you.

If you aren’t sure which amount would be right and reasonable, you need to research this issue. Assume that you’ve googled it and got a range. Now, you need to define if you target towards the top or the bottom of that range.

Several components impact the pay. You need to consider them all:

  • Relevant job experience. Many companies state it mandatory to work in a similar position for several years to apply for the vacancy. If it is your case, the more experience you have, the higher salary you can expect;
  • Career expectations. If you apply for a higher position than you had, you will naturally expect higher pay. Here, it is critical to present your previous career achievements;
  • Skills in demand. The job posting lists the skills wanted and specifies the most crucial of them. Having such demanded skills and relevant practical experience will raise the pay expectations;
  • Education level. When you are a Ph.D. holder in a relevant area, it is also a reason to request a higher payroll. Still, it depends on the particular vacancy if it lists having a degree as a must;
  • Certifications. Certain business fields demand certain industry certifications. Others mention them under the “will be a plus” section. Depending on it, you consider if having or absence of such documents might impact your salary conditions;
  • Location. Wages depend on local living costs. If you apply for a position in a large city, you may expect higher numbers. Provincial towns would hardly offer such amounts.

Define all such points for yourself. There are online resources where you can estimate the average wages for the chosen field and your conditions. Thus, you get the initial number to consider in regards to the particular job.

Get Familiar With the Salary Requirements Samples to Master the Format

One of the most efficient approaches to learning any new knowledge is learning by example. On the website, you will find many ready samples of cover letters. Among them, you will note those having the salary requirements examples. 

After analyzing hundreds of similar documents with such claims, we can define the pattern. If the employer wants the payroll requirements in your cover letter, make sure to meet the following criteria:

  • Define the range of pay. You’ve researched the approximate amount of money you may expect, but it most likely won’t be the final price of your work. However, you need to know how much would suit you, and which wages would be unacceptable. It does not mean that you have to expose your real “lower limits” in this cover letter, though. You might overstate them and then negotiate. 
  • Specify realistic amounts. There is no crime in being ambitious and providing higher wage requirements. Still, the upper limit should match the “average top” for this job under your conditions and with all factors counted;
  • Substantiate your claims. As you see in the salary requirements samples in cover letters, the candidates put them at the end of the application. The cover letter’s general structure suggests that you explain your background, experience, and motivation to apply for the job in that document. Thus, after exposing your “aces,” you state the desirable compensation value based on that grounds; 
  • Note that you’re open to negotiations. First, it shows you like a flexible person who can defend their decisions, but be open for reasons. It is helpful to mention that your position on the final pay numbers may depend on the overall “package” – other benefits besides the money only. Such a remark also states that you’ve got familiar with the company’s compensation programs. Thus, you’re engaged and motivated.

There are standard “templates” for specifying the wage claims in a cover letter. You need to be concise – the patterns consist of 1-3 sentences. There, you have to fit the necessary elements we’ve just discussed: how much you’d want, how you ground it and stress that it is negotiable.

Examples of Salary Requirements

“I would like to secure my salary requirement in the range of $50,000–$60,000, as it is the average in our industry for my level of professionalism and experience.” 

“As per your request, I’d like to state my salary requirements at $75,000 (negotiable). This amount matches my qualification, my previous experience, and education. My expectations are flexible, and I am ready to discuss the wages in the context of the overall compensation opportunities and benefits that the company provides.” 

As you see, the first example is shorter, and it provides basic info only. The second one is more detailed. It stresses the candidate’s advantages once more and invites the potential employer to negotiate. Still, both variants are suitable. Which pattern you’d choose will depend on the particular job position. 

Make Use of the Salary Request Letters for Your Benefit

What to do if the posting did not include the request to let you know about your recompense expectations? Then, don’t mention money in your cover letter at all. It means that the employer would like to postpone the question discussion for the personal interview.

Still, though you don’t need to compose the salary request letters at that stage, you should determine your expectations for yourself. When the question arises during the interview, be ready to express the desired values. You will need to be both polite and confident and be able to justify your statement. Besides making this issue definite, it also works in your favor as a person understanding and valuing professionalism.

The interview is the “territory” where everything depends on you. Your skills, talents, and practical experience in negotiations will define if you get the job and how much you’ll earn there. Of course, nobody can pass the interview for you, but we’ll be happy to assist you in other aspects.

We can help you to prepare the application, adjust it to the vacancy in the best way, and polish it to perfection. With a perfect job application, your chances to get to the interview increase significantly. In any case, contact us if you need help with your cover letter, and make use of our service!

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