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Salary Requirements

Disclosing Salary Requirements and Salary History

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Many job postings ask you to include your salary history or your salary requirements when applying for the position. First of all, if the ad doesn't mention it, don't offer any salary information. If at all possible, you want the prospective employer to bring up the issue of compensation first.

Employers request salary information for various reasons. If your salary is too high, they can screen you out because they don't want to pay that much or because they think you won't be happy working for less money. If your current salary is lower than the company was planning to pay, they may offer you a lower salary.

Including Salary Requirements

If you are asked to include your salary history with your resume, you could ignore the request, but, that means you could risk not getting an interview. There is nothing employers like less than candidates who don't follow directions. An alternative would be to include a salary range rather than a specific amount. If you do include your salary history, be honest. It's easy for potential employers to verify your salary with previous employers.

Salary Requirements

When salary requirements are requested, you have a little more flexibility. One option is to state that your salary requirements are negotiable based upon the position and the overall total compensation package, including benefits. Another alternative is to include a range, based on the salary research you've done, i.e. my salary requirement is in the $35,000 - $45,000 range.

Either way, note that your salary requirements are flexible. That may help keep you in the running for the position and will give you some flexibility when negotiating compensation later on.

Stating a Salary Range

When stating a salary range, it's important to make make sure that the range is realistic. Do this by carefully researching what the position is worth. Use salary surveys to determine the average salary for the position you are interviewing for, or for a similar position if you can't find information on the exact job title you're looking for. When the position is in a different location, use salary calculators to factor in cost-of-living expenses and to estimate what you should be paid. There are a variety of salary surveys and calculators , including industry-specific and geographic resources, available online.

How to Provide Salary Information

What's the best way to provide salary information? Salary requirements can be included in your cover letter with sentences such as "My salary requirement is negotiable based upon the job responsibilities and the total compensation package." or "My salary requirement is in the $25,000 - $35,000+ range." A salary history can be listed on a separate salary history page and enclosed with your resume and cover letter.

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