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When & How to Include Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter

When & How to Include Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter

Addressing salary expectations in a cover letter is tough. Get it right and maximize your earning potential with these examples and tips.

Jacques Buffett
Jacques Buffett
Career Expert

“Include salary requirements in your cover letter.”

 

Ouch.

 

As if crafting a cover letter wasn’t hard enough. 

 

The danger here?

 

Go too high and you price yourself out of an interview. 

 

Go too low and you cheat yourself out of what you deserve.

 

Relax. 

 

In a moment you’ll learn how to state salary requirements in a cover letter and secure the job you want and the pay you deserve.

 

Read on for top tips to get money in the bank.

 

This guide will show you:

  • How and when to include salary requirements in a cover letter.
  • How to calculate your desired income.
  • How to word salary requirements in a cover letter. 
  • An example of income expectations in job application documents.

 

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.

 

sample resume and cover letter set

Sample Cover Letter for a Resume—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.

  

Were you looking for general guidance on how to negotiate a salary? See our guide: How to Negotiate a Salary: 30+ Tips and Examples

 

Want to know how to write the perfect cover letter? Check: How to Write a Cover Letter: 10+ Examples, Tips & Templates to Use 

 

1​

How to Include Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter

 

Add salary requirements to your cover letter using sentences such as "My salary expectation is flexible depending upon the overall compensation package and additional benefits such as opportunities for advancement.," or "Per your request, given my qualifications and achievements, my salary requirement is $60,000 (negotiable)."

 

But—

 

Do it only when you are asked to.

 

Mentioning your desired compensation without being asked is not a safe move. Only mention it if the job description requires it.

 

And if you feel you can beat around the bush and avoid the issue— don’t.

 

If you can’t follow instructions as an applicant then you sure as hell won’t follow them as an employee.

 

End result? Application rejected. 

 

So better to come up with a figure and do it right. Read on to learn how.

Pro Tip: When putting salary requirements in your cover letter, make sure it doesn’t get too long. Check what the right cover letter length is in our dedicated guide. 

2

How to Calculate Your Desired Salary

 

Three words, research, research, research.

 

The amount you state has to be well reasoned. You can’t just put a million bucks and hope for the best.

 

But don’t sweat it, there are lots of tools out there to do the work for you.

 

Use sites like Salary.com, PayScale, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Glassdoor to get an idea of what the job might pay.

 

Your research is likely to yield a salary range, let’s say $50,000-$70,000.

 

Use the high end as your salary desired, followed by “(flexible)” or “(negotiable).” 

 

Sure—the proposition is confident, you might even say aggressive.

 

But it’s based on hard facts, too. 

 

Targeting the top end creates a “high anchor” that directs attention to your positive qualities.

 

It pulls the negotiation towards that figure through the entire bargaining process.

 

End result, money in the bank.

Pro Tip: When using salary calculators such as PayScale enter as much information as possible to ensure an accurate estimate.

3

How Do You Word Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter

 

Let’s assume you’re looking at a job opening for an Office Manager.

 

Let’s also assume that the city this job offers a salary range of $45,000-$60,000.

 

Here’s a real example cover letter with salary requirements:

 

Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter—Example

 

Margaret Sampson

1191 Barfield Lane

Indianapolis, IN 46204

 

September 9, 2019

 

Julia Jimenez

Hiring Manager

Softplatinum LLC

8520 Allison Pointe Blvd 

Indianapolis, IN 46250-4299

 

Dear Julia,

 

As an office manager with 10+ years experience and looking to step my career up to the next level, I was thrilled to see your advertisement for Office Manager. I have extensive experience in ensuring the smooth running of a medium-sized office and supervising a team of 5 administrative staff. Along with day-to-day administrative duties I have acted as support the HR team by maintaining up-to-date personnel records and holding responsibility for organizing and scheduling interviews. I would be delighted to have the opportunity to bring my extensive experience to Softplatinum and contribute to the efficient management of your office.

 

Throughout my professional experience, I have developed extensive skills in managing office budgets, being lead point of contact with suppliers, organizing company integration events and directly managing a team of administrative assistants. I have also been responsible for implementing and enforcing workplace health and safety procedures and I am OSHA trained. 

 

A few of my wins at my most recent employer, Cranston Associates, include:

  • Renegotiated initial tender for office furniture refit with new supplier resulting in a 20% cost saving.
  • Consolidated two legacy employee databases with new system resulting in a 30% reduction in workflow time for employee-related admin, including payroll administration.
  • Implemented latest standards in workstation health and safety leading to a 70% boost in employee comfort and wellbeing metrics as expressed in their monthly OfficeVibe survey results. 

 

As this selection of achievements demonstrates, I believe in taking the initiative to improve workflow, well-being and make savings for the entire business. I will bring that same sense of ownership, drive, and passion to the office manager role at Softplatinum

 

I’d love the opportunity to meet you to learn more about Softplatinum’s future direction and to discuss how my professional experience will contribute to your success and growth. 

 

Per your request, given my qualifications and achievements, my salary requirement is $60,000 (negotiable). My salary expectation is flexible depending upon the overall compensation package and additional benefits such as opportunities for advancement. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Margaret Sampson

 

See that. 

 

This example cover letter aims for the high end of the salary range and clearly states the candidate is flexible. They're on the way to getting the best rate of pay possible.

 

Want to see cover letter examples for different careers? See: Cover Letter Examples for Every Profession

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

 

Key Takeaway

 

How to mention salary requirements in a cover letter is easy once you’ve unlocked the secret.

 

Let’s summarize.

 

Here’s how to put salary requirements in a cover letter:

  • If they don’t ask then don’t tell!
  • Thoroughly research your desired rate of pay.
  • Aim high with an aggressive initial offer.
  • Always state your compensation requirements are flexible or negotiable.

 

Now get out there and get the best paid job you can.

 

Have any questions on how to put salary requirements in a cover letter? Need help finding the right wording for your income expectations? Let’s chat below in the comments and thanks for reading!

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Jacques Buffett
Jacques Buffett
Jacques is a career expert committed to delivering top-notch job hunting advice. His guides will empower you to craft winning resumes and cover letters.

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