How To Handle The Sample Cover Letter and Salary Requirement Request?


© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Cover Letter Creator"


Even though many job postings ask for a sample cover letter and salary requirement, if possible you want to avoid giving salary requirements until you absolutely have to.

The fact is, the company that is hiring already has a range of what they are willing to pay. When they ask for your cover letter and salary requirement, there are three things that can happen, and two of them are bad.

When The Sample Cover Letter With Salary Requirement Hurts You

In one sample, a cover letter and salary requirement might express a willingness to work for a salary below the range that the company is prepared to pay. In this instance, the company might become suspicious of why you are willing to work for such a low figure. Is it because you are desperate and cannot get hired anywhere else? Do you have something in your work history that has kept you from making the industry standard? In such cases, the hiring manager may be spooked away from giving you a full and fair consideration

Alternatively, they may decide that you represent a chance to get an employee at below the going rate. If that happens, congratulations, you got the job. But you might be a little disappointed later when you discover that all your coworkers are earning significantly more than you are. Additionally, you might find that the job requires considerably more work and hours than you had anticipated and even feel like you have been taken advantage of.

On the other sample, a cover letter and salary requirement might have you stating a salary that is higher than the company is prepared to pay someone in your position. In that case, you will most likely be discarded from the interview pile before you even get a chance to consider if you would accept a lower offer.

Of Course, Sometimes Everything Works Out Fine

In the best sample of a cover letter and salary requirement working out perfectly, your salary requirements are right in line with what the company is prepared to spend. In that case, you will be considered for the job without the salary issue hurting your chances.

That being said, when a job advertisement requests a cover letter and salary requirement, you should probably comply, though a simple "Salary Requirements: Available on request" might let you put off the issue until later. If you do decide to put down your salary requirements, the best policy is to just be honest.

If You Aren't Sure, Ask Around

If you aren't sure what you should ask for, do some research. There are plenty of online resources that can tell you what various jobs are paying in different parts of the county. Additionally, you can do a little asking around among friends, family and the good old fashioned "informational interview" to get a ballpark figure about what you should be able to command in the marketplace. Once you do the research of what similar jobs in your geographical area are paying, put those down on your sample cover letter and salary requirement.

Second guessing and trying to put a higher or lower number to manipulate the employer very rarely, if ever, works out to the candidate's advantage.

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