Salary requirements & expected salary range

Salary requirements in a cover letter, job application and resume. Also, answers to questions about expected salary range on application forms and at interviews. 

Salary requirements and expected salary range

  • Don’t mention your salary requirements in your job application, cover letter or resume.
  • Don’t provide a salary range. Because if you provide a range, the employer will most likely offer you a salary at the low end of your range.
  • Stay ahead of other job applicants by reading the full article below for vital information, details, tips and examples. 
  • See the samples of answers to what is your expected remuneration, in an email.
  • Also, answers to desired pay question on application forms and at job interviews.
  • Avoid answering annual compensation at the application stage and at the initial interview.

Answers to the salary expectations question on application forms and at job interviews

  • Research the market as soon as you start job searching. But delay responding to desired remuneration as long as possible.
  • You will most likely be asked for your required annual salary or hourly rate expectations.
  • It is best not to provide your compensation expectations, even though employers ask for this on online applications and at interviews.
  • It is much easier to start with higher pay than to start with low pay and then assume a quick pay raise. Because it is not easy to receive a high pay raise shortly after starting.
  • If you do not negotiate, you could lose more than $420,000. Because $9,000 at the start of your career may not be much. However, it adds up over the course of your career.
  • And be prepared to negotiate your annual or hourly rate, before you start applying. Because if you indicate a low annual remuneration or hourly rate on your online application, it would be very difficult to ask for more once the company makes you an employment offer. This is explained in detail below.
  • If you have 2 employment offers, it is usually much easier to negotiate. Then you can decide which offer suites you best. Avoid going back and forth more than a couple of times, so you do not end up with no offers.

My clients ask for assistance with the following:

  • Should I write my salary requirements range in a cover letter, resume, application form or email.
  • I accepted an employment offer last week and already agreed on a starting date. Today, I was offered a higher offer from another company. Can I go back to the first company and ask for more?
  • What are the best methods to ask for a raise as a woman.
  • Can I ask for more pay, even though the company offered me more than what I asked for at the interview?
  • Can a resume be detected by recruiters and managers if it were prepared with the help of ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence software?
  • I want to ask for higher remuneration, but I have never asked or negotiated before.
  • Is it better to provide a pay range or an exact higher figure?
  • I have been asked if the company increases their unconditional offer, would I accept it immediately. I am not sure what to do, as another global company is making me an offer next week.
  • Why do women need to be more assertive when negotiating compensation?
  • My immediate manager won’t agree to giving me a pay raise. Can I complain to HR or to the CEO?

Should I specify my salary requirements range in a cover letter, CV, resume or application form?

  • No. Don’t mention salary information anywhere. If asked, indicate that your expectations are negotiable.
  • Focus on making your resume stand out. This would help to get selected and also to justify a higher remuneration after you receive the employment offer.

Answering what is your expected salary range

  • Try to delay answering desired remuneration until you have an offer.
  • But if the employer insists, it is best to give a specific higher figure, instead of a range.
  • If you give a range, the employer will most likely make you an offer on the low end of the range.

Expected salary answers and examples

  • If you ask for less than their budget, you may miss out on higher remuneration.
  • And if you ask for more than their budget, they may eliminate you before they get to know what you have to offer.

When asked, you can say something like:

  • I am happy to negotiate.
  • Or I am sure we will agree on the remuneration.

Is the expected salary question only for managers?

  • No. This anticipated remuneration question is applicable to all levels. Including CEOs, CFOs, senior managers and engineers. Also, executives, auditors, machine learning managers, analysts, data scientists. AI professionals, teachers, tellers and buyers. In addition to childcare educators, planners, sales reps, accountants, university students and entry level positions.
  • Also, it is applicable to all industries and applicable to women and men.

Let me work with you to negotiate terms of contract and counteroffer.

When is the best time to respond to the salary requirements question?

  • On online job applications, they ask what your desired pay is. Try to avoid giving a figure.
  • At the interview, the question of desired remuneration usually comes up. Indicate that you are happy to negotiate. This is also asked at face-to-face interviews. In addition to virtual interviews, video interviews and phone interviews. Also see my virtual interview tips, as virtual interviews and video interviews are more common now. 
  • Let the employer decide to hire you first. As you will be in a better position to negotiate. Then discuss annual package or hourly rate.
  • If you mention your desired pay at the initial stage, they may eliminate you before knowing more about your value. So let them know more about your achievements and the value you would bring.
  • However, the employer may ask you a second time and a third time, at the same interview. So, prepare for these questions ahead of time, depending on your personal circumstances
  • Negotiate after you receive the employment offer. So, these are the reasons it is best to delay answering questions about your desired annual pay or hourly rate.
  • So always negotiate after they offer you the job. But before you accept the offer. Be serious in your moves.

Assisting clients worldwide, with my coaching services

This article was updated on 8 May 2024. 

Ask me any questions about anticipated salary requirements, why not to provide an expected salary range and how to answer this question on application forms, cover letters, emails and at job interviews.

KMD-Solutions is based in Sydney, NSW, Australia.