How to write cover letter salary requirements + 6 examples – CV Plaza

How to write cover letter salary requirements + 6 examples

author Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert         date 25 Apr 2021

The meaning of salary requirements

For certain jobs, recruiters may request the applicants to disclose their salary requirements before attending the interview.

If you’re reading this article, the chances are that you have been asked by the employer to disclose your salary requirements or expectations on your cover letter. In asking this question, employers want to know for how much money you are willing to work for in this particular role that you are applying for.

A typical advertisement would state:

“Candidates interested in applying for this should send their CV, along with a covering letter including details of salary expectations.”


Talking about money may seem awkward at the best of times; however, employers want to find out about this information for legitimate reasons (see below). It is therefore advisable that you do disclose this information on your cover letter in a considered and diplomatic manner.

Should I disclose my desires salary this early in the recruitment process?

If there is no formal request from the prospective employer, you should never disclose anything about money or your desired wages this early in the hiring process. It is the quickest and fastest way to knock yourself out before even reaching the interview stage!

If, on the other hand, the advertisement specifically asks you to disclose your salary expectations then you should do so without hesitating. This is because employers want to see whether you can follow simple instructions. If you can’t follow their instructions now, what guarantee is there that you will follow their instructions once they hire you?

Why do recruiters ask me about my salary expectations?

Asking about your salary requirements allows the prospective employer to get a better idea of what you’d like to earn and how that will fit in with the role that is being advertised.

It is also a way for employers to minimise wasting their time, money and resources on interviewing candidates that they are unable to pay because of their high salary requirements.

It may be that you are under-or-over qualified for the position, and that will could potentially be deduced from your answer.

It is also an effective way of measuring your self-worth. If your expectation is too low, the recruiter might think you that don’t value yourself or that may not be able to properly function in the job.

In certain circumstances, however, this may work in your favour; particularly in a small company which is looking for ways to save money and recruit only those that do not require a high payout.

On the flip side, having a very high expectation means that you are either overqualified for the position, or that you are unrealistic about the scope of the advertised position.

It is, therefore, essential that you give a figure that is reasonable and balanced.

Your salary request is not a trivial matter that you can simply ignore, brush-off or disclose hastily. If you get it wrong, you risk either losing the job or being underpaid. Read on if you want to get it right!

How to write your salary requirements on your cover letter

Never give a single figure

Many applicants make the mistake of giving a single figure (e.g. £25,000) when asked about their desired earnings goal.

Narrowing down your earnings expectations to a single figure is never a good idea because it leaves you with no room for negotiation!

It also puts you in a very disadvantaged position because the employer will, undoubtedly, try to bring down your “minimum” offer even further.

Determine a salary range

Instead of giving a single figure and putting yourself in a disadvantaged position, you should give a range of how much you would like to earn.

It is never a good idea to determine a salary range based on your gut feeling, greed or desperation as you may come up with unrealistic or unreasonable figures.

For a more methodological and scientific approach, follow the following three steps to come to a suitable earnings range for your cover letter:

  • Step 1: Find out the average wage for the job that you’re applying for in that particular location (e.g. approximately £25,000).
  • Step 2: Based on the average salary of your findings (e.g. £25,000), establish a salary range of +/- 10% (e.g. £22,500 – £27,000).
  • Step 3: Slightly adjust this salary range (e.g. £22,500 – £27,000) depending on your income goals and worth in the job market, leaving some room for negotiation and flexibility (see examples below).

How to include your salary requirements on your cover letter

Examples of cover letter salary expectations


Salary Requirement Samples

Other recommended formats and wordings that you can use on your cover letter:

  • In response to your request, my salary requirement is somewhere between £30,000 and £40,000, depending on the job requirements and the benefits offered by [insert company name here].
  • My salary expectations are in the £40,000 – £50,000 range.
  • Low-to-mid £30K annually, plus additional benefits and bonuses.
  • Given my extensive experience in the Media Market, wages range of £29k – £36k per annum, depending on the scope and nature of the position and benefits offered.
  • My salary expectations are between £20,000 and £28,000. It is negotiable depending on the additional benefits offered.
Tip: Make your cover letter salary requirements a simple statement of not longer than one or two lines. You will have the opportunity to expand on this further during the interview stage.

Should I disclose my salary history?

Employers asking about your salary history are interested in knowing what you have been paid in your previous roles. They will use this information to determine a “suitable” wage for you.

Requests for the disclosure of previous’ job’s earnings is quite uncommon.

However, some employers still request this information:


In this scenario, you may not have much choice but to reveal your past salaries and be willing to fight your case during the interview stage if you feel that you are being offered less money than you are worth or deserve.


  • Do not mention anything about salaries on your CV.
  • Do not include your salary requirements on your cover letter if you have not been asked to do so by the employer. These things are better discussed face-to-face at the interview stage.
  • Do not make the same mistake as one unlucky candidate who wrote “the higher the better” when asked to disclose their salary requirements! Needless to say, they weren’t invited for a job interview.
  • Be flexible and reasonable if the employer insists that they can only pay you a certain amount which is still within the lower ends of your desired salary range. In many cases and for legitimate reasons, employers have a maximum limit on the amount that they are willing or able to pay.
  • Use different cover letter salary expectations for different individual jobs that you are applying for. Take a number of things into consideration, including the size of the employer, location and the job role.
  • Be confident and don’t undersell yourself. In the words of Rocky Balboa; “If you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth!”
    • Good luck!
Written by Sobhan Mohmand
Sobhan is a qualified Careers Advisor and Professional CV Writer with over 10 years of experience in helping job seekers get a job. He is a Member of the Careers Development Institute (CDI) and is listed on the official UK Register of Career Development Professionals. He holds a Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development (QCF).

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