Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert 25 Apr 2021
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
Other recommended formats and wordings that you can use on your cover letter:
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.