Incorporating salary requirements into the cover letter

A friend of mine was applying for a position today, and the employer requested that the cover letter include a salary requirement. I’ve read before that a good negotiation strategy is to never be the first to throw out a firm number. You automatically give the other person the upper hand.

I found this sample paragraph from QuintCareers, though, and it seems to do a good job addressing the salary range while leaving room for negotiation.

Per your request, an acceptable salary range for this job, based on the description and my research, is $45,000-$50,000, not including benefits or supplements. My requirement is flexible and negotiable, depending on such factors as additional benefits, faster salary reviews, and increased advancement opportunities.

I like that it also outlines the terms on which you’re willing to negotiate. In this economy, it’s probably easier to negotiate for non-monetary compensation like flex time and extra vacation — things that don’t cost the company money on paper. What do others think? Is that a good approach to take?


2 responses to “Incorporating salary requirements into the cover letter

  1. Doesn’t seem fair when the employer requests your salary requirements up front. He’s asking you to show your cards before the game has even begun.

    I like the idea of giving a range. You can also add a line that says something like: “Of course, I’ll need to learn more about the responsibilities of this particular position at your company in order to give a more precise number. ”

    This way you are leaving the door open to negotiate down the road once you have all the facts in hand.

  2. tarheelsintransit

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Susan! I like the line you suggested — seems like it strikes a nice balance between giving the employer the number he/she asked for, but making it known you’d like to know more before fully committing. Thanks again!

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