"A friend of mine is looking for a new job. She has years of experience in the industry, great technical skills, wonderful contacts, and plenty to brag about. But like most of us, she's stymied when a job ad asks for a cover letter, 'complete with salary history and requirements.' A recent position opening added, 'The salary information is important! If you don't tell us what you want to be paid, we can't tell if we can hire you.'
"Personally, I've never found a good way to respond to those 'salary expectations' requirements. What have you done?
Comment by reader MGS:
"This can be a difficult question to answer and can have a variety of results such as:
- Not getting an interview (salary too high or too low).
- Getting a salary offer that is too low or that is lower than direct reports or others in the same type / level of a position.
- Getting a much higher salary
"I do not mind giving my salary expectations; in general I keep this somewhat generic: 'I expect to be paid in line with what others in a similar position and similar company are earning, adjusted for my experience, expertise, and educational level.' An acceptable salary also depends upon the expectations, so a $100k job working 40 hours per week is much better than a $100k job working 80 hours per week."