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Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter | Free Samples

A well-written cover letter should create a positive impression of the job applicant. However, including the perfect salary requirements in a cover letter is often a difficult task to carry out regardless of how much experience one has as a writer. Therefore it is one of the most hectic parts of writing a cover letter when the employer requires the job seeker to include their salary requirements in it due to the sensitive nature of salaries.

The applicant feels that a very high salary requirement may deny them a chance to secure the job, while a very low salary range may create doubts about their competence at work. But this article will help clear out the path in the process of including a salary requirement in a cover letter.

When are Salary Requirements Included

It is recommended that a job applicant should avoid indicating their salary expectation when writing a cover letter unless the employer requires the applicants to provide their salary requirements.

Mentioned below are some instances when a job applicant may include their salary requirements:

If the employer asks you to do so

A job applicant should include their salary requirements when requested to do so. Failure to observe this may lead to automatic disqualification for not observing the given instructions.

If the law allows the employer to ask for it

Some states prohibit employers from asking for salary requirements from prospective employees. If your state does not prohibit employers from asking for this information, you may go ahead and include a sensible salary range in your cover letter as a job applicant.

Tip: One may use an online salary calculator in order to come up with a sensible salary requirement range. This will help to avoid guesswork when sharing your requirement. Online salary calculators can be found on various websites.

Factors that May Influence an Employee’s Salary

There are a few proper and appropriate factors that may influence an employee or applicant’s salary or salary requirements in a cover letter.

The following are some of the factors that a job applicant should consider when calculating their salary requirement for a cover letter:

Education level

More education translates to more valuable skills. For this reason, an individual’s education level can be used to determine their pay.

For example:

A master’s degree holder expects a higher salary than a bachelor’s degree holder.

Even though the salary level often depends on job requirements and the employer’s budget, it is essential for job applicants to consider their education level before quoting their salary requirements.

Experience and skills

Professional skills and experience are key elements that employers consider when determining the amount of salary to offer their employees. For this reason, job applicants should gauge their skills, experience, and competence when deciding the salary requirement to quote in a cover letter.

For example:

An expert-level person may quote higher salary requirements, while a semi-skilled person may quote lower salary requirements.

Conduct industry research

Different industries have different remuneration structures for each job position.

For example:

In the healthcare industry, nurses receive varying amounts of salary due to factors such as their education level, the environment they work in, their working experience, etc.

Therefore, job applicants should conduct deep research of the industry they are aspiring to start working in and consider the factors that would influence the amount of salary so that they can require an amount that would be acceptable by the employer.


The firm’s location often influences employee remuneration due to the varying costs of living in different areas.

For example:

In many cases, firms in urban areas offer higher salaries than those in rural areas.

It is, therefore, wise to consider the remuneration levels offered for a given position in a specific location.

Cost-of-living expenses

Living expenses include rent, electricity bills, water bills, gas and motor vehicle fuel expenses, etc. Average monthly expenses should help job applicants determine how much they need to earn to cater to their expenses and live a comfortable life.

The desirability of your skills

In-demand skills are likely to attract higher remuneration levels.

For example:

If you are fluent in almost all the major languages spoken in every region where an organization operates, in that case, you will most likely have a higher salary requirement than someone who can only speak one major language.

Therefore, a job applicant should assess whether their skills are in high demand before quoting their salary requirement.

Career level

The career levels are classified as entry-level, intermediate level, mid-level, and senior-level, and they all attract varying amounts of salaries. This classification is based on an individual’s background and job experience in a specific industry.

Therefore, a job applicant should check the career level required by the employer and then quote a salary requirement that aligns with his/her career level.

Professional certifications and licenses

These show that an individual has knowledge, experience, skills, and authority to perform a specific job in which they have been trained. An applicant who holds certifications and a license to perform a given task is likely to quote a higher salary requirement than a person with none. Therefore, a job applicant should consider this factor when including a salary requirement in a cover letter.

Some examples of professional certifications and licenses include:

Industry-wide certifications, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and occupational licenses such as a nursing license.

Tips for Including Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter

Job applicants usually find it difficult to specify their salary requirements. However, there are ways to include salary requirements in a cover letter without exceeding the employer’s budget or undervaluing yourself.

Mentioned below are some ways that job applicants can use to list their salary requirements in a cover letter:

Stating a salary range instead of a fixed figure

A salary range gives both the employer and the job seeker some flexibility, unlike an absolute figure.

For example:

A very high salary requirement may block the job applicant from qualifying for the interviewing stage, while a very low quote may create doubts about the applicant’s competence at work.

For example:

The applicant may quote a monthly salary of $15000-$20000.With such a salary range, the employer will have a chance to offer an amount they feel affordable with, as long as their offer falls within the range.

State that your salary requirements are negotiable

You may inform your prospective employer that you are open for salary negotiations during or after the interview. The negotiations may be based on factors such as the overall compensation package and other benefits associated with the employment.

This allows an applicant to negotiate the salary matters with the employer, usually during an interview. This can be stated when a job applicant has given a fixed or a range of salary requirements. It helps to ensure that your application is not tossed out of the application pool, and you may secure a chance to be invited for an interview.

For example:

A job applicant may state that he/she can accept a low salary if other benefits such as paid off time, extra pay for overtime hours, bonuses, career advancements opportunities, etc., are offered.
A job applicant may state that he/she needs a salary of $25000, but any offer which is slightly above or below the stated figure is acceptable.

Answering the salary question indirectly

When it’s tough to acquire credible and up-to-date information about how much the organization pays employees in the position you’re applying for, this approach comes in handy. In such an instance, you may choose to give an indirect answer that complies with the question without sounding unprofessional.

An example of an indirect salary requirement quote would be:

“I’m not ready to talk about my salary requirements just yet, although it is a critical aspect in the hiring process.  I’m seeking to concentrate on providing additional information that would strengthen my application for this position and talk about my salary requirements later if you believe that my qualifications are a good fit for the job”.

Free Templates

Following are some free downloadable templates for you:






    A job applicant may include their salary requirements in a cover letter when requested to do so or when the law does not prohibit the same. The process of including the salary requirements in a cover letter should be preceded by determining the various factors that influence an employee’s salary and assessing how they are likely to directly influence the involved applicant’s salary requirements.
    The tips discussed in this article will help you succeed in the process of including salary requirements in a cover letter and getting your dream job.

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