Cover Letter Detailing Salary History Request

Cover Letter Example With Salary Requirements

When and How to Mention Compensation in a Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter can be difficult, especially when you are asked to include information that you think could affect your chances of getting an interview. Some employers ask applicants to include a salary requirement in a cover letter, which can feel awkward or uncomfortable. However, there are ways to include this information without hurting your chances of getting a job.

Here are tips on when and how to include a salary requirement in a cover letter, as well as an example of a cover letter that lists a salary requirement.

Also see below for more cover letter samples, and tips for emailing a cover letter and resume.

When to Include Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter

If a job application does not require you to include salary information (such as your salary history, a salary requirement, or a salary range), do not do so. If you request too high of a salary, the employer might not even look at your application. On the other hand, if you request too low of a salary, they might offer you less than you are worth. In some locations, employers cannot legally ask about your prior earnings.

However, if the job posting or application states that you must include a salary requirement, be sure to do so if you are not in a location where employers are prohibited from asking. It's important to follow directions and provide all the information the employer requests. Otherwise, you risk being tossed out of the application pool.

Options for Including Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter

If the employer does not give specific instructions on how to include salary requirements, you have a couple of options to consider.

Include a Salary Range
One way to include salary requirements in a cover letter is to list a salary range. This gives you and the employer some flexibility.

Make sure your salary range is realistic. Research what the position is worth by using salary surveys and salary calculators.

Salary Requirements are Negotiable
You can also state that your salary requirements are negotiable based on the position and the overall compensation package, including benefits.

State That You're Flexible
No matter what, make sure you emphasize that your salary requirements are flexible. This will help keep you in the running and also give you options when negotiating salary later on.

Cover Letter Example with a Salary Requirement / Range

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Hiring Manager
Company Name
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Hiring Manager:

I'm writing to express my strong interest in the Web Design Specialist position listed on Craigslist.

I have experience designing consumer-focused health-based websites. While much of my experience has been in the business world, I understand the social value of the non-profit sector.

My responsibilities have included the design and development of the site's editorial voice and style, and the daily content programming and production of the website. I worked closely with health care professionals and medical editors to help them provide the best possible information to a consumer audience of patients and health care professionals.

Experience has taught me how to build strong relationships with all departments at an organization. I have the ability to work within a team as well as cross-team.

I can work with web engineers to resolve technical issues and implement technical enhancements, work with the development department to implement design and functional enhancements, and monitor site statistics and conduct search engine optimization.

My salary requirement is in the $70,000 - $80,000 range. However, my salary is negotiable based on the overall compensation package.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.

Signature (hard copy letter)

FirstName LastName

Sending an Email Cover Letter

If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message.

Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information. Start your email message with the salutation.

More Sample Cover Letters
Cover letter samples and templates for a variety of career fields and employment levels, including entry-level, targeted and email cover letters for many different jobs.

More About Salary: Salary Negotiation Strategies | Salary Negotiation Tips | How to Answer Interview Questions About Your Salary Expectations

Cover Letters With A Salary Requirement or Salary History

Sometimes job classified advertisements will request you disclose your salary history or salary requirement when submitting your resume.  If an employer requests that you include a salary requirement or salary history, do so in your cover letter, unless the ad specifically instructed you to include it on your resume or somewhere else.  Insert a paragraph on your cover letter just before your closing paragraph that discusses your salary history or salary requirement. 

Salary History:  A salary history is just that -- a history of your ending salaries at every job you have ever worked (or the jobs you've held the past 10 or 15 years). When a prospective employer requests a salary history, he is attempting to put himself in a better bargaining position when negotiating your salary and to weed out those who earn too much or too little.

Salary Requirement: A salary requirement is the salary you expect to be offered excluding benefits, bonuses and such.  In order to negotiate effectively, you should visit which offers information on what people earn in all regions of the country in hundreds of professions.  A sample cover letter with a salary history is below.

You should try to avoid disclosing salary in your cover letter if at all possible.  Unfortunately, by doing so, you risk being overlooked for certain positions.  Of course, if your salary history / requirement is in line with what the prospective employer offers, then there is no reason to avoid this topic as your salary is compatible with their compensation package.

Career experts are divided as to whether or not you should apply for a position without submitting a salary history or salary requirement when one has been requested.  Some experts say that applicants who are really qualified can get away with ignoring the request; others say that your resume will be trashed if you do not send a salary history / requirement.  A recent survey of HR professionals found that the overwhelming majority of them would not dismiss a candidate for failure to comply with the request for salary information. 

Of course, you should never offer a salary history or state a salary requirement unless it is requested or you are networking with a search firm or personal contact.   Otherwise, try to avoid the topic until the job interview or after you have been offered the job. 

Cover Letters With A Salary Requirement or Salary History

Examples  (Insert this paragraph just before your last paragraph on your cover letter):

Sample 1:  As you requested, I am disclosing the minimum annual salary I would require to accept employment with your firm. This amount is $____ per month excluding benefits.  This amount is based on thorough research I conducted on the Internet, particularly at, and takes into consideration my lengthy employment history in the ______ field and the cost of living in the San Francisco area.

Sample 2:  Your advertisement requested that I disclose my salary history.  My beginning and ending salaries are provided below and exclude the value of health insurance and other benefits:

Acme Industries01/2004 to 01/2014           $42K                     $99K
NNN Company  02/1996 to 01/1998           $16K                     $22K

(Note that it is not necessary to disclose a complete salary history.  Providing your salary history for the last 10 to 15 years is sufficient.)

Sample 3:  As to my salary requirement, I am completely open to negotiation on the subject and will be prepared to discuss this with you in more detail if I am given the opportunity to interview for this position.

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