Cover Letter With Salary Requirements Example

cover letter with salary requirements

When a job listing asks you to submit your cover letter with salary requirements contained within the letter, you might be wondering why? Or how do you do that? As a job seeker, it’s important that you read this writeup and learn the professional way to include salary expectations within cover letters.

Having salary requirements within the cover letter can save employers considerable time. Often, salary expectations are the deciding factor in what allows a company to hire or not hire a candidate.

It might not have anything to do with the candidate, but the issue is that the budget allocated for the job title might be too low in accordance to what certain candidates are expecting.

Asking early in the conversation, what salary expectations are, can save both the employer and job seeker a lot of difficulty by ensuring the fit of the person before interviews proceed.

When to Include Salary Requirements with a Cover Letter

Some job seekers feel it’s a great idea to include your salary as part of your cover letter even when the employer doesn’t ask for it. Don’t do that. You should only have salary expectations part of your cover letter when the employer asks.

The employer often asks through the online job listing. A note will be provided asking for you to include your expected salary range in your application. If this is the case, the cover letter is a great place to do it.

When You Might Get Asked About Salary

If you haven’t been asked to include your salary expectations in your cover letter, know that you will be asked about your expected salary at some point in the conversation that you’ll be having with your employer. But an unprompted way in your cover letter is not the right way to address the situation.

Your employer will ask you either during your prescreen phone call or after your interviews have been concluded. At which time you can provide them with your expected salary range.

How to Know What Salary Range You Should Pick

Before you propose a salary range, do research and understand what the national average salary is for the job title you’re applying for.

Often, job seekers will pick a salary range they prefer. Using their own guide to list a number. That’s incorrect. You should never include a number as part of your salary expectations that is by preference.

Use websites like PayScale and and search for your job title. Once you find it, each of these sites will list you national average salaries that have been collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

This is a great way to choose a salary range that makes sense for you. In addition, use your previous salary range and add 5% to 10% to the number, providing yourself a raise.

Never exceed 15% of your previous salary unless the position is a drastic change, as this could scare your future employer and show them that you don’t know what’s expected of the position (both in terms of compensation or duties).

Cover Letter Tips When Including Salary Expectations

When including salary expectations as part of your cover letter, keep some of these best practices in mind.

Mention your flexibility. It’s always nice to explain that you’re flexible with salary compensation and would be interested in learning more about company benefits.

Mention your knowledge of the U.S. national average. If you can, include the fact that you performed research and know what the national average salary range is for the job title you’re applying for.

Don’t put your expected salary range in the contact information or header of your cover letter. Keep your expected salary range towards the bottom of your cover letter. Don’t put it in the footer. But don’t put it anywhere towards the top of the page. It could distract too much from the message of your cover letter.

Cover Letter Example With Salary Requirements

Ian Smith
Registered Nurse

May 1st, 2013

Dear Mr. Johnson —

I’m applying for the position of Registered Nurse because I’ve always had a passion for nursing ever since I was a young child. I broke my foot during a baseball practice. And there was a nurse as part of the hospital staff that was very calming to me going through this trauma. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to become a nurse.

During my tenure as a previous Registered Nurse I was able to:

  • Treat more than 10,000 patients in Q2 of 2012.
  • Ensure the proper treatment of our patients and follow hospital protocol.
  • Ensure that all hospital staff was well informed of the patients I was treating by taking my time with note-taking and ensuring that all record-keeping was immaculate.
From your request for an expected salary, I have performed research based on the U.S. national average salary for this position and would expect somewhere in the $80,000 to $100,000 range. Though, I’m absolutely flexible with regard to salary and look forward to hearing more about your employee benefits.

I look forward to interviewing with you. If there is any information that you’d like to see that I didn’t include in my application, please feel free to contact me and I will return that to you as soon as possible.

Ian Smith
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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