By Heather R. Huhman
Have you ever run across a job posting that asked you to include your "salary requirements" or "salary history"? This can be a difficult subject to approach during your job hunt, particularly if you had a high salary at your last position or have no salary history whatsoever.
For job openings that don't ask for salary requirements, do not offer them. If it's possible, you always want the employer to bring up a salary range before you do. This alleviates the potential of overshooting (or undershooting) the salary they had in mind for the position.
However, for those openings that do require this information, here's how you can calculate your salary requirement:
Research what the position is worth. Resources such as Glassdoor.com offer a look into real people's salaries based on different positions, industries and companies. Type in the job title or company to learn more about what others have made at the same or similar positions.
Use salary calculators. These often factor in cost-of-living expenses in addition to the typical salary for similar positions in your area. While the number may not be exact since everyone has a different amount of experience and expertise, it can give you a rough idea of the range you should consider.
Provide a range. Think about the absolute minimum you would like to make at this new job based on your living expenses, commuting costs, etc. This lower number should be the bottom of your range. For example, if $30,000 is the lowest you would like to go, state in your cover letter the following: "My salary requirement is in the $30,000 – 40,000+ range." You could also say that it's negotiable based upon the responsibilities and total compensation package.
You could also state that your salary requirements are flexible and offer a range based on your experience, previous salary, and overall compensation package.
Have you ever had to provide salary requirements for a job opening? What were the best resources to figure out a suitable range?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.