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I've seen a few ads lately requesting a resume and salary requirements be sent.

What is the best way to format that? Include it in the cover letter? Back it with salary history?

I've never run into it before, but some of the positions my wife is looking at request them.

HMac's picture

If you HAVE to, then put it in the Cover letter.

Not a history - just a most recent comp amount (what I was making three jobs ago is irrelevant).

Lucht has some good language in his sample direct mail letters, along the lines of:

"While the opportunity at your company is what really interests me, you should know that my compensation for the last several years was $XXXX to $XXXX.."

-Hugh

asteriskrntt1's picture

HMac nailed it. It goes at the bottom of the covering letter before your final salutations.

Most people suggest putting in a range - pick what you want, then +- a certain number. So if you want a salary (or the market says someone like you should be making $100,000, you might want to put a range of +- 15%, giving you $85-115

Many companies use the salary as the sole screening tool... if you are out of their range, bye bye.

They also use it as a method of seeing how smart/saavy you are. If you say I am looking for $118,000, they will question your decision making and judgment.

*RNTT

lazerus's picture

I used the Lucht method, as describrd here by Hugh and *RNTT, but I actually wrote my salary REQUIREMENT. Which is what I need to pay my bills and buy food and clothing for the family. I have reason to believe this disqualified me for some positions (I asked for too much relative to the responsibilities of the position). But, if employers have to stretch to offer me a salary they are uncomfortable with, that can be too much stress on them and I don't want a job where the employer is constantly looking at me sideways, thinking "why is this guy costing me so much?" If you're not in their range, you're not in their range. The salary decision is probably more important to them than it is to you.

I found a position at far less than I require, but there is a growth upside.

Blah blah blah. Thanks for listening!

jhack's picture

You should have done enough research to know the standard range for the position in your industry. Your range should overlap with the market value for your skills.

It's not just about what you want or what you used to get.

John

tomw's picture

[quote="jhack"]You should have done enough research to know the standard range for the position in your industry. Your range should overlap with the market value for your skills.

It's not just about what you want or what you used to get.[/quote]

John, I'm not sure I understand what you're differentiating here. Are you saying to ignore what you need to survive ("requirements") and just use what the market range is?

jhack's picture

Of course you can't ignore your needs.

Knowing the market is important for at least three reasons:

1. If you've been overpaid (say you were paid 150K per year to code simple apps in VB) then you'll have trouble finding a comparable situation.
2. If you've been underpaid (40K to write C++ algorithms for hedge funds), you should earn a significantly higher income.
3. If you demonstrate that you don't know your own market value, it calls your professionalism into question.

My point is that your history or your desires aren't enough. You have to be realistic about the market.

For this kind of request (see first post) you don't need to tell them your salary or history - you need to tell them the range you're looking to earn. So give them a range that overlaps with your needs and the market.

John

PS: if your needs are so above the market that they don't overlap, you have other actions to take.

misstenacity's picture

John,
What are the best sources to research "your own market", both locally and nationally?

I'm betting that things like salary.com are pale comparisons to having a good network and being able to ask them directly...

jtlande's picture

One interesting and relatively new resource is glassdoor.com.

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="misstenacity"]What are the best sources to research "your own market", both locally and nationally?[/quote]

For the higher education market, the _Chronicle of Higher Education_, NACUBO, and AAUP all have reputable survey results on-line. If you do not have your own on-line subscription then talk to your college or university librarian.

The surveys report job title and salary ranges by doctoral, masters, BA, or AA schools.