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How to Respond to the Cover Letter with Salary Requirement Request
At times, when advertising a position, a company may request that candidates submit their resume along with a cover letter with salary requirement. This is an interesting exercise, which is designed to extract the dreamers from the realists, and those with ambition from those who are so desperate for a job that they are willing to sell themselves off for a discount rate. More than that though, it is designed to see how you value things.
It works like this: almost no company wants to hire a lone ranger who is unwilling to commit to healthy working relationships with both fellow employees and the company itself. The very nature of teamwork requires a degree of selflessness on the part of everyone involved. At the same time, a vibrant, dynamic company (as all companies imagine themselves to be whether they are or not) can offer an employee a great deal more than merely a pay check every couple of weeks. If you are only in it for the money, you are missing that point, and it will cause some concern in the mind of the person reading your cover letter that you do not intend to view the position as a value to you other than that of paying the bills. † It is therefore revealing when a cover letter with salary requirement lands on a hiring manager's desk and the number falls significantly outside expectations.
More Cover Letter with Salary Requirement Considerations
That isn't to say however that it is always viewed negatively either. There are times when you may want to price yourself according to your own metric rather than that dictated by the marketplace, and as long as you can present a clear justification for the number you have placed on the table, you can still expect to be taken seriously. The only real warning where stating a salary requirement is concerned is that you must be careful not to price yourself too low. A lack of confidence in your abilities, or the remotest doubt on the part of the hiring manager that you are likely to be able to sustain a lifestyle on the number you have quoted will cause you to be rejected immediately. Nobody wants to hire someone that is going to be compelled to leave in a couple of months because they can't afford to live on what they are being paid.
Aim high, but do it artfully. Within your own cover letter with salary requirement, you should aim to include a number which matches the marketplace based on some research which can be relatively easily done, or you should aim to include one that is higher than the market demands, but with concrete reasons for that number. In other words, there are times when you know you can bring something extra to an organization, beyond the stated list of requirements, which you know can be genuinely valuable to them. By bringing that thing (or things) to their attention, you not only create a clear justification for your higher salary demand, you also make it known that you have thought of extra ways to help the company succeed and that you understand the value of those ways.
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