It’s generally considered not good to directly mention salary expectations in the cover letter itself, especially if it’s not requested. May be the employer is interested to offer an even higher salary? Or he might have some predetermined salary in mind? So, it’s a good idea to let them show their cards first, and perform some online research to know standard salaries related to your job profile. It’s always helpful to know the competitive range of salary for the opportunity in hand, to negotiate or mention salary expectations.
It’s always good to have an idea about your worth and why you deserve that much. It’s your right to specify a salary range you are willing to accept in order to get satisfaction from the job you are applying for. However, according to the experts these requirements or any previous package should not be mentioned in the cover letter, until the prospective employer asks for it. So, be sure that it’s desired.
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Job seekers often become uncomfortable with the idea of salary negotiation, but it’s worth the effort. It pays off to politely and articulately negotiate your salary, because it’s going to be extremely fruitful in your forthcoming years. However, the best time to negotiate is when you get the job offer and not before it. That’s reason many HR specialists consider it to be foolish to mention the requirement in the cover letter. So, it’s foolish both ways; if an employer is not interested in taking you and also if the employer thinks that you deserve more than the range you have mentioned.
Though, generally the organizations are interested to know your salary history or existing package in order to shortlist you as per their hiring budget. So, the existing package can be mentioned in the cover letter. But, here is a word of caution; you should mention it only if you are expecting a normal increment of 20-30% over your current package. But, if you have acquired additional skills and experience and you think you deserve more than a normal increment, you’re advised not to mention you existing package. If you are requested to mention your complete salary history, you can mention it in a separate document other than your CV in a reverse chronological method.
If you are asked to mention your expected salary, there is no harm in mentioning it in the cover letter. However, it’s recommended to conduct some research before you mention any such figure in the light of your worth and the current job market. Be confident of providing a salary range to your prospective employer, if you truly believe you are worth it. Simple statements such as, “My existing salary requirement is Rs. 9.5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh” would work. Mention a wide salary range if you are not sure up to where your salary can stretch according to the market and the employer. You can also mention that you are looking for a certain amount but are open to negotiation.
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Things to remember
The best way to mention any salary figure in the cover letter is to mention that it is negotiable. But, if an employer asks for the previous figures, be honest, as it’s found in some cases that post global economic meltdown many employers were scared away to know the astronomically high previous salaries of certain individuals. It’s better not to mention your previous package in such unusual and rare cases.