Salary Requirement


The term salary requirement refers to the total compensation an individual is willing to accept to work in a position.  As part of the job candidate screening process, an employer may ask individuals to provide their salary requirements in their application for employment.


As part of the hiring process, an employer may ask job applicants to provide their salary requirements.  This value, or range of values, should represent the compensation the applicant is willing to accept if they were to fill the open position.

Providing this information on a job application has two distinct disadvantages:

  • If the range of values is too low, it may signal the job applicant is not qualified for the position, and exclude them from consideration.  If the range of values is too high, it may signal the job applicant is over-qualified, and exclude them from consideration.
  • Supplying a range of acceptable salaries provides the employer with an advantage during salary negotiations, since they know the minimum salary the applicant is willing to accept.

For the reasons stated above, job candidates are encouraged to simply answer "negotiable" when an application asks for their salary requirements. Some employers will ask applicants to provide this information after an initial interview.  In these scenarios, the candidate has less flexibility than when filling out an application. In fact, refusing to provide this information, or ignoring the request, may exclude the candidate from further consideration.


When a job candidate is asked to provide a range of acceptable compensation, the best approach is to emphasize how they match up against the job requirements, as well as their job-related skills and work experience.  The following example demonstrates these points:

January 2, 20XX

Ms. Hiring Manager
3M Corporation
500 Route 202 North
 Flemington, NJ 08822

Ms. Manager:

My background in Lean Six Sigma techniques, along with my extensive experience in process control, will make my transition to 3M a smooth one.  As a Master Black Belt, I've helped to create more efficient processes with fewer defects.  Over time, I've acquired the skills necessary to both facilitate and lead teams.  I've a proven problem-solving track record and have deep experience managing workgroups.  My work experience, coupled with my Bachelor's degree in accounting and Master's in corporate finance will allow me to make an immediate impact at 3M Company.

In response to your request, and based on my research and knowledge of the responsibilities of the job opening, an acceptable salary range is $85,000 - $115,000.  This range does not include incentives, or benefits.  As mentioned on my application and during the interview, my salary requirements remain flexible and negotiable.


Joseph A. Jobseeker
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Related Terms

total compensation, incentive compensationsales commission, compensatory time, cost-of-living adjustmentemployee stock ownership plan, federal minimum wage, living wage, merit increase, salary history, salary range