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How to Present Yourself for High-paying Jobs

Dear Deb:

Is it OK to list my salary requirements in my cover letter?  I am a consultant seeking positions and the minimum salary that I a willing to entertain is $120,000.  I really don’t want to waste my time interviewing only to find out that the salary offered is much lower than I will accept.

Thanks,

Nestor

Dear Nestor:

I hate to break this to you, but it is not appropriate to list your salary requirements in your cover letter, unless you are specifically asked to do so.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that you diminish your negotiating power by being the first person to mention a salary figure.  In negotiation, you always want the other party to give an opening figure. You could be limiting yourself to $120,000 by mentioning that figure in your letter.  The second reason is that you want to focus on the needs of the employer in this initial phase.  By stating your demands in the first communication, you are setting the wrong tone.

It is understandable that you want to weed out the lower paying positions.  The way to do that is to conduct research on each company and job opportunity so you have a sense of what is paid.  With the proper research, you should be able to determine an estimate of the pay for each job.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook website is a good place to start.  Other resources include vault.com and salary.com.  Write me if I can be of help. This is one of my areas of expertise.

Wishing you all the best in your career!

Deb

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Dear Deb:

Is it OK to list my salary requirements in my cover letter?  I am a consultant seeking positions and the minimum salary that I a willing to entertain is $120,000.  I really don’t want to waste my time interviewing only to find out that the salary offered is much lower than I will accept.

Thanks,

Nestor

Dear Nestor:

I hate to break this to you, but it is not appropriate to list your salary requirements in your cover letter, unless you are specifically asked to do so.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that you diminish your negotiating power by being the first person to mention a salary figure.  In negotiation, you always want the other party to give an opening figure. You could be limiting yourself to $120,000 by mentioning that figure in your letter.  The second reason is that you want to focus on the needs of the employer in this initial phase.  By stating your demands in the first communication, you are setting the wrong tone.

It is understandable that you want to weed out the lower paying positions.  The way to do that is to conduct research on each company and job opportunity so you have a sense of what is paid.  With the proper research, you should be able to determine an estimate of the pay for each job.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook website is a good place to start.  Other resources include vault.com and salary.com.  Write me if I can be of help. This is one of my areas of expertise.

Wishing you all the best in your career!

Deb

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