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Career DEVELOPMENT: REsumÉ - Salary History and Salary Requirement

What is the difference between a salary history and a salary requirement?

Job classified ads will request you send a salary history or state your salary requirement.  There is a difference between the two.  A salary history is a listing of what you have earned over the years, while the requirement is the salary you are seeking.

General Information

You should never include your salary history or your salary requirements in your resume. Revealing this information when it is not specifically requested puts you at a bargaining disadvantage in terms of your salary.  Employers can be convinced to pay a new employee more than they had originally planned if the candidate’s resume, interview and other communications make a strong impression.

So, if an employer or recruiter requests a salary history/requirement, where does it go and how do you handle it?  The best and most appropriate place is in your cover letter.  Near the end of the cover letter, after you’ve wowed them with a brief synopsis of your experience and achievements, include a sentence like this:

“In my first position with Markon Company, I was earning $15,000 per year, since that time, my career and compensation has progressed based on my contributions.  In my current position, my annual salary is $45,000 annually.  However, salary is not my main motivation; I am open to any combination of salary and benefits for the right opportunity.”

As for your salary requirement, you can include it in your cover letter if you wish, but it’s in your best interest to avoid being the first to name a dollar amount.  You should avoid this question with a sentence such as this:

“In terms of salary requirements, I realize that flexibility is essential, and I am therefore; open to discussing your company’s salary range for an individual with my qualifications.”

Just remember, when a prospective employer requests a salary history, he is attempting to put himself in a better bargaining position when negotiating your salary and to weed out those who earn too much or too little.

ExampleSalary History Listing

ExampleSalary Requirement Cover Letter


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