Should You Talk About Salary / Pay Request in Your Cover Letter?

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Some job postings ask you upfront about your salary/pay expectations. If you're like most job seekers, you probably don't feel comfortable talking about money until you get to the interview. However, if you must mention compensation in your cover letter to comply with a job post, proceed carefully.

Start by finding out what the position typically pays. You can uncover this information by looking at online salary surveys, asking a job counselor, or reading posts for similar jobs online. Once you have that information, you can do one of the following in your cover email:

  • State your financial expectations, but leave yourself wiggle room. For example, you might say "I seek a position with an $X to $Y salary range (or per-hour pay range)."
  • Say that you prefer to talk about compensation once you're in the interview stage when you can discuss the full compensation package, not just the take-home pay.

Either way, you've fulfilled the job post's request to state your salary or pay expectations.

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