Submitting salary requirements

Despite a growing movement in cities and states across the U.S. to prohibit employers from asking candidates to disclose their salary histories, most hiring businesses will still ask interested candidates what they are looking for in the form of future compensation.

As a job seeker, you may sometimes feel as if your response may hinder the hiring process. If you provide a figure that’s too low, you miss out on the compensation you deserve. If it’s too high, you run the risk of not being called for an interview. Therefore, you need to find the right balance in disclosing what your requirements are to increase your chances of receiving fair income.

In most states, employers may ask you to disclose your salary requirements at any point during your job search – this could include during the application process, as part of a phone screening or during an in-person interview. If you would prefer not to give an exact number, it’s perfectly acceptable to say that your salary expectation is the market value of the job and at the appropriate time, you could most likely come to an agreement that suits both parties. If questioned about what salary you are currently earning, point out that your salary history should not affect your potential income at a different company.

If you do feel comfortable providing direction on your future salary, give a range versus a specific figure so as not to be limiting. It can be beneficial to conduct research in advance of applying/interviewing and using salary surveys or calculators to determine typical salary ranges for your specific industry and geographic area. Be sure to also consider your prior salary history, previous work experience, cost of living and other factors relevant to your situation.

Based on your research, come up with a range for your salary requirements. For example, “My salary requirement is in the $45,000 - $55,000 range.” As an alternative, you could say that your salary requirements are negotiable based on the position and overall compensation package, including benefits. With this strategy, you gain flexibility and also avoid being locked into a low salary or screened out for requesting too much money.

For help finding your next professional position, contact the team at MFA Talent Management.