P.S. In Response to Your Request for Salary Requirements

I helped a friend write a cover letter. I got stuck on one line.

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, I’d like to wait until I have a better understanding of the position and its demands before specifying a number. Thank you for understanding.

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, my salary requirement is between $30,000 and $35,000, which I suppose just means: $30,000.

• P.S. In response to you request for salary requirements, actually, yeah, I would take $29,000.

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, I can’t possibly say until I know if my therapist is in-network on your insurance plan.

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, I am familiar with median and mean salaries for similar positions in this region, and I believe we’ll be able to come up with a mutually satisfying number. (Also, I would love to use my research skills to assist your excellent organization.)

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, the minimum I need to pay my bills is $14,852. I would like more than that, but if you paid me that, I could live. This is after taxes by the way, so if you could figure out the math on your end, that’d be great.

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, are you really going to decide whether to interview me or not based on what I write here? Really? Is it really possible that my perfectly-matched resume and carefully written cover letter will mean nothing if I ask for too much money here?

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, no.

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, it’s a buyer’s market, I’ve heard.

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, you could offer me whatever you want to, and I’ll take it, and you knowww itttttt.

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, is this the part where I say I want this job so bad I’ll be an unpaid intern? Because I want this job so bad I’ll be an unpaid intern. Will work for snacks.

• P.S. In response to your request for salary requirements, why are you asking me this you already know exactly what you’re willing to pay it’s hard enough out here without these mind games I hate you I hate you I hate you.

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16 Comments / Post A Comment

cherrispryte (#19)

While this is appropriately hilarious, could we possibly get the Mike Dang response to salary history/requirement requests as well? Because the last one is SO the truth and I never know what to say.

terrific (#1,532)

@cherrispryte Seriously. Pleaassseee. I just had to write a cover letter with salary requirements and I’m pretty sure it went horribly.

RosemaryF (#345)

True story, when I interviewed for my current position they asked my salary requirements. I gave the average for my education level for the profession in my area, and they came back offering 25% more.

I constantly joke that they don’t really understand the concept of negotiation.

MuffyStJohn (#280)

“In response to your request for salary requirements, are you really going to decide whether to interview me or not based on what I write here? Really? Is it really possible that my perfectly-matched resume and carefully written cover letter will mean nothing if I ask for too much money here?”

In response to your question: yes. If the ability to pay you shit wasn’t an integral part of their hiring process, they wouldn’t ask for your needs up front. They don’t honestly care about your perfectly-matched resume and carefully written cover letter; they care that you will work for what they are willing to pay, which often has no relation to what you’re worth. If you insist on earning what you are worth and not the least amount of money someone would accept to perform the position, then you run the risk that they will go on to someone else’s perfectly-matched resume and carefully written cover letter.

@MuffyStJohn Could I humbly submit that if an organization has a fairly non-negotiable range, would it kill them to state it up front, rather than putting the burden on the applicant? It’s in everyone’s best interests.

I say this in particular in response to non-profits, where salaries might be rather low. You know, it would save us all a lot of time if the job ad gave a range, $32-$40K based on experience (or whatever legal ass-covering language one needs).

The personal backstory: I would never have bothered applying– and wasting my time and the organization’s time (this went on for months)– if I knew upfront how low the salary would be. I ultimately refused the job, because the salary was so pathetic, and the benefits weren’t good enough to make up for it. (I’m in a field where salaries are generally quite low, but that is usually coupled with extremely good benefits: 4 weeks vacation, usually 2 weeks sick leave, and basically free health care). So when I was offered a shitty salary, 5 days vacation, and shitty health insurance, I basically couldn’t accept. (For the record, the job was never filled; the organization lost that particular position to another department.)

MuffyStJohn (#280)

@angry little raincloud This is so fucking sad, but I’d actually forgotten about that particularly infuriating part of the job search. It must have been PTSD. But yeah, it would probably save everyone a lot of time if companies just gave their range up front (but then, the lowballing would probably not happen as frequently).

That sucks about what happened to you and that the process drug out for so long. I also work for a nonprofit and also nearly choked when I heard my initial salary offer (and minimal benefits package). Thankfully they worked with me on it and I’m happy here; even if it’s not my dream salary, it is my dream job. And it made me feel much more valued and respected before I even started that they worked with me based on my needs, which was a BFD.

BananaPeel (#1,555)

When I was applying for jobs right out of college (2010), my poor parents and their friends, still living under the delusion that a bachelor’s degree automatically meant a “good job,” suggested I ask for $50,000 to start (I lived in a mid-sized Midwestern city and had majored in, shall we say, a soft science.) I laughed at them and hung up the phone.

Weasley (#1,419)

I’ve never done salary negotiations but for my last internship they asked me what I made at my previous internship and I lied and gave them a number $2 more per hour than I actually did make. The pay I got from them was $0.50 over the number I gave them. So it worked! Or maybe that’s just what they were going to give me anyway.

sockhop (#546)

@Weasley when I was applying to jobs a month ago, and asked advice from our HR person (I was on a fairly well-defined contract so it wasn’t weird for me to ask about these things) about salary history, et al, she was really adamant about being careful about lying about previous salary amounts. mostly because if they (potential new employer) really wanted to find out what you were making, they could most definitely find out. better to just be real than caught in a white lie!

on my end, I was in Americorps, and on the formal new job applications where they asked for salary history, rather than list an untruth I just left it blank. haha. when I got offers they didn’t even ask about the blank salary history, at that point, they were just interested in what my range might be so we would all be on the same page.

honey cowl (#1,510)

Ughhhhhh. Logan we are secret soul twins. Minus the credit card debt. Please move to Seattle and hang out with me all the time.

Aunt_Pete (#693)

I always just put negotiable. Is that bad?

AnnieNilsson (#406)

this is so good

I always gve a fairly large range and it has worked out pretty well so far, but who knows.

I know of a particular extremely highly esteemed cultural institution that asks for freaking salary requirements. The jobs are unionized, so there is absolutely no room for negotiation (for the entry to mid-level positions). Why bother? It’s one of those places that people accept the shitty salaries because it’s prestigious / a good career move/ whatever for a few years.) Are they trying to weed out people who say they’ll only work for $60K a year? I’d guess that most people who get the offer suck up the crappy salary…

sony_b (#225)

My mentor always filled in “salary requirement:” with “yes”.

His subject is good, long while I find this topic and I think it is here, world population day

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