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Including salary expectations in a resume/cover letter?

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by loopdokter, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. loopdokter

    loopdokter TRIBE Promoter


    I'm applying for several jobs at the moment in the IT industry (mainly forms of support). This is the first time I've had enough of a skillset to legitimately ask for a certain salary.

    As such, most of the positions I'm applying for are asking me to include my salary expectations in my resume. I also have a cover letter as well.

    Since I've never had to do this before, I was wondering what would the be most professional way to ask for my desired salary?

    My resume is set up as such (obviously not my real resume):
    Joe Schmoe
    123 Joe Schmoe Street • Waterloo, ON
    (555) 555-5555 [home/voice mail]


    To obtain a career in as a Service Desk Representative in the Incident Management Centre, utilizing my technical problem solving, multi-tasking and resolution skills.


    * Computer literate; MS Office, Firefox, Microsoft Windows, Speedtouch modems, Linksys routers/ATA’s and many more
    * Knowledge of Internet functionality and framework
    * Experienced in team leadership and goal setting
    * High degree of professional integrity with excellent public relations strengths resulting in the development of solid business relationships with customers and suppliers
    * Solid communication and interpersonal skills for good working relationships with customers; able to assist from identification of needs to completion of tasks.
    * Demonstrated ability to direct individuals in a team concept environment which includes fellow workers, clients and the general public
    * Natural leadership strengths for effective development of sound teamwork relationships
    * Excellent organizational and administrative ability with superior strengths in planning and attention to detail


    Technical Support Agent
    Acme Inc
    Kitchener, ON
    * Provided technical guidance for closing off job orders
    * Performed outgoing calls to ensure customer satisfaction
    * Maintained knowledge of telecommunications terminology


    1234 School
    Waterloo, ON

    References available upon request.
  2. Rataxès

    Rataxès TRIBE Member

    I'd put it in the resume under the objective section or under its own header. Cover letters are raraely read and will most likely not be forwarded to hiring managers.
  3. ian

    ian TRIBE Member

    Fairie is in HR and she says no way should salary be even brought up (by the person applying) until generally the second interview. It looks bad. It should never be on a CV or cover letter.

    [edit] Unless specifically asked like you were. So put it in the cover letter.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  4. brill

    brill TRIBE Member

    They should not be asking you to include it on your resume for many reasons, but mainly its negotiable.

    My personal preference to immediately discard any company that asks for it in writing on my resume as one I likely don't want to work for... however if you are getting a lot of those then it may be the sector you are applying in (it may be normal in that sector for other types of positions).

    Regardless, the key is to know what your actually worth. If you know that then you can ask for fair compensation, which is all you really want anyway.

    my 2 cents * 14 years
  5. gasper

    gasper TRIBE Member

    I wouldn't put it on the resume or cover letter, ever. Instead, I'd wait to see if they're interested first and then discuss it during the final phase interview.
  6. awwnaw

    awwnaw TRIBE Member

    Just like Brill said...I would never consider a company that would request that I indicate my salary range prior to an interview.

    Now that you are applying within a specific sector where you have an expertise you bring to the table, you should also have a firm idea of the range that you should expect based on your qualifications and experience. If you do not, then you should be researching this (online, peers, past instructors). That is your starting point...and from there you proceed with your negotiations...which is why with any company you would want t consider would not request that you submit your range prior to an interview.
  7. djdeposit

    djdeposit TRIBE Member

    I'm no expert on this subject, but the above makes sense.

    Let’s say they see what your expectations are and toss your resume into the trash. They never really take the time find out what you are really like. After an interview or two, if they really like you, it is easier to touch base on your expectations as far as salary. You can also try to justify why you would expect x amount of pay if they aren’t seeing eye to eye.
  8. daddyiwantchocolate

    daddyiwantchocolate TRIBE Member

    Legitimate companies will pay you what you're worth - you don't need to ask for it.

    I would never put it in a cover or a resume.

    The easiest way to get around it is during the or first interview, BUT only really if you're in the position to ASK for a specific range. I've asked what the salary range of pay is ONLY when I have a couple of offers already on the table and company x is good and I need to know if it's worth my while.

    I wouldn't recommend anyone doing that unless they're in the same position.

    Basically you'll find out in the interview or when the company is actually interested in hiring you.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  9. KillaLadY

    KillaLadY TRIBE Member

    Never write money on paper, money is meant to be negotiated.
  10. loopdokter

    loopdokter TRIBE Promoter

    Okay, cool.

    I tend to agree with those saying I shouldn't include it. I'd rather negotiate that in person, but since I know there's some HR people on here, I wanted to hear the general consensus.

  11. zoo

    zoo TRIBE Member

    Out of the n jobs I applied to in 2006 (50<n<150) I never encountered a posting that asked for my desired salary range.
  12. loopdokter

    loopdokter TRIBE Promoter

    I've been seeing this often: "Please quote file number HT1207 and include references and salary expectations with your resume."
  13. daddyiwantchocolate

    daddyiwantchocolate TRIBE Member

    So? Tell 'em references will be made available pending preparation of an actual job offer (if your references are from your current company) or during interview (if they're not).
    If you feel pressed to put something in writing then say "My salary expectations are commensurate with my skills and experience and may be discussed with me at your convenience."
  14. Rude1_247

    Rude1_247 TRIBE Member

  15. kirstenmeows

    kirstenmeows TRIBE Member

    Well put.. NEVER indicate a figure on a resume..
  16. veteze

    veteze TRIBE Promoter

    I work in interactive programming and have about 12 years experience now. I'm freelance now, but the last time I went job hunting (about 3 years ago) I was expecting a relatively high salary. I didn't put anything on my resume but if I got a call it would be one of the first things that I would talk about. "what are you expecting to pay this position? only 36k? goodbye." If you definitely have the chops then people will be expecting to pay you a certain amount of cash and they should be prepared to discuss what they can afford. This is especially true in smaller companies. If they walk around it or want to talk to you about working in an exciting and stimulating environment then hang up.

    Yeah and like diwc says it helps to have offers on the table. A few years ago I had company A and B make me pretty much the exact same offer so I took a day to think about it. The next day company C calls - I say I already have two offers at X. They offered me (on the phone, pending an interview) X + 20k. A and B won't match. C wins! :) I think having that extra level of confidence that there's a cushion to fall back on if it doesn't work out really helps you shine too...

    i'm blabbing. back to work for me.
  17. Deus

    Deus TRIBE Member

    This is such a stupid practice. Everyone knows that people apply to jobs to make money and not discussing money in the first interview, and pretending that the person is there to make a contribution to the company instead of earning money is dumb.
  18. loopdokter

    loopdokter TRIBE Promoter

    A co-worker of mine has applied for a job at the same company I'm looking at (Dalsa) and said that they actually asked her what she was looking to make in the first interview. Interesting.
  19. awwnaw

    awwnaw TRIBE Member

    Don't think it's a stupid practice if you know that you're worth more than the minimum that most companies is willing to pay. The danger is that if you put in writing first, you have much less room for negotiation. I've been in positions lots of times, where I know exactly what they're going to be offering in advance of the interview...and not a chance I'd be taking it. However, once the interview is complete, and I've 'sold' them on me, I've had offers above what I expected to be offered...and then obviously I continue to negotiate higher. If you're an asset and there is a budget for it, hiring managers would much rather save themselves the hassle and hire someone that can hit the ground running and enjoy a long career there, than someone who is a risk or they would rather not work with at all. Obviously, also depends on how badly they need to fill the position and what the 'pool' of candidates is like...every industry is different.
  20. PosTMOd

    PosTMOd Well-Known TRIBEr

    Stupid etiquette... first question out of my mouth is,"How much are you going to pay me?", and they don't like it, too fucking bad... that's what a job is for--MONEY...
  21. peko

    peko TRIBE Member

    whoever puts their job ads up isn't too concerned with how their job posting reads. [repeats information, inconsistent writing style - maybe they cut and paste the job description and plopped it into a template or something - like the "please quote...." paragraph is apart of the first section and next paragraph "the standard company information" crap is the template part on the bottom - which gives the reader two commands that contradict each other (confusing)]:

    I'm with diwc and I'd use the line she gave you to cover your answer - it comes across as professional and confident.

    Similarily, lots of company 'job applications' ask for information (SIN number and salary expectations, references, age, etc) which aren't 'mandatory' to fill out - so it's like the applicant is 'volunteering' this information anyway.... leave it blank.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  22. peko

    peko TRIBE Member

    any job postings I look at include a salary range - it's not as if the company doesn't have an idea of what their salary budget is.
  23. Deus

    Deus TRIBE Member

    Yep. Not all job postings give a salary figure, at least for professional jobs. Then people go for interview and pretend they don't care about the money and they just want to contribute to the company. It's a stupid game of pretend.
  24. peko

    peko TRIBE Member

    LOTS of professional jobs include a salary range - depends on the job source, site, company.

    It's not a game of magic and make believe if you already have an idea of your industry standard from your own research (or, by asking others who already work in that industry, or if you understand organizational charts and how an education + experience merit system works) - why interview/ pretend to want a job if you can't survive off of it? In fact, from my humble experience, the 'professional jobs' I've interviewed for discussed money at the table in a no nonsense way... isn't that what your 'business and negotiation skills' are for?

    Sometimes anyone can do the job (professional or not), but it's a personality type/temperament (or experience, work habits, contacts, etc) that the hiring committee is looking for, so attitude can play a role in whether your hired or not - but I'm sure you know this already from all of your professional experience.
  25. awwnaw

    awwnaw TRIBE Member

    okay seriously---In summary; you shouldn't be applying for a position ANYWHERE unless you have some basic idea of what the minimum salary is for that position. If you have no idea then I wouldn't worry about having to list anything cause you should expect entry level (which the only thing you'll be negotiating is two extra vacation days instead of 1), or the company that you have your eye on will not want you if you haven't done such basic research.

    I've rarely heard of (save for cases where the position was specifically created) people picking their jaws up off the floor because the expectation had a disparity of +/- $25-45k or so.

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