One of the most difficult on a job application is “what is your desired salary?. We can’t stop that even though. This is particularly true if you are faced with the dreaded point-blank question on an online work job application
How to answer: ‘What is your expected salary?’
The short answer: Ideally you can either leave the desired salary field blank or put “negotiable.” If you can, only insert numerals, set a reasonable salary range based on your market value, such as $6000- $10000 per month.
Too high or too low are equally risky
Candidates do not want to commit to an actual desired salary so they will either quickly rejected or go too low and be hired for unfair salary.
In fact, there is another issue about inputting a significantly low salary that you should consider: the hiring manager may see you as inexperienced and unable to do the work needed to determine the estimated rate of going for that position. In other words, even though you tell your desired salary far below the current market rate, you will price yourself off the job.
How to get your Desired Salary?
If a number doesn’t come to your mind right away, then you need to calculate your fair market value to get a concrete answer. You have to do the following steps:
① Compare Your Current Job Description to a Benchmark Job
Any position that has consistent salary expectations and responsibilities across industries and organizations, is a benchmark job or key job. You can determine if your current salary scale is adequate or not by finding a benchmark job that compares your role to.
The goal is to find the right job as a benchmark. Never compare jobs based on the job title alone while surfing through the work boards. A job title tells you little of the duties of the role. Look for job requirements and qualifications instead.
② Company Factors
The salary range will be directly affected by factors such as company size, industry, and location. Typically a bigger company would pay more than a smaller one. But typically a smaller company will give you more access to top management, executives, and a better professional experience.
A further consideration is the industry itself. When an industry is booming, there are more resources to go around and you’ll find it easier to negotiate with hiring managers about salary negotiations. But if an industry is in decline, you may find it harder to get your desired salary.
③ Consider your market value
After looking at job benchmarks and company factors, you also need to evaluate your own job performance and skill set. When you’re a low starting salary entry-level hirer, you won’t be worth as much as a seasoned employee — even if you share the same title. Be honest about your performance and experience to get a fair understanding of what you’re supposed to be earning.
You can be tempted to use an online website salary scale tool to assess your interest before we move on. The drawback with career sites such as this is that their estimated market value appears to be less than what the market actually pays, which means that you can see your salaries misleadingly.
Consider the value of the benefits. While you should not inflate your desired salary by adding the estimated value of a benefits package, it should be considered during the negotiation stage or if you are asked about your desired salary’s flexibility. A competitive package of benefits that includes a comprehensive medical and dental family, plus life insurance and retirement plans can be worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Desired Salary Do’s
- Leave your desired salary range field blank if you can. This frees you up to discuss your desired salary later in the job interview process without any limitations.
- If you can’t leave the field blank in the job application but you can insert alpha characters, then you should write “Negotiable.”
- If you can’t leave the salary field blank or insert alpha characters, then you should write a range. Write a realistic salary range that’s commensurate with your experience, performance, and the going market rate for your position.
- Since you have done your own salary research, you know the high & low end extremes of your desired salary range. For example, a range of $50,000-$80,000 is pretty broad, but it’s not outrageous. This gives you more latitude when negotiating your desired salary in person.
Desired Salary Don’ts
- In job applications, don’t put down a lower salary range than you’d like to get. While it seems safe, it locks you into a lower amount. Employers will usually discuss salary and they will always try to offer you a lower salary than what they are willing to pay, so don’t limit yourself.
- Don’t lock yourself into a specific amount. For example, if you write “$60,000,” the employer will take that as your maximum desired salary expectation — even if they would have paid you more.
- Never tell your salary history. If human resources, a hiring manager, or a recruiter asks for your salary history, tell them you’d rather discuss your salary history in person.
More Tips for Answering Desired Salary Questions
– State a desired range than a number
You can state a broad range rather than a specific desired salary. This is better because you are less likely to rule yourself out and get eliminated by going too high, and you are less likely to limit your job offer later by going too low.
So before going on your job interview, be prepared to state a desired salary range. Research the rate of compensation for the position you are aiming to fill. You can do this by looking at job sites, industry newsletters, and salary surveys, or by using a salary calculator. In addition, research cost of living in the area.
If you decide to share a range for your desired salary in the interview, always make it a broad range, like $50,000-80,000.
And state your desired salary range boldly. Don’t be tentative, or offer the range in the form of a question. Then, immediately shift the conversation back to the skills and value you will bring to the position.
– Use your contacts
Another way to avoid being pressed about your desired salary expectations too early in the interview process is to sidestep the preliminary screening process entirely.
Whenever you see a role that interests you, check your contacts to see if you know anyone in the company who can forward your CV directly to the hiring manager.
Remember that your goal in the early stages of the hiring process is to sell yourself in the position. If you do this well enough you will be negotiating from a position of strength and your next employer should be willing to pay you what you are worth.