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 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 a 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.