“When a job posting asks for your target salary, what should you do?”
Here’s a little background on why the company is asking in the first place … FOR PRESCREENING PURPOSES.
That’s it! This sucks right?
First, you need to know the difference between salary history & salary target
You need to know the difference because sometimes employers will ask for history instead of your salary target.
Salary history and target salary have different definitions.
Definition of Salary History —
Salary history means the company wants to know your salary from X number of years.
Usually, the last 5 or 10 years are sufficient, depending upon the position you’re targeting and how those job roles relate to the company you’re vying for.
Why do companies ask for salary history?
To get a complete picture of what your salary has been for the last few positions you’ve held.
Salary history can provide a hiring company with a few broad stroke details about candidates, such as:
- Lack of career progression
- Salary data across different industries and job titles
Definition of Target Salary —
Unlike salary history, target salary is the dollar amount you’re seeking now.
Jobseekers typically shoot for an amount higher than their current salary unless their current salary level is out of alignment with the market.
The rule of thumb for your expected target salary is generally an amount 15% above what you’re currently getting.
Second, where should you put any mention of your salary?
Salary history or target salary should be included in a cover letter. You have the option of including a target monthly salary or a target yearly salary.
Place the details within the bottom third of the cover letter so you somewhat push the reader to (at least) scan your letter before deciding whether you’re destined for the “yes” or “no” pile.
Write additional details beyond your target salary as well, such as “We can discuss this amount, of course. A great benefits package and stock options may enable me to accept a salary lower than what I’m seeking.”
Not sure of what your target salary should be?
Take Target.com as an example. Indeed offers company reviews, average and target salary, photos, job openings, and Q&A’s broken down by employer.
You will find this info on the Indeed Mobile App as well.
This helps you identify your most ideal salary for sales associates, sales floor and backroom staff, team leaders, guest services, and executives @ companies like Target Corporation.
There are a couple of additional resources to help you track down an ideal salary, including: