Salary History And Requirements In Cover Letter Example

Sample Cover Letter With Salary History

Occasionally, an employer will ask you to include a salary history in your cover letter. A salary history (which is different from a salary requirement) includes information on what you have earned in past jobs.

Sometimes, a salary history in a cover letter can be stated as a sentence, such as “I currently earn in the mid-fifties.” A more detailed salary history might list your previous two or three jobs, and include the company, job title, and benefits package for each.

Generally, do not share your salary history in a cover letter. In most cases, if an employer asks for this information, you should follow the employer’s directions and provide it if you are in a location where it is legal for a company to ask. However, some cities and states prohibit employers from asking. In that case, you don't need to list it.

There are ways to share your salary history that keep you from being too specific. Read below for advice on how to share your salary history with an employer. Also see below for a sample cover letter with a salary history included.

Are Questions About Salary Legal?

Keep in mind that, in some locations, it is illegal for employers to ask you anything related to your salary. Therefore, check out your state or city laws before responding.

Read here for more information about what employers are legally allowed to ask you in terms of your former salary.

How to Share Your Salary History

Again, don’t mention your salary history unless asked to.

In your cover letter, you want to focus on why you are a good fit for the job, rather than talking about salary. You also don’t want to put yourself in a corner, salary-wise. If you say your current salary, it might be harder to negotiate for better compensation later on.

However, if an employer asks you to include a salary history, there are several options for providing information.

You could ignore the request, but employers want job candidates to follow directions. Not answering could lose you a job interview.

There are a few ways to include this information in your cover letter. One way is to include a sentence that states either a broad description of your salary (for example, “I currently earn in the mid-sixties.”) or a range (for example, “My current salary range is between $40,000 - $50,000”). You might also add that you are flexible in terms of salary.

You could also include a separate salary history page along with your cover letter. On the salary history page, you could include the past one, two, or three jobs you have held. List the jobs in reverse chronological order (with the most recent job at the top). For each job, list the company, job title, and salary (before taxes). You can list the salary as a range or a broad amount. Include any bonuses or additional compensation as well.

Sample Cover Letter With Salary History Listed

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email


Contact Name
Company Name
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Contact Name:

I'm writing to express my interest in the Web Content Manager position listed on

I have experience building large, consumer-focused, health-based content sites. While much of my experience has been in the business world, I understand the social value of the non-profit sector and my business experience will be an asset to your organization.

My responsibilities at my current job have include the development and management of the site’s editorial voice and style, the editorial calendar, and the daily content programming and production of the website. In my current and past positions, I have worked closely with health care professionals and medical editors to help them provide the best possible information to a consumer audience of patients. In addition, I have helped physicians learn to utilize their medical content to write user-friendly, readily comprehensible text.

Experience has taught me how to build strong relationships with all departments at an organization.

I have the ability to work within a team as well as across teams. I work with web engineers to resolve technical issues and implement technical enhancements, work with the development department to implement design and functional enhancements, and monitor site statistics and conduct search engine optimization. I know my work experience would make me an ideal Web Content Manager at your company.

I am currently earning in the mid-fifties.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,

Signature (hard copy letter)

FirstName LastName

Read More:How to Get a Better Offer | Salary Negotiation Tips for Millennials | Can Employers Ask for Copies of Your W2s?| How to Set a Salary Range

Cover Letters With A Salary Requirement or Salary History

Sometimes job classified advertisements will request you disclose your salary history or salary requirement when submitting your resume.  If an employer requests that you include a salary requirement or salary history, do so in your cover letter, unless the ad specifically instructed you to include it on your resume or somewhere else.  Insert a paragraph on your cover letter just before your closing paragraph that discusses your salary history or salary requirement. 

Salary History:  A salary history is just that -- a history of your ending salaries at every job you have ever worked (or the jobs you've held the past 10 or 15 years). When a prospective employer requests a salary history, he is attempting to put himself in a better bargaining position when negotiating your salary and to weed out those who earn too much or too little.

Salary Requirement: A salary requirement is the salary you expect to be offered excluding benefits, bonuses and such.  In order to negotiate effectively, you should visit which offers information on what people earn in all regions of the country in hundreds of professions.  A sample cover letter with a salary history is below.

You should try to avoid disclosing salary in your cover letter if at all possible.  Unfortunately, by doing so, you risk being overlooked for certain positions.  Of course, if your salary history / requirement is in line with what the prospective employer offers, then there is no reason to avoid this topic as your salary is compatible with their compensation package.

Career experts are divided as to whether or not you should apply for a position without submitting a salary history or salary requirement when one has been requested.  Some experts say that applicants who are really qualified can get away with ignoring the request; others say that your resume will be trashed if you do not send a salary history / requirement.  A recent survey of HR professionals found that the overwhelming majority of them would not dismiss a candidate for failure to comply with the request for salary information. 

Of course, you should never offer a salary history or state a salary requirement unless it is requested or you are networking with a search firm or personal contact.   Otherwise, try to avoid the topic until the job interview or after you have been offered the job. 

Cover Letters With A Salary Requirement or Salary History

Examples  (Insert this paragraph just before your last paragraph on your cover letter):

Sample 1:  As you requested, I am disclosing the minimum annual salary I would require to accept employment with your firm. This amount is $____ per month excluding benefits.  This amount is based on thorough research I conducted on the Internet, particularly at, and takes into consideration my lengthy employment history in the ______ field and the cost of living in the San Francisco area.

Sample 2:  Your advertisement requested that I disclose my salary history.  My beginning and ending salaries are provided below and exclude the value of health insurance and other benefits:

Acme Industries01/2004 to 01/2014           $42K                     $99K
NNN Company  02/1996 to 01/1998           $16K                     $22K

(Note that it is not necessary to disclose a complete salary history.  Providing your salary history for the last 10 to 15 years is sufficient.)

Sample 3:  As to my salary requirement, I am completely open to negotiation on the subject and will be prepared to discuss this with you in more detail if I am given the opportunity to interview for this position.

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