our everyday life

How to Propose Salary Requirements

by Kristin Swain, studioD

How you propose your salary requirement to a potential employer can make or break your interview. You don't want to ask for too much money and be automatically disqualified as a candidate. You also don't want to ask for too little and cheat yourself out of a higher salary. Make sure that you get what you're worth and what the company can afford by doing a bit of research and approaching salary negotiations confidently and reasonably.

Research Average Salaries

Spend a few moments online and learn what the average salary is for the position you're being considered for. When looking at salary averages you need to look at both the national and regional averages for the position. A secretary in Mobile, Alabama, does not have the same cost of living as one in Los Angeles and may not make the same salary. Go into salary negotiations knowing what the average rate is for the position in your area. It is also a good idea to look at the income and salary information for the company. You can often find the size of the company, salary averages and other financial information for publicly traded companies online.

Salary History

Before you enter your salary requirements, review your salary history. Your potential employer takes into account not only the demands of the position but also the amount of your previous salaries when deciding how much to offer you for a position. Check how your previous salary amounts compare with the national and regional averages for the positions that you've held. Look at where your previous salaries fall with regard to the averages, if you're at the bottom, middle or top of the range. You can expect salary negotiations for your new position to start within the same range for your new position and should place your salary requirements in this range.

Personal Situation

When proposing salary requirements, it is best to remain unemotional and reasonable throughout the entire process, including negotiations. This means removing any personal feelings you have from the equation. While your personal financial situation may dictate how much you can accept for a position, it should not be reflected in your negotiations with an employer. Provide practical examples of your credentials and work ethic to reinforce your salary requirements. Employers respond better to a reasonable argument that displays your abilities to achieve the results that they want in the position rather than emotion.

Asking for a Raise

A part of determining what your salary requirements are is deciding if you're asking for a raise. While you may feel that you work enough to warrant a 50 percent raise, it's highly unlikely that your future employer will agree with you. Aim for a raise that is within a few percentage points of your current salary. If necessary, highlight the qualifications and proven results that you bring to the table to reinforce your salary request. Keep the amount of your salary requirements within the realm of reason and you'll get a much more positive response from your employer.

About the Author

Residing in Los Angeles, Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 2008. Her experience includes finance, travel, marketing and television. Swain holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Georgia State University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images