“Most of the jobs I apply for ask me to quote my salary requirement when applying for the job and I am afraid this is hurting my chances of getting a job. I don’t want to quote a number that is too high in case I go above their target salary range, but I don’t want to go too low and deny myself the chance to earn a good salary.
So what should I quote and will this make it difficult to negotiate in case I get offered the job?” Asks Mary.
According to Ida Kibunja a recruitment manager at Corporate Staffing Services, when quoting expected salary it is important to give the highest figure possible.
You can come up with this figure by researching how much someone with your skills and experience working at a similar company is earning. Knowing the market rate is the first step to ensuring that you do not end up being underpaid.
After figuring out the salary range for the position, you should put the highest number in that range.
This might seem like you are asking for too much and could end up hurting your chances of getting shortlisted for the position but you can combat this by adding the terms ‘flexible or negotiable’ after your salary expectation quote.
Doing this also gives you enough room to negotiate the salary if you’re offered the job without really losing out on earning a good salary.
Not to mention that if you state a figure that is lower than the employer might be willing to pay, you not only deny yourself the chance to earn more money, but you might also come across as someone who is not confident in what they have to offer.
What to keep in mind when quoting expected salary
1. Don’t be afraid to be aggressive
There are employers, who believe that a candidate should be paid depending on the role and in accordance with the market rate, regardless of what they quote as expected salary.
However, a majority of them don’t. You will find that most employers will pay you based on what you asked for especially if it is already way below what they were willing to offer in the first place.
To avoid losing out on a good salary, it is better to quote a high figure that will ensure you are paid what you deserve.
2. Focus on your target salary
You should have a figure in mind that would be your ideal salary, as long as this figure is realistic and in line with the market rate then ensure you quote a figure slightly higher than this.
Most people make the mistake of focusing on the minimum figure they are willing to accept but doing this will only ensure you are earning the bare minimum.
Studies have shown that very many people are underpaid and it is because they did not ask for what they deserve. Don’t settle for the minimum.
3. Be flexible
Keep in mind that you won’t always be able to get the salary you want, that is why it is advisable to add that the figure you stated is negotiable.
This doesn’t mean that you settle for less, but it means that you should be able to concede certain things.
For example, you should be willing to take the lowest figure in the salary range if it means you get medical insurance, transport allowance, flexible work hours, house allowance and other forms of compensation.
The point is to ensure that if you are offered the job whatever package you are offered is beneficial to you.
If you are underpaid in any job, chances are high that you will also be underpaid in your next job unless you find a way to convince a new employer to offer you what you deserve.
One thing you have to ensure is if you are asked to quote the expected salary in your application, ensure you do. Not doing so will get you disqualified for not following instructions.