Desired salary application: tips, examples, mistakes

The expected salary is part of the application – and an extremely important one. If you gamble too high, you can maneuver yourself offside early on. On the other hand, if you stack too deep, you won’t get what you deserve. The salary expectations in the application: If you don’t want to or can’t name an exact number, simply use these phrasing tricks …

Desired salary: number or range?

You generally have two options for formulating your salary expectations in your application:

  • You name a fixed number .
  • Or you name a range from X to Y.

What speaks in favor of variant 2: You signal willingness to negotiate. Your position is not as immovable as an obelisk. You can be talked to. HR professionals like that.

On the other hand, they understand a salary range at the same time as an invitation to push the price down as far as possible. The upper end of the range should therefore no longer be realistic for you as the contract sum. From an employer’s perspective, it would eventually feel like defeat. And that should be avoided.

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Formulate salary expectations

You can formulate your salary expectation in the application in different ways. Decide on the approach that best suits you, your situation and your negotiating position.

Specifically

If you prefer clear announcements, then write, for example:

  • My salary expectations are 52,000 euros per year.
  • An annual gross salary of 36,500 euros corresponds to my expectations.
  • Based on my qualifications, I consider an annual salary of 55,000 euros to be appropriate.

Range

You can also name a salary range – from sum X to sum Y. Or limit your salary corridor with the word range.

  • My salary expectations are between 38,500 and 42,500 euros gross per year.
  • My salary expectations are in the range of 45,000 euros gross per year.

Evasive

If you do not WANT to state your salary expectations, for example, because you are not yet aware of your market value, then formulate it as follows:

  • I am happy to share my salary expectations with you In a personal interview.
  • We can certainly clarify my salary expectations shortly in a personal interview.
  • I’m looking forward to it To get to know you in a personal conversation and I am sure that we will also agree on the salary expectations.

Give An odd number!

Secret tip for negotiating poker: Enter a non-round number as your desired salary!

Instead of 32,000 euros, you would rather name an expected salary from 34,570 euros or 32,330 euros. Why? Because it indirectly signals that you have dealt with the matter down to the last detail. It seems as if you can estimate your market value very precisely – and have not calculated it with the thumbs-up.

Odd salary expectations – a psychological trick that negotiators like to recommend!

Determine salary expectations

The starting salary has an enormous impact on your further (financial) career. If you start too low, you can often never catch up. If you gamble high, you can oppose it Develop an excellent starting position.

Nevertheless – or perhaps because of that – it is difficult for every career starter: the formulation of their own salary expectations. Some employers expressly expect applicants to state their desired salary It has never been easier to determine your own market value.

There are now countless sources available to you as an applicant, and you should do that before you formulate your salary expectations.

Find out in advance what salaries are paid for comparable positions only your area of ​​interest is of interest, but also the size of the employer and the region in which you are applying.

How to get closer to your market value on the job market:

Databases

Do research in databases and comparison portals: there are now quite a few of them on the Internet. The platform gehalt.de is a good place to go. There is also relevant information in review portals such as Glassdoor and Kununu. Industry services such as the personnel service provider Robert Half offer salary reports for special professional groups, as does the job exchange Stepstone for specialists and managers. A tip on your own behalf: The various job profiles here on a career jump also provide a good orientation. For every job, we name the starting and top salary, for example for the system administrator.

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  • Business networks

    Business networks such as Xing and LinkedIn are masters of huge amounts of data. So it makes sense to use this data to calculate salaries. Xing has meanwhile started to mention salary ranges in its job offers. These make orientation easier.

  • Friends and colleagues

    Also, ask friends or acquaintances who hold a similar position – if so the salary between you is not a taboo subject. Also, there is nothing wrong with asking old colleagues for advice on salary expectations.

  • Statistics

    Consult official statistics for advice. The Federal Employment Agency regularly determines average and median salaries. Accordingly, the average annual salary of a full-time employee in Germany was most recently 3771 euros. The remuneration atlas of the Federal Employment Agency breaks down salaries by occupation, region, age group and gender.

  • Associations

    Individual professional associations also create salary reports. Engineers, for example, can use the income study of the Association of German Engineers (VDI) as a guide.

All salaries at a glance

The salary of an employee is always based on the competition. Here are all relevant salaries, figures and data from Germany for you:

Desired salary in the cover letter

These are the most important rules when you formulate your salary expectations in your cover letter :

  • Always enter your desired gross annual income. No gross monthly income and no net information!
  • Additional services are included in the desired sum. But they don’t list them separately. This includes, for example, special payments such as vacation pay and Christmas bonus, bonuses and premiums, travel allowances, costs for training or further education, insurance, discounts and benefits in kind, company cars or capital-building benefits. As a precaution, you can inform us that your expected salary is all-inclusive. For example, My salary expectations are 65,000 euros per year (incl. Special payments, etc.).
  • When calculating your salary expectations, you always base yourself on your current annual salary – if You are changing jobs and are not just starting out in the career. Add up to 20 percent to it at your own discretion – but not more.
  • State your salary expectations at the end of the cover letter, i.e. either in the final sentence or in PS.

In general, changing jobs can give you a big salary jump. Even graduates of lucrative courses – computer science or engineering, for example – can count on a fat payday after graduation. But be careful: keep moderation!

If you name a hammer sum as your salary expectation, this will make you a cashier for the HR manager. Unsympathetic! Especially when the information is garnished with brazen or outrageous statements à la Because I’m worth it or You won’t find anyone better than me. This suggests that such an applicant could continually provoke trouble. Nobody wants a troublemaker on their team.

But don’t get it wrong: In times of skilled labor shortages, self-confidence in negotiation poker can be a strategy for success – but only for those who can afford it. IT specialists, engineers and other technicians, in particular, do not have to sell themselves below their value. As is so often the case in life: the line is thin between self-confidence and arrogance.

Salary expectations

Keep the following in mind when formulating your salary expectations :

  • If you state a comparatively high salary, you have more leeway downwards. In this way, the employer can lower your price in the further course of the application, thereby calming his own conscience and still providing you with a top salary. Win-win! On the other hand, there is a greater risk that he will sort you out prematurely because you are too expensive for him.
  • If you have a comparatively low salary expectation, you have no more headroom. Bad! You cannot name a sum of 35,000 euros in the cover letter and then ask for 40,000 euros in the interview. That reveals you to be a diaper. On the other hand, with a low sum you increase your chances of being invited to a job interview at all. The employer senses good business. Companies appreciate a good price-performance ratio. They always want to keep prices down, which corresponds to their market-based nature. So if you pile deep as an applicant, you sometimes increase your chances. You could use this strategy if you absolutely want the job, but have to assert yourself against a large number of competitors.

Avoid the extremes in any case. So don’t go too far up or too far down when naming your salary expectations. The former leaves you standing there as a bloodsucker fixated on money, the latter as an unsuspecting naive who does not know its own market value. And if you don’t know your own market value, you can’t be that competent, can you? However, it is not possible to clearly define which amount is too high or too low. That makes things so tricky.

Is that why the solution is not to take a stand at all? The clear answer: no. If the company demands the specification of salary expectations in the cover letter, then you should obey this as well.

Otherwise, submit incomplete application documents. This causes additional work for the personnel office. And it shows that you are not responding to an explicit request from the employer. That can even mean that you are out prematurely.

A compromise would be a formulation like:

My current annual salary is 42,000 euros.

No, a concrete salary requirement is not. But the applicant signals that he has registered the request. After all. The HR manager now also has a guideline that he can use for orientation.

But it would be even better if you specify your desired salary (or range) as your salary expectations. This also saves you time and effort. Assuming that you and the company are so far apart in terms of salary that there is no need for any further discussion, you can now focus on other applications.

Omit salary expectations

What if the company does not specify in the job advertisement at all Salary expectations demands? One could of course go into it anyway. After all, that gives the company additional information, doesn’t it?

No. The expected salary is in principle not part of the application letter.

If it is not requested, then do not write anything about it. Only if you are specifically asked to do so. Otherwise, you give the impression that financial aspects are your priority. Or what would you think if you asked an applicant about his or her motivation and he immediately knocked his or her salary expectations on your ears?

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In the interview (at the latest in the second interview), the topic is still on the agenda anyway. Because one thing is clear: you will not sign the contract without a financial agreement.

Salary expectations-part-time

If you are applying for a part-time job, then it is important to work hours and salary expectations to put into a relationship. Otherwise, misunderstandings quickly arise. So you should name both sizes, for example like this:

  • With 20 hours a week, I imagine an annual salary of 12,500 euros.
  • For a 50 percent job, I imagine an annual salary of 18,600 euros.

You should also state-specific figures when the job advertisement you are referring to in Apply part-time, does not contain any indication of weekly hours. This gives the employer an important guide.

Incidentally, you can also apply the principle when you apply for a full-time position. In this case, the expected salary could be formulated as follows:

  • For a 40-hour week, I imagine an annual salary of 45,000 euros.

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