What should I say about my salary requirement in a job application?

I geek out about salary negotiation.  A friend recently asked what to do when you are applying for a job and you’re asked about your salary requirements on a job application.

I thought it might help someone else, so here’s the advice I gave her:


This one is tough, especially since in a form, it’s often a required field.

You should feel ok about just putting your actual salary requirement. Yes, you might be shutting the door on an opportunity, but if that’s the case, you’re shutting the door on an opportunity that wouldn’t have paid as much anyway.

As job seekers, we feel REALLY good about getting an interview, but if we’re getting interviews because we’re WAY overqualified, it’s just a waste of time.

You can put some nonsense in there- negotiable is fine but not my favorite. I would like ‘market rate’ if it didn’t remind me of the daily fish special.

Either way, you’re worth a certain amount, and it’s TOTALLY OK if someone isn’t willing to interview you because they aren’t willing to pony up the dough you’re worth.  Good luck!