Handling Salary Boxes in Online Job Applications

If you're completing an online job application, you may wonder how to handle the salary requests in the salary boxes of the online job application. You'll typically need to supply your salary requirement and salary history (two different things) when either or both are embedded as required fields in an online application.

When filling out paper applications (much less common, these days) you can always write “Negotiable” for salary expectation to keep from under- or over-pricing yourself. But most online applications won’t accept “Negotiable” (or “Open” or “Will discuss in an interview”) for expected salary as a viable answer, so that tactic is out the window. What now?

Here are two different possibilities for how to go about filling in the required salary boxes:

  • Use a competitive number in the salary requirement box that won't likely get you screened out before you even have a chance at a first interview. Do your research to come up with this figure. Base the amount on the position title, position description, and your experience level.

  • Enter the absolute minimum salary that you would agree to be paid, based on your current knowledge of the job's requirements. This keeps you from appearing to be too pricey. During the interview, emphasize that this figure was estimated to be only base cash salary, without including additional compensation for benefits and other perks.

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