Answer Expected Salary in Email

If you've been asked to respond to an email with your expected salary, it's important that you do the proper research before you respond. First, you should calculate your yearly costs so you have an idea of what you need to make. Then, you need to figure out the average salary in your industry and area so that you can give a reasonable response. If you take your time and cover your bases, you can get the salary you want and improve your chances of getting the job.


Sample Email

Doc:Email Response to Expected Salary Questions

Determining How Much You Need to Make

  1. Calculate your living expenses. Figure out the minimum that you need to make in order to cover your monthly costs, then multiply it by 12 to get the minimum that you need to make each year. It may help to create a spreadsheet that lists your costs while you're calculating them. These costs can include things like rent, bills, and extra spending money. You'll also want to consider taxes when calculating your income and expenses.[1]
    • To figure out your net pay, deduct the taxes you have to pay from your total pay.
    • Remember to include quarterly or yearly bills that you need to pay as well.
  2. Research how much others make in the same position.[2] Search sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find salaries for your particular job. This will give you a better idea of what you should be making in the position and can help you set a number for your salary expectations.[3]
    • You can sometimes find past salaries at the specific company you are applying to on sites like Glassdoor. Knowing this information will inform you how the company is paying employees in similar positions.
  3. Determine the cost of living in your area. The cost of living in certain cities, states, or countries varies significantly and affects how much people get paid in the area. Websites like Glassdoor,, and have local employment statistics so that you can see what people are generally earning near you. Use these websites to help narrow down your salary expectations.[4]
    • For instance, if you live in New York City, the cost of living, and thus the salaries, will be much higher than if you lived in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  4. Be honest with your salary expectations.[5] Don't ask for more than you think you're worth just because you want more money. On the flip-side, you should also not low-ball the number or you may end up getting paid poorly in your new position. Be as honest and upfront as you can with yourself and your potential employer when responding to expected salary questions.[6]

Writing the Email

  1. Provide a simple and concise subject line. The subject line should be short and to the point. You should add some identifier so that the person can easily find the email when they search for it.[7]
    • For instance, the subject line could be something like, “Garrett Anthony - Expected salary information.”
  2. Use the same tone as previous correspondence. If your correspondence with the employer has been formal thus far, keep it that way in your email. If you've been communicating on a more informal basis, a “Hello,” followed by the first name will probably suffice in the intro.[8]
    • Use salutations like "Mr.," "Ms.," and "Mrs." if you've used them throughout the hiring process.
    • For formal communications, you may want to start the letter with something like, “Dear Mr. Smith.” For more informal jobs, a “Hello John” or “Hi John,” should suffice.
  3. Write a short 2-3 sentences thanking them for the opportunity. A small thank you paragraph will let them know that you're still interested in the position. This is also a great way to segue into the more serious conversation of salary and benefits.[9]
    • The first paragraph can be something like, “Thanks so much for the opportunity! I appreciate the time that you've given me during this process and I'm excited about the prospect of joining the team.”
  4. Include your expected salary and 2-3 sentences and why you deserve it. The second paragraph should include your expected salary. Make sure to justify the number with a couple of sentences highlighting your education or experience.[10] This will improve the chances of you getting the salary that you want.[11]
    • Your second paragraph can be something like, “Based on my 5 years of experience, I think that something in between $50,000 and $65,000 would be appropriate.”
  5. Double-check your email for grammatical and spelling errors. Double or triple check the email before you hit the send button to avoid leaving the wrong impression. Spelling and grammar errors in your email can make you look unprofessional and could hurt your chances to get the job.[12]
    • Run spell and grammar check on emails before you send them to avoid mistakes.
    • Even though the email is short, it's important that everything is clear and correct.

Improving Your Chances of Getting an Offer

  1. Provide a salary range that satisfies you instead of a concrete number. If you're unsure of what the employer is willing to pay or what you want to ask for, you can give them a range.[13] Use your research and find the lowest and highest paid people with similar experience in your particular position to create that range.[14]
    • Giving a range will show them that you're flexible and may benefit you during Start-Salary-Negotiation.
  2. Say that the salary is negotiable based on benefits. Benefits can save you a lot of money so it's important that you take them into consideration when answering the expected salary question. On the flip side, the job may offer no benefits. In this case, it's okay to ask for a little more than the market average to make up for the lack of benefits.[15]
    • You can write something in the email like, “Negotiable based on the benefits package.”
    • For instance, if the position offers health benefits that would normally cost you $2,000 per year, you'll need to calculate that into your expected salary.
  3. Let them know that you are flexible with the salary. Tell the employer that you're flexible, especially if you really want the job. This may keep you in the running and could come in handy during salary negotiations later.[16]
    • You can write something like, “I'm highly flexible with my salary and would love the opportunity to join the team.”


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