What would you do if you were interested in a position that clearly states:
All applications must include a cover letter stating salary expectation. Any applications submitted without this information will not be considered.
Would you apply? Would you apply but wouldn’t include salary expectations? Thanks! Keep up the great work!
Nick’s Quick Advice
I’d skip the application altogether, track down someone who works in the company, and find out who the manager is who needs to fill the job.
Then call that manager — on the phone, no e-mail — and ask a question no one ever asks them:
“When you pick someone to hire to fill this job – what’s the one most important thing you want them to fix, improve, accomplish, do to make your business more successful? Because I never apply for a job unless I know what the manager really needs a new hire to do first and foremost. And if I can’t put together a plan showing how I’d do that, I won’t apply.”
A smart manager will answer that question immediately – and you’ve set yourself apart as the best candidate already. Explain that you’d be glad to come in to talk, but you’ll send a resume only directly to the manager:
“Sorry. I don’t deal with personnel departments. They don’t really understand the work I do, so they can’t judge me. I talk only to managers, and I arrive ready to talk shop. We’ll talk salary only if I can convince you I’d be a profitable hire. If I can’t do that, then you shouldn’t hire me.”
Let the HR folks go diddle those cover letters while you’re interviewing for the job. And if the manager doesn’t understand what you’re talking about, run to the next opportunity, because that company isn’t looking for people who demonstrate initiative. In other words, the company is in trouble. (How can you know what your salary expectation is if you don’t know what the manager needs you to accomplish?)