How to write salary history

December 14, 2021  •  Reading Time: 8 min.

This is how you can list your salary history on your resume (+ template)

When you apply to a company, they may ask you to include salary history in your application. In order to receive an invitation to interview, you should comply with this request.

two person are reviewing the salary history

It’s best to include this information directly on your resume or – in a few cases – create an extra page with the salary history and send it to the potential employer along with your cover letter and resume. In this article, we’ll go into detail about how you can proceed when asked for your salary history, several ways and examples to write it all down, and conclude with a sample template!

What should you say when asked for a salary history?

If you are requested to attach your salary history to your resume, always be honest. This is because potential employers might also inquire about your salary from previous employers. However, you are not required to disclose your previous salary. You can also decide not to disclose your entire salary history, but you can instead use phrases such as “I currently earn $85,000 and would like to discuss with you what I am aiming for in my next position.”

How is the salary history different from a salary requirement?

A salary demand is the amount of compensation that a person requests for accepting a potential job. It may be based on past salary history, work experience, skills, or industry. Sometimes an employer will ask you to provide a salary history instead of – or in addition to – your compensation request. The salary history is a paragraph that lists your past earnings. The difference between these two statements is that the salary history indicates what you actually earned in your previous job. Your salary requirement indicates what you would like to earn in your next job.

Is it legal for employers to ask about salary?

In some cities and states, employers are prohibited from asking job applicants about salary or are allowed only with restrictions. These include: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Vermont, and Washington. Tip: You might have to do some research on your city before including your salary information on your resume.

Why do prospective employers ask for a salary history?

The reasons why they want to know the salary are generally the following:

  • They want to determine your market value. This will allow the employer to better assess your experience and the value you bring to the table.
  • They want to make sure your expectations match their budget for the position. You may be overqualified if your last salary is significantly higher than what your new employer can pay.
  • The employer wants to set a reasonable amount for the position. If many applicants quote more than the employer originally estimated, they may need to increase their offer.
a man making salary history

💡 Tips for writing your salary history

Before you include your annual salary for the position in your job application, you may want to consider these tips:

➜ You do not have to provide exact figures – a range will suffice.

Companies ask for salary history to know approximately how much you have earned and to determine if it is possible for the company to pay you that amount or more.

➜ Do not state your monthly salary, but your annual salary.

State your annual remuneration which is available to you before taxes.

➜ Mention your salary history only briefly.

It’s best to include the salary history on your resume under Work Experience. A short paragraph on how much you earned is sufficient.

➜ Mention the benefits you received in addition to your previous salary.

If you received any perks in previous positions, such as insurance, paid vacation, work from home, or transportation to and from work, you should mention it.

➜ Do not re-state your salary history.

If you have already mentioned your salary history in your cover letter, do not mention it again in your resume. Tip: Always include the remuneration history on your resume and not the cover letter.

➜ Do not include salary history on a separate sheet.

This is a very important tip: It may prove detrimental if you include your salary history separately. That’s because the recruiter might notice the document right away and look at it first – and if you’ve been paid too much, you’re immediately out of the game. Without the HR department having taken a single look at your qualifications.

How do you write salary?

Now that you know the best ways to include your salary history in a resume, there are several steps on how to include salary as a candidate to the employer:

1. Specify a range

It’s best to give a general range for your most recent jobs, which can be rounded up to the nearest $5,000 or $10,000.

2. Choose cover letter or resume

You can include salary history in the cover letter or resume. In the cover letter, you should include it at the end of the letter. In the resume, you can include it in a section under Work Experience.

3. Include a note about your flexibility

Are you willing to accept a little less for certain benefits? Point out that you would first like to talk about the job as a whole and that your previous pay is not set in stone.

bill from the bank

4. State the salary range on your resume wisely

Only include a salary range if the company specifically requests it. Otherwise, you don’t have to talk about salary history in your resume.

5. Be sure to provide full disclosure

Show the progression of your salary for each position by providing a starting pay and a final pay. This way, you also show how your wage has evolved.

💡 Tips on how much of your salary history you want to share with your prospective employer

  • Use general terms, such as “My current salary is in the mid-seventies.”
  • Show that you have accomplished enough to earn a raise by citing a compensation increase over the course of your current or previous job: “I started my job at $50,000 and now make $70,000.”
  • Include anything you received in addition to your base pay, such as tips or regular bonuses. Example: “I currently earn a base salary of $70,000 plus an average quarterly bonus of $3,500.”

Salary history example

If the employer requires you to include a remuneration statement, you could – for example – present the salary like this:

Digital Marketing Manager

  • Company AB
  • Start Date: …
  • End Date: …
  • Annual Salary: $45,000

Social Media Coordinator

  • Company XY
  • Start Date: …
  • End Date: …
  • Annual Salary: $50,000
woman looks at her laptop

Salary history template

A salary history includes your job title, the name of each company you worked for, and the gross pay you earned while working for that employer. You can therefore present annual salary this way:

First name, last name

Street, house number

City, state, postal code

Phone

E-mail

Marketing Manager

Company Z

Los Angeles, CA

06/19 – Current

Annual Salary: $68,000 plus benefits.

Marketing Coordinator

CD, Inc.

Dallas, TX

12/15 – 06/19

Annual Salary: $52,000 plus benefits

Social Media Assistant

Company EF

Atlanta, GA

06/12 – 12/15

Annual Salary: $31,000 plus benefits

Conclusion

Different companies pay attention to different elements on a resume. Some companies look at salary history and compensation expectations, while others don’t focus on that as much. Therefore, find out what you need to include in your resume. If your resume is incomplete and not detailed enough, it will be rejected immediately. Always remember that the pay you received in your last job doesn’t have to have anything to do with the salary you will get in your next job. As mentioned earlier, many employers just want to get an idea of what you are currently worth on the market and if they even have the budget to hire you.

dollar banknote

Frequently asked questions about Salary History

How should job seekers present salary history?

The salary history should be included on your resume – but only, for example, if someone at the company you are applying to asks for it.

How to write salary on an application?

You don’t want to state exactly what you earn. The pay you provide in your application should be a range.

Is directly mentioning salary on a resume good or bad?

We advise you not to mention your salary history directly (unless you are asked about it). This is because it could give employers the impression that money is the most important thing to you in a job.