Employers request a job seeker's salary requirements to screen employees. Employers will use this information to see which employees fit their profile and to see who has done their homework regarding the job requirements and salary ranges. There are several things you should consider when responding to an employer's request regarding salary expectations.
Decide whether you feel comfortable answering with a range but do not feel like you have to give an answer. It is okay to reply with negotiable if you do not have a salary history, if you are not sure of a range or if you are not comfortable answering. This is acceptable and should not harm the chances to get the job, especially for less-experienced job seekers. On the other hand, you probably should answer if you have a lot of experience, especially experience in similar positions.
State a requested salary, but do your homework and back up that request with data. You can also network with others in the industry and find the salary range of the job you are applying for. Further, you can look at similar positions in your company or using an online salary guide to come up with a fair salary range. Be sure to back up your salary request with data and sources. Cost-of-living for the location, industry standard salary for the job, experience, education and benefits should all be taken into account when considering a fair salary range estimate.
Justify your salary request, especially if you are asking for a salary higher than normal. You should state what qualifies you and why your background qualifies you for a higher salary. Focus on your achievements like education, experience, awards and recommendations.