Should you list your desired salary on your CV?

should you list your salary

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Listing your desired salary on your CV is like walking into an interview without any clothes on.

You leave nothing to the imagination!

Is this a good idea?

In my experience the answer is “It depends on how fast you want to change jobs, and how much you want to change jobs.”

Listing your desired salary tells the employer *exactly* how much they have to offer you in order for you to accept the job. If your desired salary is too low then you are leaving money on the table. If your desired salary is too high then you are pricing yourself out of the market.

In short, it’s risky to list your desired salary. Even if you have done your research and understand exactly what your skills and experience are worth in the market, there’s still risk you won’t get the number right.

So when should you list a desired salary number on your CV?

When you are happy in your job and don’t really care when or if you find a new one. List a salary at the high end of a realistic range based on your market research.

If you do this, the only companies that will call you for an interview are great companies that are willing to pay you a salary high enough to make it worth changing jobs. You won’t waste your time with anyone else.

On the other hand, if you’re eager to find a new job then I advise you NOT to list your desired salary on your CV. It’s too risky — your number is likely to be too high (so recruiters don’t call you) or too low (so you leave money on the table).

Got questions or an opinion? Leave your thoughts below! I answer all comments. 😉