/ Asked by Christian
I'm a recent college graduate in Computer Information Systems. I'm having difficulty determining what to put for "minimum salary" for job applications. I'm not the most ambitious person so I'm really wanting and excepting a pretty basic entry level position. Something I can really learn and master. And of course grow into higher positions later on. I've done a little research and it would seem an average that recent graduates are receiving about a 50k starting salary in IT related fields give or take. I'm somewhat skeptical to ask for that amount. I was thinking more like 40k. Would I be under selling myself or even over selling myself? Thanks.
Answered by Kacie, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on Monday, January 12, 2015
If your research shows that recent college graduates are earning a starting salary of $50,000, I would try to come closer to that amount.. If possible, however,  I would describe your salary expectations as negotiable. If they require you to enter an amount, I would encourage you to include a range, that way you are not limiting yourself to a certain amount. 
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on Wednesday, January 14, 2015
You don’t want to sell yourself short when applying for a position but you also want to be cautious to not over shoot on your expected salary in the chance that a recruiter will immediately disqualify you based on your expectations. If available, I would recommend listing your salary as negotiable. If you are required to enter a number value, you could settle in the middle and enter $45,000. If offered a position most companies should offer you at least the minimum of the pay grade regardless of the salary amount you entered on your application. There is always room for negotiation as well if you do end up selling yourself short and realize after the interview that you could qualify for more money based on your experience and skill set.
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, January 23, 2015
You are correct that you want to be realistic with your salary expectations when applying for a job.  If you are too high, a recruiter may not even consider you as they know they cannot pay you what you want and if you are too low, it may appear as if you are not as qualified as you actually are.  It sounds like you have done some research, but I was also recommend going a little deeper to vet the results of your research.  The web site salary.com is one of the most recognized sources for this type of information.  Be sure to consider your major, GPA, and the geographic location that you are targeting when doing your research.  I would then speak with your career services department at your school and ask them if you are on the right track.  Use this guidance to determine what you list on an application.
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