I found in the news about one big company that the president said something like "the money is not most important thing, so we just pay just so the workers would not go to other companies".

I like the attitude with the condition that I would be having happier life than working in other companies.

So was considering to add this in the cover letter, so because our values match, I was thinking that it might improve chances to get a job and once get - stay longer and be happier. I agree that getting a raise in that company would be hard thing but I understand that everything has a price.

By happier life I mean:

  • no crunch times, or if I have crunch time temporarily, this has to be compensated by giving free time some days later.
  • learn everything I need during working hours (I know guys who do it, I know who sit in Facebook lot of time on clock, I know who even do their own projects on clock, so that means there is definitely a time for learning on clock).
  • extra holidays (unpaid), especially if there is not enough time to learn new things during work hours.
  • @JoeStrazzere - this is exactly what I mean :) Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 9:34
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    Note that a CEO saying "money isn't the most important" is quite a bit different from "we only pay our employees the bare minimum" with the subtext being "we don't give raises unless people threaten to leave".
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 12:22
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    To answer a more generalized version of the question: Your cover letter should make positive statements about the things that do interest you, not negative statements about the things that don't. Nobody wants to hire somebody who seems to be negative-minded, even if they say they are willing to work for $1 an hour.
    – alephzero
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 14:42
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    I've seen plenty of examples where an organization's leader (e.g., the president you mention) may have opinions/attitudes that aren't completely shared by others in the organization (e.g., whatever local HR/management/etc. staff needs to approve hiring you). Usually when a president says something using positive words, people tend to express agreement with the general sentiment, but what they actually do in practice doesn't always match. Don't try too hard to endear yourself to just the company president if that president won't be personally seeing your resume/application/interviews/etc.
    – TOOGAM
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 20:00
  • Don't negotiate solely on salary, focus on the entire compensation package. Extra time off or comp time IS part of compensation.
    – DLS3141
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 21:27

7 Answers 7


The best way to show that you aren't particularly interested in salary is... just don't mention it.

What you're looking for is typically referred to as a positive work/life balance. That's the term I would use on a cover letter, along with the things that for you are important and are looking for in an employer. Remember, recruitment is a two way street. You have to fit the company, but the company has to fit you.

So using the term "work/life balance" will understood as what you see as important. If money isn't, then don't bring it up :) Remember though, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be negotiating for a fair salary if and when the time comes!

  • Actually I sometimes dream about making small busines, so I would say its more like work/personal-business/life balance :) I mean instead of doing overtime, I am much more motivated to do something for my self. Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 8:12
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    It's entirely the same thing. The "life" part is to do whatever you want. If that's a personal business, then you are looking for time in life to do that :)
    – Jane S
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 8:13
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    @JoeStrazzere: Well, you could always tone it down a bit by writing something about a healthy balance between stressful times and times for decompression. But yes, essentially you are saying no to too much overtime, which I think is a reasonable thing to do.
    – sleske
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 10:06

the president said something like "the money is not most important thing, so we just pay just so the workers would not go to other companies"

Did he really say this? I'd steer clear from that company.

So was considering to add this in the cover letter

Don't do this. You're authorizing them to pay you peanuts.

FYI, compensating crunch hours and learning during work time is something I'd expect from any decent company. And extra unpaid holidays which you spend learning new things for the jobs isn't really holidays; it's training, which - again, in any decent work environment - is supposed to be done during work time.

Basically, it looks like a terrible company to work for.

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    @Will_create_nick_later: Well I certainly wouldn't mention that on your cover letter. As an aside, do you think you have now solved whatever problem led to you being fired by 66% of your previous employers? Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 16:56
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    +1. I worked for a company where the CEO said stuff like this. He encouraged employees to take on more work and have ambiguous job roles (no job titles), but they were never given appropriate compensation for that effort (i.e. Jr doing work of Sr but being paid Jr base salary). A lot of the staff felt trapped because they no longer knew how to market themselves or what salary to expect. Not having any pay increase in 10+ years (well under mkt. rates) was a huge factor in them wanting to leave, plus the CEO was a total nut job. Stay away from a place that doesn't feel paying you is important!
    – coblr
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 19:49
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    Also, that same company tried to keep me from leaving by presenting a 3% salary bump. The job I left them for (same work, same position) paid 60% more! That's how little you are valued when "money isn't important".
    – coblr
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 19:53
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    @Will_create_nick_later: You were fired twice and nobody told you why? Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 8:39
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    @Will_create_nick_later: nope, new job was actually less stress! New job seemed more in line with position role and duties. Older job with boundless responsibilities meant you were expected to do more because "money wasn't important, only the mission".
    – coblr
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 18:32

You still like having more money, right?

What do you gain from putting that in a cover letter? Nothing.

What do you lose? Whoever is hiring you is going to know they can offer you a lower salary than they might have otherwise. Or not offer you a raise they might have to try and entice you to join their company. The net effect is that you will end up with a lower salary than you would otherwise.

If you don't care about the salary, then just don't mention it.

Focus on the aspects of the company you do find important. Pitch yourself as a great fit for their values and requirements. And then, when they offer you a job, negotiate for more of the things you do want.

  • 2
    Yea, like everyone else likes money. But I saw the more money I earn, the more useless things I buy. But still not happy. For example I bought more fancy car which is just for fun but still being stressed at work. I would choose to have more simple car but feel no stress. You get the idea I hope. I think I am not alone. I have seen on internet tons of depressed programmers who have no life. WHats the point of it? Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 9:41
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    @Will_create_nick_later So don't spend the money. Stick it in a retirement account. Or negotiate to trade half your salary for equity in the company. Or negotiate to trade part of your salary for extra holiday entitlement, or a better office, or different work hours, or remote working, or whatever you want. The point is, the company cares about money. Which means you can use it to trade for other things. But only if they offer it to you in the first place.
    – Kaz
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 9:53
  • @Will_create_nick_later, yea, have any extra money automatically taken out of your paycheck and put into retirement or charity if you lack the self control not to spend frivolously. Your inability to manage your finances shouldn't be the reason you ask your employer to undervalue your contribution to their profits.
    – coblr
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 19:56
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    @Zak I think you're missing the point :) The OP wants to be paid fairly for their job, but their job is a tool for making money. There is an old saying, "Work to live, not live to work." For the OP, what they do outside of work is more important than working long hours and stressed out. It's not about "I want to be paid less", rather "If I can have more of my life back, I'm prepared to be paid less."
    – Jane S
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 21:29
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    @JaneS I think you're missing my point. Let's say the OP applies for a job normally. They like the OP and offer them 11X. The OP only actually needs 8X from his job. So, he negotiates to trade 3X of his salary for a larger holiday entitlement. Now let's say the OP applies and mentions "I don't care about salary". Seeing this, they like the OP and figure, if he doesn't care about salary, 8X should be fine. In both cases, exact same job, but by not compromising their negotiating position, the OP is able to get more of the things they care about.
    – Kaz
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 21:38

"the money is not most important thing, so we just pay just so the workers would not go to other companies"

No experienced business professional believes these words. I do not know the context, but, the actual meaning could be, "Dear employees, please let us know, if you want more. But don't leave for the sake of higher pay". May be the employee turnover is significant in that company.

considering to add this in the cover letter

If you put that in the cover letter, in future, you cannot negotiate the offered salary. So do not do this.


I would not recommend putting on your cover letter that money is not important for you. We all need to cover our basic expenses and we do that through monetary means, thus money sadly becomes important. Instead focus on the positive sides that the company provide. Search their webpage to find out what kinds of benefits they provide: learning, flex-time etc. and make your pitch towards that instead.

  • Learning: I enjoy to challenge myself learning X/Y in area Z and I participate in MOOGs in my spare time to further my knowledge in this area.
  • Flex-time: The possiblitity to adjust my day according to my personal life is important to me as I am active as a coach/leader/etc in a activity/program/etc. and allow me to help others etc.

The key here is passion, if you are applying for an example to an aircraft manufacturer that is notorious for paying little you should explain your interest not only in aircrafts and the art of flying but also how that links in with your particular skill set.

It all comes down to pitching yourself as someone that could align well with the company's core values and being a person whom they believe is a good fit along with the rest of the group.

Your wishes as to what a happy life might entail should be pitched to how might the company benefit from your increase in knowledge and skill. If you can find a good match between your interests and the company's values you're more likely to reach an interview than stating that money is not important to you.

  • @JoeStrazzere - do not get me wrong. I like programming. I just want good balance. I would be very sad if I would have to give up programming. We should not look at things as black and white. For example I sometimes see in other low paid jobs people so relaxed and they bring less value, they earn less but they are feeling much better than me, from what I see on their faces. So for me it does not make sense be more valuable but feel worse that those who are less valuable. Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 9:49
  • @will_create_nick_later, it is true that less resposibility can make a person more relaxed and enjoy their life more. However, when bad times are lurking around the corner the people in charge will start to look at those that bring more value and those that bring less. When it comes to layoffs who do you think they will want to keep? You may be sacrificing short term happiness for long term stability, but that decision should be influenced by factors outside the company as well: how is the economy? Is my field flexible etc. Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 11:09
  • of course they will keep those who bring most value. Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 11:19

One huge problem with this, in my opinion, is that it makes you look incompetent!

For example, I tutor. I've noticed the more I charge, the more people respect me and my time and the easier it is to get clients. Because if I charge more, I certainly must be somebody skilled and important, right?

If you don't think your time is worth that much (and this is how it will come off), then the employer will be forced to agree with you. This will backfire in a few ways. First, you will be paid less which you don't seem to mind. Second, and more relevant to you, is you will have less work/life balance! Because if your time is worth very little (which is what you are saying even if you don't mean it), then surely you won't mind working a lot, right? You're not an important or skilled person. Your time isn't worth much so it doesn't matter if they use a lot of it.

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    This has been consistent with how people seem to be treated. If you act like your time is worth nothing, your employer will too. It is only when you push back that your time is regarded as valuable, and respected.
    – Joe Smentz
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 6:03
  • There are valid points, but one I do not agree - if my time is worth less, that does not mean I want to work more. Unless I would have bad situation like loan. On the other hand - I think my time is worth a lot, so thats why I want to save itm I do not want to sell it cheaply (even if its looks high at the market price). Life is short, need to enjoy life. But underrstood the point completely. I will not mention that salary is not important in the letter. Probably same thing in the interview. First I need to work with them and show how I work. Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 6:03
  • Yes, but that's not the impression you're giving off
    – Joe Smentz
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 6:06
  • I think someone who charges alot for the same work another does not looking at Quality is not worth my time. If you dont think Money is that important either dont mention it yourself or ask for the median of the professions salaries. Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 11:42

Don't. If you stress that you want the job at any pay range, it makes you sound desperate and brings across rather the notion that money is crucially important to you in your current life situation.

That, in turn, casts doubt on any other thing you might state to get the job. If you are desperate to get this job, then whatever you state regarding your qualifications needs to be taken with a big grain of salt.

So making that point will not merely be useless for landing you that job, it will be detrimental. Unless the job is a complete shithole and they are going to burn people without an alternative on it as long as they can in which case your "go ahead and do what you want with me" will be something they take in stride.


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