When writing cover letters or interviewing

the best answer is almost always “I’m looking for total compensation in the range of..
The logic is:
1. lowest point. the absolute minimum you will take for this position. (IMO Eldred, I would make this about $5k less than what market is in the area–you want that job!)
2. highest point: salary plus if I had to pay health insurance, toll fees, travel to client sites all out of my own pocket, and in general want a raise, what’s the amount I would need to have and would be thrilled to have.
As someone else mentioned, there is always a pay scale range for any non-hourly corporate position. When you phrase it like the above, (a) it doesn’t come across like you are talking straight salary (for example, I once gave a range and the company countered with a lower annual salary but a $10k signing/moving bonus) (b) the interview is thinking “I can (or not) afford that.” By giving them a range, you provide them with some leeway.