One of the biggest discussions, and arguments, in the job search world today is whether or not a job seeker should disclose their salary history during a job interview with a potential employer. On one side of the argument, some experts say you should never disclose your salary history when speaking with a potential employer. The other side of the argument says that if you do not disclose the information, it could cause your resume to be thrown in the trash. We will debate this issue here.
Disclose for Screening Purposes
The side of the argument that says you should tell a potential employer your salary history believe in this method because it is used as a screening purpose. For example, if your previous salary is more than the company is willing to pay, then the employer might come to the conclusion that you will not accept anything less than what you earned in the past.
Reasons to Worry about Disclosing Salary History
There are two major reasons why job seekers do not want to disclose their salary history to a potential employer. The first of the two reasons is that the salary history might be lower than what the employer has budgeted for, and the job seeker is worried they will be lowballed by the employer during negotiations. The second of the two reasons is that the job seeker might not be able to negotiate a higher salary because the employer knows what the job seeker made in the past.
Disclose Full Compensation
As you search for a new job and decide that you will disclose your salary history to the potential employer, make sure you disclose your full compensation. This includes salary, benefits, 401(k), commissions, bonuses and insurance provided by former employers. Have your salary numbers from all prior jobs at the ready to divulge so you can be completely honest with the employer. Also, when you ask about the compensation, make sure you ask about more than just the salary.
Never Lie About Salary History
Make sure you never lie about salary history, especially if you do not want to disclose the numbers. If you have it in your head you will not disclose salary history, do not provide fake numbers to a potential employer. The employer will be able to find out what your work is worth and even find out the actual numbers when calling former employers to ask about you.
The bottom line here is that your salary history might hurt your chances at landing a new job even though it is not fair to you as a job seeker. Think carefully before disclosing salary history, especially if you have the slightest idea that it could cost you a job. Always err on the side of caution and provide salary ranges when asked.