Salary can be an extremely touchy subject for most, but it is essential that you be upfront with both your recruiter and potential employer about your current salary from the get-go. Everyone is looking for an increase when switching jobs, but remember to be realistic about this increase- looking at it from the employers point of view- an increase upon what you make now. Not being honest about your current salary in the hopes of getting a large increase will put you at a disadvantage, as it often means you are out-pricing yourself in the marketplace. As recruiters, we are very familiar with salary ranges and what specific companies pay their staff (below or above market rate for example). Therefore, it is very easy for us to identify numbers that seems too high or even too low. You put yourself at risk of losing credibility with us long term, which can lead to losing out on the opportunity now as well as in the future.
To all the junior candidates out there- please be honest! I know that with a year and a half of experience you are definitely not making the same as someone with three to four years of experience.
To all of those who feel they are being underpaid- be proactive! It is not your next employer’s job to compensate you for what your previous employer was not giving you. If you feel you are being underpaid, I urge you to be proactive and look for a new role, as each new salary builds upon the previous one and it is your own responsibility to seek out each incremental increase based on your past experience.
The truth always comes out in the end, as a lot of employers will ask for W2’s or recent pay slips as proof of salary at offer stage. Be realistic and upfront about your expectations and remember that your Recruiter is there to help and guide you through the process.