There is always a time to reveal “stuff” that you’re afraid to divulge but certainly must. I myself find it a little odd to reveal my true salary to prospects during a job hunt. I think it’s a little healthy to keep something to yourself.
But at some point during your job search, you will likely be asked about your salary history — how much you’re making at your current job, and maybe even how much you made before that. It is a little right for future employers to find out how much the industry thinks about you. And we all know that the industry has it’s own official salary scales. Future employers would often weigh you a little different once they know how much you’re worth currently.
But when asked about this, it helps to understand the reason behind why employers do ask. It’s just really two things: 1. Employers want to gauge your current market value, and 2. Employers want a sense of what salary range you’ll be expecting with them.
Let me give you some advice on how much or less you need to reveal your worth:
1. Play it honest but discreet – if you fill up an application form and you find a blank space asking you how much you would like to receive put dashes in the blank field. It tells your interviewer that you saw that needed info but it gives them a sense that you want to talk to them face to face about it. At least if the employer is really interested, you’d be in face to face dialogue with them.
But this could sometimes backfire. The employer may also sense that you are not too honest with them upfront. That’s OK. If they don’t call you, then they’re not really interested in the first place. Maybe they just want to know that and be uninteresting or uninterested.
2. Mention industry rates – if they really press you for a solid answer, then at least you can be honest by saying you are uncomfortable to say it at this stage of the interview. Tell them you’d be willing to “tell all” if their interest in you is really really strong. That will give them a sense that you want a commitment from them before you commit these personal info. You may also mention “industry rates” the very least.
3. Mention remuneration diversity – you can probably be good to say a “base” rate you with other benefits. The base rate at least will give them something to chew on, and you can negotiate other forms of remuneration like benefits and other perks later on.
At the end of the day, you would want your future employer to not feel being starved of information. Also that you would feel you haven’t divulged a whole lot and thereby remain uninteresting from here on.