Recently, our friend Anna Runyan over at Classy Career Girl interviewed Katie Donovan from Earn More Girl about the ins and outs of salary negotiation. This gem of advice was one of Katie’s incredible suggestions on how to negotiate your salary with skill:
The Value of the Job is NOT Tied to Your Previous Salary
The second most important advice is not to provide your salary history to potential new employers. Simply keep that field blank when filling out an application. The job has a market value and that market value has nothing to do with what you earned before. If you are like most women you are underpaid in your current job thus adding 10% – 15% to your current underpaid salary to figure out the right pay level at your next job will continue your path of being underpaid. Yet, it is the easiest way that most companies figure out what to offer future employees. Remember you beat out a bunch of other candidates to get the job. You have been deemed the best person for the job. Don’t you deserve to be paid like the best if you are offered the job?
You might be asking, though, how do you answer the question “What do you make now?” if your current salary shouldn’t matter. It’s a normal question to be asked. Should you dodge it? Lie? Refuse to answer? Here are our tips on how to answer the dreaded current salary question and stay in the game:
- Don’t answer that question, instead answer this question – what are your skills worth in this market for this position? The interviewer says, “What’s your current salary?” You say, “I’m currently paid at fair market value. For the position here at X company, I believe that value is $XX,XXX and my salary expectations would be in that range.”
- If you’re pushed to the edge (trust me, I’ve been there, where they just won’t stop pushing), be honest. You shouldn’t lie, because that information could come from your current boss in a reference check. Just be sure to reiterate immediately after telling them your salary what your current salary requirements are. That’s the piece of information that matters.