You Should Never Tell a Recruiter Your Current Salary, Headhunter Says

  • Being asked about your current salary in a job interview can be very off-putting.
  • Nick Corcodilos, a Silicon Valley headhunter, said you shouldn’t reveal this information.
  • A job coach advised countering with a question about the salary range that’s being offered.

There are plenty of awkward questions that can come up in an interview. 

Why should we hire you? What’s your biggest weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years? These are just a few of the most notorious ones.

Probably one of the most difficult questions you can face is about your current salary. 

On his website “Ask The Headhunter,” Nick Corcodilos, who’s been working as a headhunter in Silicon Valley since 1979, revealed what the correct way to respond is.

Don’t disclose your salary

“I strongly believe the right approach is to withhold salary history, even if it costs you a job opportunity, simply because sharing your old salary will almost always result in a lower job offer,” Corcodilos wrote.

Employers don’t always give up straight away when you refuse to disclose your salary. After all, they’re trying to save on personnel costs. Often they’ll give a reason why they need to know your current salary.

They may say things like “we need to know your salary because without it, we cannot continue to process your application,” or “we need to know your salary because it’s the policy.”

You shouldn’t feel pressured into answering. 

“An employer may have the right to ask for your salary, and it may be legally free to terminate your application, but you also have the right to say NO,” Corcodilos advised.

Job coach Mandi Woodruff-Santos agreed that it’s best not to answer questions about your current salary.

Writing for CNBC Make It, she advised countering with a question about the salary range the company is offering if they ask for your current salary.

“I’d rather not disclose that at this point in the process, as I’d like to have a more comprehensive salary conversation based on my skills, what I can offer to the team, and company benefits. Can you tell me if you have a certain budget in mind?” she wrote.

“You must judge for yourself how to respond, but you must also realize that if you do disclose, you’ve probably destroyed your ability to negotiate the best job offer,” Corcodilos added. 

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