You Don’t Have to Lie About Your Salary To Get What You Want

If you have been unemployed for a while, you might be feeling like you are never going to find a job. If you were recently laid off due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you might be navigating waters you have never been in before. During the interview process, it is normal to wonder if lying about your salary to prospective employers is acceptable. 

If you feel that the salary a job is offering is not enough, negotiating salaries can be confusing and tricky. Realize that this is a normal part of the employment process and part of getting the salary you deserve. It is important to research before you interview so you get a job with fair pay. You should also approach the negotiations objectively and build an evidence-based case for your desired salary. 

Person opening a paycheck

What to Say to Get the Salary You Want

No matter what your circumstances, you should never lie outright during a job interview about anything, including your previous salary. However, you also do not need to volunteer your previous salary unless you are explicitly asked for it. If you are asked, you should base your answer on what you hope to receive in your next job. In addition to negotiating your salary, you can also negotiate bonuses, benefits, and paid time off. 

There are two types of job seekers—those who have lost their job and are unemployed and those that are looking for a new job to advance their career. Each type should address the question differently. 

If You Are Unemployed

Whether you have been out of work for a while or recently laid off due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you want to put yourself in a favorable position to be re-hired soon. If it has been a while since you’ve had a steady income, you will want to address noticeable gaps in your work history first. The point is to show that you are not desperate for a job. You can use phrases like ‘waiting to find the right fit’ to justify why you have been out of work. 

However, if you are asked directly about your previous salary you should be honest and tell the recruiter what you used to make. If your previous salary was below market value, ask for their ideal range for the position they are hiring for. If the cap is higher than what you said, give them the figure you want, and the reasons why you deserve it based on your experience and accomplishments. 

If You Are Employed But Want to Advance Your Career

If you are looking to advance your career, then leverage your experience within the industry to get a better offer. Even if you are underpaid, you have a current steady income so if one job interview doesn’t work out, you can refine your answers for the next one. 

Conduct research on average salaries in your industry before the interview to know your worth in the current job market. Websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Payscale give salary data to give you an idea of what you should be making. Once you have that knowledge, you can say what you currently make, but because you have successfully completed certain tasks or learned new skills, you can ask for a higher salary. If you are trying to get a job within your current industry, employers know that you are looking for a higher salary in a new position.

In either case, research what the company pays before the interview. If you can find out how well they pay their current employees, especially those in similar roles as what you are applying for, you will be better prepared to negotiate your salary. If you let the employer make the first salary offer, you can follow it up with a higher number with reasons that show why you deserve to be hired at a better rate. 

Women negotiating salary

Does a Background Check Reveal Previous Salaries?

You also might be wondering if your salary will show up on a background check that the prospective employer conducts. A comprehensive background check is a collection of information from public records. There are many different background checks available, but the depth depends on the type. Salary information, however, is not part of background check questions, but previous employment verification is. For private citizens, any previous salary information is not included in a background check. The information is private and is not part of public records. 

Whether you are new to the job market or have been looking for a new job for some time, researching the amount that you are worth will ensure you get the salary you deserve. Contact the experts at DataCheck for more help and information.

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