Four reasons to rethink before inflating your salary
Do you wish to add a few thousand dollars extra to your current salary when job searching? However, do you know that doing so without critical market research in today’s cost conscious environment can damage your chances of landing the job you desire?
“Some candidates think that by adding a few thousand dollars to their current salary they will get an especially good increase when changing jobs,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand. “Others do so to have a bit of negotiating room. But there is no valid reason for doing this. Misrepresenting yourself will jeopardise your application and damage your reputation.”
Here are four reasons to make you reconsider inflating your salary:
- It can price you out of the market
“If the increase you give yourself puts your salary above typical market rates, potential employers may assume you’ve been working at a higher level than they require,” says Nick. “If you then say you are looking for an increase on what you are currently earning, your expectations may seem too lofty. Worse, a potential employer may decide it’s a waste of time to review your CV if the figure you give is outside the assigned budget for the role.”
- You’ll get caught out
“Your recruiter probably knows hiring managers at your current organisation or may have placed someone else there in the past, so if the salary you provide seems unrealistic they can confirm it,” he says. “Your former boss may also disclose your current salary while providing a reference or you may slip up at some later point.”
- It’s not the only factor that determines the offer
“The salary you are offered depends on a number of factors, including the employer’s budget, internal salary bandings, the availability of your skills in the market, what you can bring to the organisation, and what the hiring manager feels your skills are worth. Your current or last salary is only one factor that determines the offer you receive.”
- You can negotiate
“Most employers expect you to negotiate once they make their first offer,” Nick explains. “They also know you’ll want to receive a little more that what you’re currently on to move, so there’s really no need to add on a few thousand dollars.”
Instead, Nick says the best course of action is to be honest while providing an indication of the salary you’d expect if you were offered the role.
“Consider the duties of the role and consult a current salary guide to ensure you are realistic in your expectations,” he added. “Don’t give one set figure, but instead give a range. For example you could say, ‘Based on my research of typical market rates for this role and the experience and skills required, I’d expect it offers a salary in the range of $75,000 to $82,000.’”
When it comes time to negotiate, remember that you should also consider non-financial benefits. If the employer has a tight budget, perhaps they can offer additional days off, mentoring by a senior leader or internal training?
Importantly, you should also look at the career progression opportunities, the role provides. “If it offers you a step up, that this in itself will help your salary get to where you eventually want it to be.”
This article first appeared on HR in Asia.