So I got contacted by a recruiter and we had a talk about new job offers. We had a good talk about my skills and send my CV. He also asked me how much I would like to earn on a monthly basis. With my skills I thought I should be worth around €3000 (I currently get paid €2250 and this is my first job). So I said that it would be great if he found something around €3000.

A few days pass and I get called by the recruiter. He has send my CV to a few companies and these companies are very interested in hiring me. Great so the next thing he did was send me an e-mail with the jobs and a link to their website where the job offer is described. It shows what exactly I have to do and the required skills for it. Most of the skills shown I have in my pocket. However the next thing that shows up is that the salary for this job is from €3800 - €5000. For a different company I also have most of the skills needed and they show a salary from €3500 - €4500.

They are 15-30% higher than what I asked for.

I am afraid my recruiter only found these companies because my salary that I asked is lower than someone who would otherwise ask for a higher salary.

Should I ask my recruiter that I wish to work for the amount they described in their job offer? Is it okay for me to even ask that?

  • 6
    Related reading: Does the first person to mention a number in a salary negotiation lose?, and: Why is it common advice to never be the first in giving a number in a salary negotiation, and many others. Also in this case the recruiter wants you to get more money, so their cut is greater, but don't want you asking too much for fear of hurting their chances.
    – rath
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 14:09
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    Don't bring it up with the recruiter, wait until the company makes an offer and take it from there. Also relevant: Is it a good idea to ask for a significantly lower salary than the median to increase the chances of an offer? Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 14:46
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    I wanted a particular job, and it looked promising. I had asked for a little over a $15K raise from the position I was leaving. Another recruiter called about a second job, I interviewed and they came back asking me if I wanted to make an offer. I shot out a number (because I wanted the other job more) that was nearly $15K more than I asked for at the other, just expecting they would turn me down out of hand. Suffice to say, I now have the SECOND job. It never hurts to ask. Don't say "it's negotiable", but give a firm, clear answer when asked what you want. Give yourself room to go down. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 13:24
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    @SliderBlackrose - My dad got laid off by his employer then hired back as a contractor at a much higher rate, in Dilbert-like fashion. He doesn't like personal conflict or confrontation, so instead of quitting (and being the bad guy) when he got fed up and wanted to retire, he asked for a raise that he considered so insane he was sure they'd let him go. I think you can guess how that turned out. He made a ton more money in the last few years of his career because he tried to be passive-aggressive. Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 19:24
  • @PoloHoleSet Haha, well, at least the last few bits before retirement paid for a nice cruise! ^_^ Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 19:21

2 Answers 2


The recruiter, hopefully, was using your number as a filter to screen out positions he/she knows you will not be interested in. That would not be setting a cap on what you would like to make. If the market is set at that range, a recruiter, who is often paid a fee based on the first year's compensation, would be foolish to offer a candidate for less than the minimum of the range.

Also, most companies are going to offer the lower bound, but not less. They deemed that to be the position's market-determined range, for the skills and experience wanted. Most companies might have some sort of extraordinary process to bring someone in above range, but if you're worth less than the range, they would deem you not qualified for that position.

Also, if someone comes to work and they do equal or better work than co-workers who are being paid 30% to 60% more, they know they are going to lose that worker, or have a worker who feels very taken advantage of. Dealing with an opening and then actually filling that opening is a very expensive process, so they don't want to lose money, long-term, by shorting someone of compensation, short-term.

Also, if they get a reputation as a company that drastically under-compensates employees when the opportunity arises, they are not going to be able to bring top talent on board for other positions.

If companies are able to bring someone qualified on board at the minimum, and they're happy about it, that's a huge win for the company. If a recruiter is able to offer someone to a company who is qualified that they know will be happy starting at the bottom of a position's expected range, then that's a very hassle-free placement and commission earned, and they look like they are awesome recruiters in the eyes of the company, which means more business or even, possibly, a more exclusive or favored relationship with the hiring manager.

You should be fine. If the recruiter was planning on bringing you in below the lowest pay level for a position, that recruiter would not have disclosed that the "floor" for that position was higher than the number you targeted. Can't hurt to confirm that your expectation is, for a position that is a higher paying job than the minimum your laid out, that the recruiter will not try to offer you as a "low-ball" for the company.


From personal experience, you would probably get offered a salary somewhere within the stated range. This is because the companies are already prepared to pay that range for the new employee and therefore, if they deem you a good fit for the role and want you, would not quibble over the difference of what you asked for vs what was stated in the job description.

You can definitely talk to the recruiter about the differences in what you asked for and for what the companies listed. However, chances are that this recruiter works on a commission basis and would earn a higher commission if your salary was higher. So the recruiter probably just looked for roles that fit your skill set instead of looking for jobs that matched your salary requirements.

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