When I am contacted by a recruiter regarding a position, I reply by giving them my current salary and request a 20% raise to consider the position and then attach my resume.

Is this standard?

  • 7
    Standard for whom? For you it seems, hehe... Perhaps you want to rephrase your post or really want to ask something else (like "what would be a professional reply to recruiters contacting me", although I would first suggest you browse past questions, because that one is very likely to have been addressed several times already)... or ask "is it unprofessional to immediately reply with salary expectations?" or similar...
    – DarkCygnus
    May 12, 2022 at 23:09
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    No, it's not standard. If you desire, you just tell them your minimum required. They may ask, but they have no business knowing your current salary. They have no business knowing how you worked out the minimum figure you want. In other words, don't explain. Don't justify yourself. For all they know, you've asked for a 5% increase or a 200% increase. May 12, 2022 at 23:40
  • The absolute standard is to have "No Standard", which means that anything people can think of is standard. May 13, 2022 at 3:24

3 Answers 3


Most recruiters will ask you about your expectations pretty quickly. Some will tell you the salary range right away.

It's not standard or common. However, for relatively junior roles, as an undifferentiated individual contributor of a given level in a given subset of tasks (language, front/back, etc), stating your desired pay right away makes for a reasonable approach.

For senior roles, as a manager, principal developer, architect, or C-level, different people will move the company in different directions. Then it makes sense to negotiate after they decide they actually want you. Still a good idea to check if you're in the same ballpark beforehand.


Standard? There is no standard. You do what you feel is correct. Everyone else does what they think is correct.

That being said, I usually ask them what the salary range or hourly rate is, rather than tell them what I'm looking for. If they come back with a figure lower than what I'm looking for then I tell them what I'm looking for.


In the US, depending on your state, it may be illegal for a recruiter to ask for your salary history.

That said, NO, it's not a standard. The laws have been created to end pay discrimination.

Don't ever volunteer, "I'm making X amount now". You lose negotiating power.

You're always better off just communicating how much you want, rather than letting the recruiter decide for you. If you're way too high versus what the recruiter might offer, it might be smartest to just decline the opportunity.

  • But if I don't give my current salary, there is not enough to justify the requested salary? If a candidate demands X, this is much more acceptable if X is a 20% increase from what they are currently making, no? May 13, 2022 at 0:31
  • If they know you're looking for a 20% raise, they may think you're only capable of doing 80% of the job. The only justification you need is "I'm the best candidate for the job and you will be glad you hired me". May 13, 2022 at 0:53
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    @freelionsntigersfromcages, no, all they need to know is how much you are looking for. If they are willing to meet that, you can continue the conversation. If they aren't, you walk. Your current salary is not relevant to the conversation.
    – Seth R
    May 13, 2022 at 2:45

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