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A hiring manager has just replied to an application I sent by asking me to clarify my desired and current salary. My issue is with the second part - at present I don't have a steady salary. I am currently working as a freelancer (with an hourly rate) and I also have a part-time job as an in-house developer elsewhere. The in-house job is a zero-hours contract - my hours are very variable month to month and the rate is significantly lower than my freelance rate.

How do I communicate my 'current salary' to the hiring manager? I can't calculate my expected yearly earnings as my hours are too variable and I've only been in this situation for a few months so I'm not sure I can extrapolate much from that either.

marked as duplicate by gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Garrison Neely, Chris E, yochannah Mar 4 '15 at 11:25

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    Did you consult other Q's on this site with regards to salary and how to answer: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/6028/… As far as your current salary question: if it's not steady you could say that as a way to dodge it. Most likely he really wants to know your salary expectations. So for your freelance activity you could say that and if pressed maybe give a range of what you normally earn if you feel it is necessary to disclose something. – Brandin Feb 25 '15 at 16:49
  • I would take my last tax return and use that figure – HLGEM Feb 25 '15 at 21:17
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Current Salary doesn't matter

The interviewer doesn't actually care what your salary is, they're actually trying to figure out what it'll cost them to hire you. A lot of the time they'll take your salary and add 10-15% as a starting point for negotiations. (assuming that's within an acceptable range for them)

So rather than do the dance, cut to the chase, just say "To take an this role I believe X$ is fair" then negotiate from there. (you can explain you were freelance so your salary varied etc, but ultimately the thing the interviewer wants to know is how much you'll cost them)

  • They'll "care" what your salary is if they think find out you lied about it. – user8365 Feb 25 '15 at 20:10
  • @jeffO no one is lying. Read the answer again, or go find a question about why you don't disclose previous salary. – Nathan Cooper Feb 27 '15 at 0:17
  • @NathanCooper The question states "current and desired salary" If your answer to the question "what is your current salary" is actually based on what you want and what you want doesn't match the current salary, how are they going to interpret the discrepancy? – user8365 Mar 9 '15 at 2:08
  • @JeffO if someone is hell bent on getting your current salary they're going to also be hell bent on driving you as low as possible. Pretty much consider it a red flag. – RualStorge Mar 9 '15 at 13:55
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I work primarily as a freelancer / contractor . I simply state that and quote my hourly rate . And that's usually more than enough for recruiters

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