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I am being underpaid for my industry, quality of work, and even experience. My question is not about how to get more money out of my current employer. Rather, I am concerned what potential future employers will think when they ask "What was your previous salary?" I won't lie, and I don't want to refuse to answer. But, specifically, there are two things I don't want them to think:
- This guy is cheap labor; let's offer him a mild increase over what he's making now and then continue to underpay him for as long as he's stupid enough to work for us. [this is kind of how I got in my present situation]
- If this guy was really as qualified as he seems to be, there's no way he would be working for $x per year. You get what you pay for, so there must be something wrong with him, so let's not make him an offer at all.
I'm looking for anything specific I can do (put in a resume/cover letter, say in an interview, etc) to help steer the potential employer away from thinking either of these things. In other words, I'd like to get them to make me an offer based on what I'm worth, not just "previous salary plus a mild increase".
I'm a software developer, in case that matters; but I couldn't think of any other details about my specific situation that would matter. If there are any further details needed, I can provide.