For my initial phone call with this company, I was asked what salary I was looking for. I had seen advice around to put this off till the later stages, but the recruiter was adamant for this info so I relented.

Now, I'm in the final round and will be interviewing in person. I was asked to fill a general application which asked about some basic info about myself and work history. However, it also clearly asks for my current salary and my desired salary right next to it.

My current company is my first real job out of school and it was appropriate at the time, but it is much less than my desired and "market" rate for the position I'm applying for. I've been at my current company for 3 years and salary growth is insignificant. One of the main reason I'm leaving is because I feel my worth has surpassed my salary.

What should I do now in my situation? Should I leave the current salary blank? Should I fill it in?

  • @JoeStrazzere Is there a chance that would hinder salary negotiation? They could say, look you are getting paid much more than before, why ask more?
    – mugetsu
    Dec 3, 2016 at 0:37
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    Your current job is not going disclose. Put in the absolutes minimum you would accept for current salary.
    – paparazzo
    Dec 3, 2016 at 0:46
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    @Paparazzi I do not want to lie. If they ask for my pay stubs after being hired, then I'm done.
    – mugetsu
    Dec 3, 2016 at 1:01
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    Strike the field of the current salary. You are not obliged in any way to disclose it; if pressed ask the intwrviewer if he would not mind to disclose his salary too Dec 3, 2016 at 19:13
  • I agree with the remaining answers about salary not being anyone's business, however there's no reason you can't still get what you want by playing ball and telling them. Tell them you made $X and then when they say "you want a $25k raise!?" you tell them that you tried to explain that there's too many factors than just stating a salary, for instance you might have had 50k shares or paid cell phone etc. You tell them the market is paying $X for the position and you have the experience to qualify for it so it doesn't matter what you made before. I have personally done this many times. Dec 5, 2016 at 22:51

2 Answers 2


Your salary is nobody's business but your own. Leave it blank, and fill in only your desired salary.

If they ask for paystubs or press the issue about current salary, you can say that you signed a contract at your current job that you would not disclose your salary to anyone. Or you can just say it's confidential and then stand your ground. You have to be prepared to walk away, though.

  • Why would anyone voluntarily weaken their position? If I ask one of my services verdors to tell me the price they charge other companies they'd either give me the highest rate or laugh me out of the room. In perspective, we are all independent service providers. Don't disclose your price, mak them offer. Dec 3, 2016 at 6:23
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    I wouldn't lie like "I signed a contract" or "it is confidential" unless that is really what happened. "I don't want to disclose that" is perfectly fine.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 3, 2016 at 12:08
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    "it is confidential" means exactly the same thing as "I don't want to disclose that". It doesn't imply that you are legally bound not to disclose. It's not a lie at all.
    – andi
    Dec 3, 2016 at 14:10
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    @andi It is not the same thing. Don't play with words. If you use a 3rd person singular phrase it is you are suggesting third party involvement in this 'confidentiality'.
    – user8036
    Dec 3, 2016 at 15:07
  • I disagree, but you're welcome to choose any words that make you feel comfortable.
    – andi
    Dec 3, 2016 at 19:13

Your current salary should really be irrelevant. You don't want to stay underpaid if you were underpaid, and the new company doesn't want to pay more than you're worth because your old company paid more than you are worth.

What counts is how much you want to earn, how much they are willing to pay, and if they are only willing to pay less, whether there can be a compromise.

You fill in your desired salary. "Desired" salary is not the minimum you would accept, it is what would make you really happy to take the job. Whether you fill in "current salary", that's up to you. If it is an online form that absolutely requires a number, enter $1 if you don't want to tell them your previous salary, which is none of their business anyway.

  • 1
    Or 0, if the form allows; that is a stronger signal.
    – user8036
    Dec 3, 2016 at 15:08

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