I am currently looking for new jobs, and am currently on £X amount of money. I know I am currently underpaid, so when talking to recruiters I am bumping my current salary up in order to apply for jobs at an acceptable market rate for my work. This naturally progresses through into the interview stage where employees will ask what I am currently on (and have in the past).

If I was to tell them I am on, let's say, 50,000, because I am currently looking for 60,000, even though I am currently only on 45,000, this would be discovered later if I accepted the role and my P60 is disclosed to them. Would this be a problem? Can they find out what my real previous salary was?

  • Do not lie. Period. Do not lie. There ways to avoid the question or give an answer which drives to what you want vs where you are. But, do not lie.
    – cdkMoose
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 18:06
  • What location is this? In some places in the US, it's illegal to ask what your current salary is.
    – Herb
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 18:44
  • You don't have to provide your p60 just say you mislaid it Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 19:34
  • 3
    Never, ever disclose your current salary.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 20:22

3 Answers 3


Why do you even disclose your current salary?

Just state your desired salary, full stop. If they ask why you are asking for that much, use real arguments: your current experience, average market value, etc. Your current salary should not be an argument.

If they insist on you disclosing your current salary just refuse, and if they don't want to give in, just walk away (I have done this myself). The company is either willing to pay your desired salary or not, and your current salary won't (shouldn't) factor in.

  • 2
    This, very much. There is no reason for anyone to know what your current salary is. If you are qualified for a position that pays between X and Y, then what you currently make has no bearing on that. If they deem you qualified for the job, then they can pay. Your recruiter needs to know what your target amount is. If I make 40,000 and won't work at a particular position for less than 90,000, which is the norm for Circus Elephant Poop Collector, then the fact that I make 40,000 now doesn't magically lower my minimum. Better to stick to letting them just know your target vs. lying about it. Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 18:36

In most cases getting caught in any lie, including what you may consider to be a minor stretch to manipulate to the salary you want, can be considered grounds for summary dismissal. You are in Europe, I am not, so you may dealing with different regulations than I am used to, and exact grounds for termination is a legal issue, not a workplace question. However, if there is any chance that a potential employer can discover your were less than 100% truthful, even if that does not cross a threshold that they can or will terminate you, it still sets the precedence that you are willing to manipulate and lie to them as you see fit. For me, that would mean even if I did not terminate you just for that, it would be a massive black mark and would effect all my future dealings with you long term and most managers would tend to feel the same way.

When you are asked what are you making now, the correct answer is what you are making, not what you feel you should be making.


I think it would not be good, because you show you are not trustworthy early on at a new job. Sets you off for a bad start.

I would focus such discussion on the market-value of myself and the will of employer to purchase exactly that kind of "human capital" If your work is worth 60.000, then this is what needs to be paid and will be paid ... by someone. Of course, your employer would not be a good businessman if he did not try to purchase your service at a bargain. Don´t try to argue with your situation of live (kids, cost of living) Don´t let them argue with economic stress or you previous wage.

State that this is a simple transaction for you: You have something to offer an you estimate it is worth 60.000 - see if you can get to an agreement with them about this estimate, then you have a deal. If not, this is does not mean you are wrong, it only means they can not monetarize your work to that extent. If you can´t find an agreement on several occasions, then it is a good sign you are overestimating your market worth.

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