Why you shouldn’t lie about your previous salary

You’ve applied for a job and managed to score an interview. When asked what you are currently earning or what you are expecting for the new role, you fudge the figures by adding a bit more to your “current” salary. Everyone hopes to get a earn more money with a new job but here’s why you shouldn’t lie about your previous salary:

1) There’s a high chance you will get caught. You don’t want to spend time worrying about whether someone will find out you told a fib when you should be focusing on the responsibilities of your new job. There has been a number of high-profile people who have lied about their previous salary, education or experience who were caught out years later when they were successful enough to draw attention to their background.

2) It’s hard to keep track of a lie. You could slip up to a co-worker or somebody could begin to get suspicious if they’re listening intently to anything you’ve mentioned about your previous experience and realise some things don’t quite add up. You don’t want to be Mike Ross from Suits and have a Louis Litt questioning everything you say.

3) Negotiating your salary is about your new role. Salary is not about work history but rather compensating you for the work you’re currently doing. Previous work experience is only one factor of negotiating the final figure.

Go into your interview with a salary range in mind for the current position and don’t be afraid of pointing out the differences between your current/previous responsibilities and the prospective responsibilities. Don’t sell yourself short but don’t lie to succeed.