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Must You Disclose Your Salary History?

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Summary: Regardless of what employers demand on their applications, disclosing your salary wishes too early can harm your candidacy.


Question: What do I do when ads declare, “salary history required”?

Answer: Our general recommendation is to hold off on providing information on salary until the employer has expressed an interest in hiring you. You’re in a much better bargaining position at that point. Salary is often used as a screening device. If you’re too high, you run the risk of getting tossed, too low and you’re boxed into a range that may not truly reflect your value. If the ad specifically asks for salary history, you may make mention of it in your cover letter by indicating that you would welcome the opportunity to discuss the details of your work and salary in an interview.

This approach is not risk-free. Some employers are rigid about their requests and will only consider the applicants who have supplied the full package of requested information. In most cases, however, the strongest candidates will be invited in for interviews regardless.

Must You Disclose Your Salary History? by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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