Giving out your salary history to an inquiring prospective employer can thwart your efforts at landing a higher-paying job. Below are some great excerpts from the TechRepublic community in a discussion thread kicked off by a user seeking advice:
My questions to you all are... Is it appropriate and alright to decline to share one's salary history with a prospective employer? If so, how can you do it without creating an unnecessary issue out of it?.
If you're good, and you set a reasonable price, people do exactly that. They take it or leave it. People are like that. You get the bargain hunters, and then you get the value hunters.
Asking salary history is like a car salesman not telling you the price of the car until you tell him how much you make per year, and how much cash you have in your wallet. Its a terribly inappropriate question that helps them get around paying someone what they're worth.
Yes, there are risks in letting a prospective new employer know your wage history in advance. Still, I am more than willing to take those risks as I have seen far too many resumes go in the trash for not including salary history when it was specifically requested.
Putting in negotiable is not an incomplete application and it doesn't give up your negotiation position. I would decline to answer. Instead, ask about the salary being offered and be ready to discuss the salary/compensation rates for the position. You should also know the salary range for comparable positions in your area, factoring in your experience, education, background, etc.
Tapping the wisdom of communities is a great way to piece together the right advice you should take. For some, asking the experts is good enough. At Dice we provide in-depth answers to specific questions like these. Just shoot as an email at: AskDice@dice.com with your questions about resumes, interviews and negotiations, career moves, or other career-related issues.