Should I Lie About My Compensation to Get a Better Offer?


Most job seekers know that companies may adjust the salary they present in a job offer based on your previous compensation. If you weren’t well compensated in your last position, this might leave you wondering if your prior salary will harm your chances of landing a big paycheck.

In some cases, candidates may be tempted to lie about the prior compensation in hopes that it will result in a more lucrative offer. But is that the right way to go?

Why Lying About Your Salary is Risky

When it comes down to it, lying to a hiring manager is always risky. First, if your deception is discovered, they could rescind the job offer entirely. Most companies have clear policies regarding providing false information on an application or during an interview, and the penalty is usually termination.

Some may argue that the potential employer would have a hard time verifying whether or not you are being honest about your prior salary. However, there is always a chance that the information will be disclosed by your previous employer. If your references are aware of what you make, they may mention it too.

Use the Value of Your Total Compensation Package Instead

One approach that can allow you to report a higher number is to provide them with the value of your total compensation package instead of your salary. This will enable you to include other factors, such as bonuses and employer contributions to retirement or insurance, along with your actual take-home pay.

If you choose this route, make sure not to claim that the number you provided is a representation of your salary or pay. Instead, use the word “compensation” as it applies more broadly and can apply to any benefits and perks you receive along with your paycheck.

Use Research to Help You Negotiate

Most job offers are negotiable, so, if they present you with a salary that doesn’t seem fair, you can always try to get more. However, you’ll need to be able to justify your request, and that means research is required.

Find out what the going rate is for professionals in similar roles at various companies as a starting point. There are a lot of online job and career resources that track this information, so begin your search there. Just make sure that you focus on your local area, as fair compensation varies from one city to the next.

Often, if you can clearly demonstrate your value during the interview process and have clear evidence showing the current going rate for professionals working in these jobs, you have a solid platform upon which to start the negotiation process.

Ultimately, lying about your salary is incredibly risky, so it’s best to fight that urge. But, if you use the tips above, you can put yourself in a good position before you negotiate your compensation, increasing your chances of getting a pay rate that meets your expectations.

If you are interested in learning more or are seeking new opportunities, the professionals at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us today to see how our services can benefit you.