Tips and Tricks
AVOID telling them how much you have made before if possible. You lose your negotiating power immediately if you do, and many candidates have LOST the job because early in the interview they did tell the hiring manager their actual salary.
DO use a more effective strategy to masterfully dodge the salary discussion early. If you are asked in an interview, "What salary do you currently make?" or "What is the salary you expect to be paid?" simply volley their question back with one of your own. Reply with, "What is the salary range for this job?" This puts the employer in the position of revealing the range they consider appropriate for the job. The salary range may well be higher than you might think.
DON'T send in a salary history. Simply ignore their request for this information. But, if the ad insists, stating, "We won't consider anyone who doesn't send a salary history." you can comply in a clever way that preserves your negotiating power. Instead of revealing your old salary, research salary survey sources (e.g. salary.com) and find a comparable job description to the one you are applying for. Quote them a salary range from that source and indicate that you are looking within that range. Employers report that they use the salary question as a device to screen out applicants. While you worry the employer won't pay high enough, in reality often times employers eliminate you because your salary was too low, thus automatically downgrading your skills.
DON'T lie or exaggerate your past salary. Always leave the salary boxes blank on job applications. The application is a legal document and can result in your being fired if you "fudge" on the true number.
DO wait until the job offer is on the table before you discuss money and benefits. It is after the employer has screened candidates and decided you are the one for the job, that you have the most power to suggest they offer more -- money, vacation, perks -- and get it!
DO ask the interviewer for a formal letter of agreement. The letter should outline what you have agreed upon during the final negotiation phase so there are no misunderstandings. This will insure that you end up with the promised salary, benefits and perks.
DO TRY. In the last 18 months employers have been seen to offer higher salaries and more lucrative benefits packages, simply because the prospective employee quantified their worth and asked for more.