​Working in a market that’s as close knit as the world of Media and Digital agency, I have often wondered why some candidates exaggerate, embellish, or perhaps for a more accurate word - lie, about their current salary?

Having thought about this in more detail, I have come to the following conclusions:

  • They feel they are currently being under paid

  • They believe that by exaggerating their salary, they will ensure a greater increase for their next position

  • They think everyone exaggerates their salary so it will be detrimental if they don’t do the same

  • They want to look more valuable to a potential employer.

Ultimately they want to negotiate themselves the best deal, so what's the harm in that?

Actually not laying you cards on the table can be more destructive than you may think, so in future consider the following:

  • You may struggle to secure an interview in the first place by ‘marketing’ yourself too high with unrealistic expectations, or perhaps come across a bit arrogant

  • If you don’t like the offer you receive you can always say no, at least you have had the chance to interview and prove your worth in the first place

  • Most agencies benchmark their salaries annually by using recruitment agencies or salary surveys to keep their business competitive, this is done well in advance of releasing a brief

  • A decent agency or successful business will need to consider what their current, loyal employees are earning and keep salaries in line or they risk resentment from current employees

  • Paying over the odds just doesn’t make sound business sense

  • Your interviewer is likely to have moved up through the ranks and therefore previously worked and been paid for the role they are hiring for.

So is there much to be gained by pretending that you earn more than do? I would say probably not, but if an employer is in any doubt, I am sure they will check your P45 if and when you join.