Padding pay levels might cost the job

That little white lie to prospective employers about previous salary levels could mean missing out on the job you're applying for, according to a recruiter.

A massive 29 per cent of job applicants have elevated their salary levels to a prospective employer so as to gain a higher starting salary.

With controversy continually raging about the content in resumes, a poll conducted by recruitment company TMP Morgan & Banks, shows 36 per cent of those in the 25 to 34 age groups, and 34 per cent of 55-plus, are more likely to 'adjust' their current salaries in order to gain a higher starting salary, whilst the 45 to 54 year olds (16.3 per cent) are more honest about their earnings.

Leigh Anderson, director of TMP Morgan & Banks, said the content of a resume is a balance between selling yourself and being truthful.

Packaging yourself to look positive is not an issue.

However, Anderson says it is easy during reference checks to identify the real salary.

"This comes with a warning to job applicants that being caught could see you miss out on a job you may really want," he said.

"Other areas on resumes where people embellish is to cover periods of unemployment or inactivity or their status and responsibilities within their previous or current organisations. And again, these are items that are thoroughly monitored at reference checking."

Anderson said there is now a "burgeoning trend" where employers are sending their resumes to an applicant's previous boss to ensure the truth is represented.

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