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What should I say when a recruiter asks me my salary requirements?

I would simply respond with what is the current rate for the position?

Note: I'm speaking specifically in regards to a technical recruiter and not in regards to an HR recruiter that actually works for the company. I'll explain the way to answer an HR recruiter in another FAQ.

Here's the distinction. A HR recruiter who works for the company may not get a cut for "placing"  you in a role, however, a technical recruiter may. So asking what the current rate is for the position is best to ensure you as a prospect are getting what's been budgeted for the position. (Yes I know life is not about money).

I know most never like discussing money, but this is your chance. The feeling of being in a role, that you feel isn't worth your time and money, is a bad feeling, and may cause you to want to jump ship if another role comes up.

So ask what is the current rate for the position. If then you feel it's good, then go for it, if you feel you need a little more ask, JUST ASK. It doesn't hurt to ask, say something like "Well honestly I need this much". Chances are the recruiter can give you what you want they just are keeping a little back.

Example I once had a job offer and I liked the position and I wanted to leave my current role. Well the recruiter offered me a certain amount (1.5 million...just kidding)  and I said OK, let me think about it.  I obviously knew the amount being offered was less than what I was making, but honestly I wanted out of my current role. Well I called the recruiter back and stated I like the position but I am currently making this much and within seconds the recruiter said" OK I can give you that".

So ask what is the current rate, you won't regret it.