Should I lie about my salary

Dear HR,

I have been in the same job with the same company for five years. I am ready to take the next step on my career path into a management position. Unfortunately, my current company does not have a position open, nor will it have a management position open for quite awhile.

I’ve started applying to management jobs with other companies, and one question they all seem to ask is, “What is your current salary?” In comparison with management jobs, my current salary is significantly less. I don’t want to ruin my chances of negotiating a salary that honors my experience and skills, so what should I say? Should I lie about my current salary in order to get a higher offer?


Show Me the Money

One question they all seem to ask is, “What is your current salary?”

Dear Show Me the Money,

It’s admirable that you’ve recognized that you’re ready to make a step forward in your career. Good for you!

With a step up to a management position, you should expect to be paid a fair salary that reflects the duties of the position. Managers have more responsibility and are often expected to work more hours than worker-bee employees. For this reason, salaries are often lucrative. If you are applying for manager positions within your industry, you can expect a decent pay increase when you change jobs.

You ask if you should lie about your current salary, and the answer is no, you should not. If you are hired, and your new employer finds out you lied to them, your work environment will become quite awkward. You may even get fired. Besides, do you want to start a relationship with your new boss based on a lie?

That said, you don’t have to disclose your current salary. You can say it’s confidential. However, this may not help your salary negotiations. If you are being asked about salary in an interview, you can explain the factors you are considering when it comes to your salary requirements. Perhaps your current job only requires you to work 35 hours per week, but the new job requires 40. Maybe you have a longer commute that will cost you extra transportation costs.

You should also consider the new job’s benefits package in your negotiation process. Always ask about benefits before discussing salary. Some employers offer excellent health care coverage with low premiums, while others have bare-bones high deductible plans that will cost you thousands per year. We’ve seen job offers that included transportation reimbursements that save employees hundreds per year. So, salary alone isn’t the only thing you should consider. Gather all of your information before you start negotiating.

Happy Negotiating,


Your little black dress is the perfect blank canvas for dressing for pretty much any occasion. If you have an LBD that fits you well and has a decently modest neckline and hemline, you can rock that dress at work with the right accessories.

Pair your LBD with a Colorful Blazer and Scarf

The most professional way to wear your little black dress at the office is to pair it with a blazer in any color but black and a silky scarf. If the neckline of your LBD shows too much cleavage for the workplace, wear a cami under it. The scarf should hide whatever your cami doesn’t, and it’s a feminine, yet professional, accessory.

Wear Your Little Black Dress to Work (without looking stupid)

Finish the look with black pumps and simple, stud earrings.

Rock your LBD with a Pretty Cardigan and Pearls

You can also pair your little black dress with your favorite cardigan. Remember, we don’t wear black on black, so choose a flattering color that works with your skin tone. Our example shows a pastel purple cardigan that works well in the spring and summer.

How to Wear Your LBD to Work

Since cardigans aren’t quite as dressy as blazers, wear your pearls to make it feel more polished. If you have a “statement” pearl necklace, like the one in our example, it can bring a modern feel to this otherwise classic outfit. Top it off with sensible heels, like these T-strap pumps.

Impress Your Boss with Your LBD and a Wrap Top

To wear your LBD with a blouse, look for a blouse that has fit and shape all its own, like a wrap top or a peplum blouse. In our example, we’ve chosen a light blue wrap top.

Wear Your Little Black Dress to Work with a Wrap Top and Flats

Since the wrap top acts as the “pop” in this outfit, pair it with a classic pendant and matching earrings. You can also carry a colorful tote to add further interest to the outfit.

Rules for Wearing your LBD at Work


Here are the rules to follow when wearing your little black dress to work:

  • Make sure your hemline falls at or below your knee.
  • Skin-tight LBDs are always inappropriate at the office (and in general if you are over 25).
  • If your dress shows cleavage, wear a cami under it.
  • Choose a colorful blazer, cami, or wrap top to wear over your dress. Any color will do—just not black.
  • Keep your accessories classic and professional. Choose a silky scarf, a pearl necklace, or a simple earring and pendant combo.
  • Any black pump or flat will do, but avoid patent leather—it’s too “night time” for the office.

Side hustles are becoming a way of life for many of us. We consult in our industries, write blogs, teach part time—you name it. Your side hustle is giving you valuable experience and building your skill set. With any luck, you’re also building your network. You should list your side hustle on your resume in most cases. It’s too valuable not to!

List Your Side Hustle on Your Resume Just Like any other Job

In your list of work experience, list your side hustle just like you should any other job. Give yourself a title and list your duties.

The job duties you list for your side hustle are entirely your choice. For example, if you are trying to show a potential employer that you are a strong managerial candidate, you can list your small business owner duties, like expense tracking, employee scheduling (even if the only employee you schedule is you), and project management.

If you are trying to change industries, look at the duties the employer lists for the job you want and figure out how what you’re doing in your side hustle that fits the ad, and write that for your job duties. The closer you can get to the job advertisement’s language, the better your chances at scoring an interview.

If your side hustle is more in line to the job for which you applying than your full-time job, list it first on your resume. Since you are doing both jobs presently, this is completely your choice.

Choose Your Side Hustle Job Title Wisely

You can play with your title. If you do business under your own name as a consultant and haven’t incorporated, stick with “consultant.” If you write a blog, but see yourself becoming a freelance writer, call yourself a “writer.” Your side hustle gives you the opportunity to craft your story in whatever way you need to for the job you want.

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Add Your Side Hustle Skills to Your Professional Profile

Certainly by now you’ve ditched your resume’s objective in favor of a professional profile, so now is the perfect time to add the skills you’ve been cultivating in your side hustle to your professional profile. All the experience you’ve been gaining on the side should shine at the top of your resume.

Be sure to list the soft skills you gain as your own employer, like marketing and branding. If you are running your own blog, you are probably learning SEO skills. If you hire independent contractors to help you, you are adept at contract negotiations and payroll processing. These are all perfectly transferrable skills.

We will makeover your resume for just $49!

When Not to List Your Side Hustle on Your Resume

If your side hustle could get you fired from your current job, and you want to keep your current job, don’t list it on your resume. The world is too small to take this risk. Your new potential employer may know your previous employer, and this could spell disaster.

If your side hustle is completely unrelated to the job for which you are applying, leave it off of your resume. If you work as an accountant by day but mow yards on the weekends, the gap between the two jobs is too wide to help you in your job search.

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Ideally, your resume should be one-page long, but definitely no more than two. No matter how cool you think you are, the truth is, employers are scanning your resume for keywords. The more “stuff” you can get rid of between those keywords, the better your chances at landing an interview. The first thing to do is delete high school from your resume.

We read a lot of resumes that contain irrelevant information, or worse, information that makes the candidate look childish, ill prepared, or unprofessional. The last reaction you want from a potential employer is a giggle at your expense. You also want to avoid eye rolls. Do yourself a favor and delete these items from your resume:

Trash High School Achievements on Your Resume

If you are trying to look professional to a potential employer, the last thing you want on your resume is a nostalgic look at your high school accolades. We know your mom was proud of you for making the honor roll. We love that your classmates remember the time that you scored the winning touchdown. Your membership in the National Honors Society or Who’s Who among American High School Students might have been cool back in the day, but it’s of no interest at all to a potential employer.

In fact, listing your high school achievements on your resume makes you look immature. You are a grown adult, and you have done bigger and better things than attending the pseudo-society that is high school. Mentioning your high school glory days is like asking for your resume to be thrown in the garbage.

The only exception to this rule is if you are writing a resume that isn’t intended for an employer, but instead is intended for a scholarship committee or college application—while you’re still attending high school!

Ditch College Sororities, Fraternities, and Clubs

If you were a social butterfly in college, that’s fantastic. We hope you used the opportunity to network with the right people (that is, those with connections that can help you find a job or otherwise grow your career). You should connect with all of your fellow former club members on LinkedIN—but don’t list your college club memberships on your resume!

Like listing your high school accolades, listing your college memberships makes you look immature. Again, you have better things to talk about. Where did you intern while you were in college? What volunteer work did you do? What skills did you master that you’re bringing to a potential employer? List that instead.

No One Cares About Your GPA

Be it high school, college, graduate school, or something else, no one cares about your GPA. Don’t list it on your resume.

The only exception to this rule is if the audience is academic. For example, if you are applying for a teaching assistantship, and your resume is 4.0, list it. If it’s 2.5, don’t list it. If you are applying for a professorship, it won’t hurt you to list your resume if it’s over 3.5, but it more than likely won’t help you either. Academic jobs require you to submit official college transcripts, so your potential employer knows your GPA anyway.

“Proficient” is Another Word for “Loser”

It seems like everyone struggles with what to write in the “skills” or “qualifications” sections of their resumes. The word that makes us (and potential employers) look to the heavens in frustration is “proficient.” Think about it: Would you want to hire a “proficient” heart surgeon? How about a “proficient” fireman?

The word “proficient” means “competent.” Yes, you want a competent doctor, but wouldn’t you rather have one with advanced skills and experience? When you’re competing with other candidates, do you want to look “adequate,” or do you want to look outstanding?

What’s worse is that most employers know that people embellish a bit on their resumes in terms of skills, so when an employer sees that you’re “proficient with Microsoft Excel,” they think, “Oh, so she’s heard of Excel and might be able to locate the software on her desktop.” Instead of using an adjective like “proficient” to describe your ability, try listing how many years’ experience you have using the software or performing the skill. If you have a certification in the skill, list that too.

Save Your Hobbies for Small Talk

We are well aware that one of the standard resume templates in Word has a place for you to list your hobbies. This might be the worst thing to have on your resume on this list. It’s at least tied with high school achievements for last place.

Hobbies enrich our lives. They unlock our creativity and make us well-rounded individuals. They give us something to talk about when making small talk. However, they have no place on your resume. Employers don’t care that you can knit, or that you go sailing on the weekends—at least not during the candidate sorting process. Save it for after you’re hired, or if the interview committee asks what you do for fun. Leave it off of your resume!

In the age of social media, it’s easy to become used to over sharing. People post their entire lives on the Web, from what they eat for dinner to vacation photos. But, when you’re trying to craft your dream career, you have to be ever vigilant about making the right impression on your boss and colleagues. The truth is, you never know who will be in a position to help you with your career one day. 

Crafting the right career image means casting yourself in the role of poised, hard-working, competent professional. That means dressing the part, but also speaking the part. If you want to craft your dream career, you should always avoid these topics at work. 

Banned Work Topic: Politics

Politics are divisive. Don’t believe me? Scroll through your Facebook news feed. Some people are absolutely appalled that the media is “attacking our president.” Others are appalled that we could elect a “racist bigot” as our country’s leader. It doesn’t matter where your opinions align–the conversation is not office appropriate.

Think about it: What do you feel about people who disagree with you about politics? If you are an evolved, open-minded person who loves political discourse, good for you. You’re in the minority. The truth is, most people take their politics personally, and have a hard time understanding why anyone would disagree. A lot of people are quick to label those who disagree with their politics as “ignorant,” or worse, “immoral.” Do those words describe how you want people to think about you? Would you hire someone you thought was ignorant or immoral? Of course not. 

Freedom of speech is a hallmark of Western society. However, this isn’t about your freedoms, it’s about your career. Don’t ruin your reputation over politics.

Banned at the Office: Religion

Religion may be the most divisive topic on Earth. Many wars have been fought over it. 

If spirituality is important to you, that’s wonderful. If it brings you peace and belonging, that’s amazing. However, much like with politics, people often have preconceptions about religions that could color their opinion of you if you choose to talk about religion in the workplace. 

Remember: You want to be seen as professional, competent, and poised. Don’t say anything that could break that image or burn your bridges.

Bad Work Topic: Personal Problems

We all know that person at the office whose life is perpetually falling apart. Their parents are always sick, their siblings are in jail, and their significant other is sleeping with their cousins. Their personal drama is enough to script Days of Our Lives for years. 

Now, think about what you think about that person who talks on and on about their personal lives. Do you see them as professional? Competent? Would you recommend them for a promotion? Would you hire them if you had a job opening? Probably not. Keep your personal life out of the office!

Super Bad Office Topic: Sex

 The ultimate topic to avoid at the office is sex. No matter if what you’re saying is positive or negative, it’s bound to misconstrued. This is a topic that not only makes you look bad, it could get you fired. Avoid this topic no matter what!

what to wear to work on valentine's day

We are under a lot of pressure these days. We have to thrive in the office, keep up with the house work, buy groceries, and somehow, someway, look romantic and lovely for Valentine’s Day—which falls on a weekday this year.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. If you have to make a quick change between the office and meeting your Valentine’s Date, the best thing to do is to wear your date-night dress to work. Yes, we are serious. Unless you’re wearing a skin-tight mini, or a flashy sequin get-up, it’s entirely possible.

Cover Your Shoulders with a Blazer or Sweater

Most likely, your date dress for Valentine’s Day is either red, pink, or black. To wear your dress to the office, start by choosing a neutral colored blazer or sweater. Either works. Look for grey, off-white, or black selections. When it’s time for your date, you simply slip off your top to reveal your dress.

Strategize Your Neck Accessories

Next, you need a neck accessory. If your dress is particularly low-cut, you can best hide the extra cleavage until it’s time for your date with a strategically tied silky scarf. Simply untie the scarf and let it flow for your date. It will give you a professional look during the day, and a whimsical, romantic look for your date.

If your neckline is more office-friendly, wear your pearls or a necklace in a contrasting color to your dress. If your necklace feels too “office” for a date, stash a more blingy one in your purse to change after work.

Wear Sensible Shoes to the Office, but Stash Your Heels for Date Night

Finally, this is the day to wear flats to the office. Stash your heels for your date, but wear a sensible shoe that tones-down the night-time look of your date-night dress.

Keep in mind that there are several ways to wear your favorite date-night dress to work. Dig through your closet and you are sure to find exactly what you need. Now breathe—you have one less thing to worry about on Valentine’s Day!

Wear a tunic to work

A tunic can be a very flattering wardrobe staple. It covers everything most women worry about covering, yet it is short enough to create a proportional figure when paired with the right leggings or pants. You can wear your favorite tunic at work with just a few accessory tweaks.

Tunics are Not Dresses

As we were shopping in Target last night, we saw a great many tunics on the display mannequins. It was disturbing to see the visual merchandisers had not seen fit to add pants to their displays! Ladies, you can never, ever wear your tunics without something covering your legs. It’s not a dress; it’s not even a mini skirt. It’s a long shirt.

Most tunics do cover your bum, but let’s be real: one gust of wind or dropped pencil and the whole world will see your business. It’s not lady like, and it’s definitely not professional. Cover your legs!

Pair Your Tunic with Slacks and a Belt

If you have a pretty patterned tunic, pair it with an belt to give you a nice, defined waistline. You can wear your tunic with straight-leg slacks or even skinny pants.

Wear Your Tunic to the Office


 Keep your jewelry simple if your tunic is has a brightly colored pattern. When wearing a tunic with slacks, go for a shoe with a bit of heel. 

Pair Your Tunic with Leggings and Flats

If you have a more structured tunic, which basically looks like a dress but too short, pair it with leggings, flats and classic jewelry.

Wear Your Tunic to the Office with Flats and Leggings


Pair Your Tunic with Ankle Boots and a Statement Necklace

One of our favorite looks is to wear a solid-colored tunic with leggings and a statement necklace. Statement necklaces aren’t for every outfit. You shouldn’t wear them with bright patterned tops. Instead, let them be your “pop” of excitement in an otherwise calm-looking outfit.

Wear Your Tunic to the Office with Boots and a Statement Necklace


Here, we’ve added classic (but small) hoop earrings and cute ankle boots.

Rules for Wearing a Tunic to the Office

Your tunic can look professional and polished, but you have to follow a few simple rules:

  • Your tunic must cover your bum. No exceptions. No excuses. CYA!
  • You must cover your legs with either leggings or slacks.
  • Do not wear a tunic with boot cut pants. Ever.
  • Avoid wacky patterns, like 60’s tie-dye or pink cheetah

Wear a tunic to work

You’ve done the work and landed an interview for a great job. You’ve been reading our blog, and know what you should wear to the interview. There’s just one problem: You’re broke. You need a cheap job interview outfit!

If you haven’t noticed, most of the outfits we put together for this blog cost around $80-100, with no single piece over $50, but if you’ve been out of work for any amount of time, that can seem like an insane amount of money. However, if you can scrape together $30, you can still put together a professional outfit that makes you look like a million dollars.

Where to Find a Cheap Job Interview Outfit

Online sites like Zulilly and even Groupon have inexpensive clothes too, but you can expect to wait two weeks for your clothes to arrive. Most of the time, you’ll have to plan ahead if you want to shop online.

If you need an interview outfit quickly, start by visiting local thrift stores. Not all thrift stores are created equally, so do a little research and find better neighborhoods that have thrift stores with good online reviews. One trick we use is to search for Barnes and Noble, and then look for thrift stores near there. Most of the time, Barnes and Noble is located in a nice part of town, so thrift stores near it should have nice clothing too.

Job Interview Clothing Trip Report: Goodwill

We made a quick stop at the Goodwill in Ocala, Florida today while waiting on Chipotle to finish our online order. The store is filled with clothes! The dress section had a lot of potential outfit pieces, but the best outfit we found was on a mannequin near the dressing room.

Cheap Job Interview Outfit from Goodwill

The employees put together this professional outfit with a skirt suit, undershirt and necklace for around $20.

Over in the shoe section, we found several pairs of black pumps that would easily pair with most any interview outfit, all for less than $7. One pair in the picture has an original price tag of $19.99, but the Goodwill price tag on the bottom of the shoe read $5.99.

Cheap job interview outfit shoes at Goodwill for $7

We found a cute pair of pinstripe dress pants on the end cap of the pants aisle. They were priced at less than $7.

The One Piece of Clothing You Must Buy

When you aren’t sure what to wear to an interview, a blazer is always a good choice. You can pair it with a dress, skirt and blouse, or even slacks and a blouse, and immediately, you look more professional. Likely, you have something in your closet you could wear to the interview if you paired it with a blazer. So, if you can only buy one thing for your interview, it should be a blazer.

The Ocala Goodwill has two large racks full of blazers in all sizes. When looking for blazers, we look for fit first. Avoid the boxy 80’s “Working Girl” blazers with stiff shoulder pads in favor of feminine princess seams and buttons in the right places. These were our favorites because of the flattering cuts and lengths. All were less than $8.

Cheap job interview outfit blazers at Goodwill for 7 dollars

If you find a blazer that fits in most places, but is a little baggy in other places, wear a belt over it.

Rules for Finding a Cheap Job Interview Outfit

The key to finding a job interview outfit quickly at a thrift store is to know what to look for and to remain open minded. Here are a few rules to keep you focused:

  • Try on everything. No exceptions.
  • Focus on the dress section first. You can get more outfit for your dollar by pairing a dress with a blazer.
  • If you can only afford one piece, buy a blazer.
  • Don’t forget to look at accessories. If you have something in your closet that will mostly work, you can add a scarf or necklace for a few dollars to polish the look.

Of course, everything you buy at a thrift store should be washed, dried, and ironed before you wear it to a job interview. No one likes ironing, but it’s an important step in making a good first impression.