Here's a comment left on my post titled Help a Reader: Evading Salary Questions:
I was in the situation a few months ago of taking a new job and having to give my salary history. I did it, and they based their offer on my salary history, which was way too low since I was underpaid at my old job.
I came back to them and explained that I wanted at least fair market value plus some (I had good, defensible, reasons for wanting a little more than fair market), and the company raised my salary to my expectations with the promise of a raise after a year. I ended up getting about $15K more than the first offer.
I think that as long as you're honest and you know exactly what you want and what you're qualified for, your salary history shouldn't impede you. You have to catch up at some point, and losing this opportunity to get paid fairly would be very frustrating, so I'd be very clear about what offer you need in order to take the job.
Exactly. This is exactly what I've been talking about in my posts regarding getting the salary you deserve. If you can show 1) the fair market salary for your position in your city and 2) you are at least an average performer (better if you're a superstar), you can get the salary you deserve. Think about it this way -- employers pay for value. If you can show that you can deliver the value, most of them will be willing to pay you the market rate. And if they won't you always have the option of moving on to another employer.
For more thoughts on this topic, see these links: