I was talking to a dear friend earlier this week who is investigating switching jobs. We got to talking about some of the questions that were brought up and the following one really got me riled up: "How much are you making right now?"
Personally after having worked in the corporate world for 7 years and applying for countless jobs, I've learned to never ever answer that question.
When I go to buy a car, I don't tell the sales person how much I paid for my previous car.
When I grab a coffee at the local cafe, I don't pay them based on how much I paid for my last cup.
When I pay my taxes, I don't pay an amount that has anything to do wit how much I paid last year (generally speaking).
A recruiter who asks you this question has two goals to accomplish: 1) Get someone who is qualified for the job and 2) Hire them for the lowest possible amount the applicant is willing to accept.
By asking someone what they made before, you're setting the negotiation bar lower and instead of letting them fight for what they are "worth" you are negotiating for a salary based on the market pricing set by a previous employer. Someone/thing who has literally nothing to do with this potential future transaction.
So the next time you find yourself being asked this question, I advise you to answer with a simple, "here's the amount I'm looking for." If they press you further to answer the question, continue to resist. If they're the kind of company that will toss your resume out because of this, you probably don't want to work there.