March 17th, 2020
How to Write a Letter Asking for a Raise
If you’re nervous about asking for a pay raise, you’re not alone: CareerBuilder research shows that 56 percent of workers have never asked for a salary boost.
But the fact is this: If you don’t ask for a raise, you may never get it. Or, if your employer does give you a raise, it might be much less than you believe you deserve. Why? Because you never made the case to the boss about why you deserve a bigger paycheck.
Once you’ve decided you’re going to ask for a pay raise, then the question becomes whether you should put your request in writing or ask face-to-face.
When you decide to write an “asking for a raise letter”, then you can better organize your thoughts, crafting facts that bolster your case such as “I cut inefficiencies by 25 percent last year” or “I designed and launched a campaign to boost customer service, resulting in dozens of new subscription-service customers.” Such a pay-raise letter also gives your boss time to read and consider the facts, without feeling pressured to respond right away (and perhaps deny you without fully considering all your contributions).
On the other hand, asking for a pay raise in person has the advantage of having your boss’s full attention (emails and letters can be ignored) and of showing the boss how serious you are about the request. A face-to-face conversation also allows you to gauge your boss’s reaction and alter your conversation accordingly.
Still, many people are so nervous about asking for a raise that they find it easier to write a pay raise letter. If you’re in that mindset, then here is how to write a letter asking for a raise:
- Discuss your achievements. You can’t write a letter stating that you need a raise because your rent is going up or you want to take a trip to Europe. Pay raises are given to employees based on doing work above and beyond their job description, such as boosting sales or taking on new responsibilities.
- Be specific. Check out sites such as Glassdoor so that you’ll know whether you earn a salary in line with others who have your experience, are in the same position and live in your area. This will help you determine the pay raise percentage that will be fair for you and for the employer.
- Express appreciation. Sometimes employees forget that they do owe their organizations or their boss some appreciation – for opportunities, training, increased knowledge and a paycheck. Expressing your gratitude can set a positive tone as your request is considered.
Once you decide to put your request in writing, consider this pay raise letter sample:
I am grateful for the opportunity to work for you as Development Coordinator for XYZ Nonprofit. Over the past two years, my responsibilities at XYZ have grown significantly, and I not only consistently complete all of these responsibilities, but I do so with an exceptional quality of work. I would, therefore, like to respectfully request a meeting to review my salary.
As you know, my salary has remained the same since I was hired in 20XX. Since then, I have happily added some duties to my workload that have allowed me to contribute even more to the company. For example, I volunteered to develop a quarterly newsletter, and am currently in charge of the writing, formatting, and printing of the publication. As you know, I also recently completed a graduate certificate program in grant writing.
I believe that my increasing contributions to the company and my new qualifications justify a pay raise.
Another example of a raise request letter:
Thank you so much for the opportunities you’ve provided me during my time as a sales executive for ABC Company. Over the past two years, I’ve grown significantly as a professional, deepened my understanding of the industry, improved my skill set and taken on many new responsibilities. For these reasons, I would like to request an adjustment to my salary.
As you are aware, my salary has remained the same since January 2017. Since then, I have accomplished the following:
I’ve consistently met my monthly quota, and exceeded my goals for the past three quarters.
I’ve increased personal sales by nearly 20% year over year, adding $500,000 in revenue.
I’ve completed all senior sales certifications, including those not required for my job level.
I’ve successfully trained and mentored six new junior sales representatives.
I would like to request a base salary increase of 5%, which is in-line with the average salary for a sales executive with my level of experience in our geographic region.
Asking for a pay raise isn’t easy, but doing your homework and planning your strategy may ensure that you come away with what you desire – a bigger paycheck.