Knowing how to ask for a raise in writing is a valuable skill that will help you feel comfortable approaching leadership to ask for your desired compensation. While you may want to approach your boss to discuss salary in person, it’s important you also know how to compose a salary increase letter. Here are several tips on how to ask for a raise in writing.
Related: How to Talk About Salary in a Job Interview
Why should I ask for a raise in writing?
There are many benefits to drafting a salary increase letter, even if you still decide to have a conversation with your boss in person. Here are three reasons you should consider putting your request in writing:
- It will help you prepare your talking points.
Putting your salary request in writing will help you organize your thoughts and create persuasive arguments for why you deserve a pay increase. By listing your various accomplishments and experiences in writing, you can help yourself prepare for any future conversations on the topic and ensure you don’t miss any vital information.
- It will help you and your boss feel more comfortable.
Putting together a case for why you deserve a raise will ensure your supervisor has plenty of time to review your points and bring the appeal to any senior personnel for approval. Submitting a letter with your reasoning is better than surprising your boss with a request they may not be expecting or fully prepared to address.
- It will provide formal documentation.
When an important decision is made, it’s a good idea to have documentation of the agreement (or disagreement). If you are granted a raise from this conversation, you’ll be able to share this paper trail with your company’s human resources department to make sure the change is reflected in your pay as soon as possible. If you’re denied a raise, you can use this letter or email as the basis for a future conversation.
What should I include in a salary increase letter?
Before you begin composing your salary increase request, take some time to gather a few key pieces of information. Having these three details may increase your likelihood of getting a raise:
- Specific achievements and accomplishments.
What have you accomplished throughout your tenure with the company? Make sure your achievements are specific and illustrate how you’ve provided value to the company. If possible, include exact measurements. For example, instead of saying “I Increased my number of sales in 2018,” say, “I increased sales by 25% year over year, leading to an additional $40,000 in revenue for 2018.” You should also include any new skills you’ve developed during your time with the business and any new or additional responsibilities you’ve taken on.
- The exact raise (dollar amount or percentage) you want to receive.
It is important to come prepared with the salary increase you desire to appear prepared, alleviate confusion and make the process as quick as possible. Use Indeed Salaries to find out the average salary for your position, experience level and city to define an appropriate asking amount. For example, if you’re still in the first few years of your career, you may not yet be eligible for a senior level salary.
- Gratitude to the company for acknowledging your request.
Always take a moment to thank your boss and the organization for the opportunities they’ve provided and for taking the time to consider your request.
Related: Guide: How to Ask for a Raise
Example of how to ask for a raise in writing
Here is an example of how you might submit a raise request via printed letter or email:
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.
If possible, I would like to meet to discuss my request in person. I am happy to work with you to accommodate this request and am open to negotiation. Please let me know when would be best to talk through further.
When asking for a raise in writing, it’s important to be thorough but concise and use formal language—even if you’re typically more casual with your boss—as this letter may be shared with senior leadership for approval. By using a professional, confident approach with the tips above, you’ll be more likely to get the raise you want.