How to Write a Letter Asking for a Raise

How to Write a Letter Asking for a Raise

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1. Do your salary research

You’re not going to get very far if the amount you ask for is not in line with the realities of today’s job market.  Completing your own comprehensive research will help you understand what a competitive wage is for someone in your position and geographic location. Consult the latest Robert Half Salary Guide, which breaks down 

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1. Do your salary research

starting pay ranges for hundreds of positions across numerous professional fields. Researching the numbers will also demonstrate to your boss that your salary request is backed by real data versus your own appraisal.

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2. Pick the right time

One of the first steps in knowing how to ask for a raise is identifying the best time in your company’s cycle to have the discussion. Does your company have a policy of granting pay raises only during performance review periods?  Check your employee handbook for guidelines. Consider also whether your organization has had recent 

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2. Pick the right time

layoffs or a hiring freeze. If you bring up your pay when your company has just furloughed employees or is seeing reduced revenues, your appeal is likely to go nowhere fast, regardless of how amazing you are.

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3. Make the request

When you’ve researched your salary range and chosen a good time to broach the subject, make the ask. Email your manager and explain that you’d like to connect to review your compensation.  Outline your impact clearly and concisely. Prepare compelling bullet points that describe exactly how you’ve excelled in your role.

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3. Make the request

Don’t mention what your coworkers make or any personal reasons you might have for needing more money. Next in the letter, ask to meet with your manager to discuss the salary you’re seeking.  If this is the first time your boss hears you want more money, set the stage appropriately. You might consider a sentence or two in an email, such as this: 

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3. Make the request

Could we have a short discussion to review my salary or devote a few minutes to that topic during our next one-on-one meeting? If you have a performance review coming up, it’s a good idea to ask ahead of time: Would it be OK if we discussed my compensation during my performance review?

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3. Make the request

If you have already expressed the desire for an increase, you should go ahead and circle back with specifics. Your email might include a line like this: We’ve discussed my wish for additional pay, and after some research, I’d like to request a salary increase of X percent.

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4. Back it up

In a longer letter asking for a raise, explain how you landed on the salary figure you are requesting. Numbers are convincing, so use them in the descriptions of your accomplishments: money saved, revenue earned, services improved, responsibilities taken on. Just as you did in your salary negotiations when you 

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4. Back it up

interviewed for the job, your request should reflect the value you bring to the role, goals you’ve met or exceeded, results you have delivered, and industry averages based on your job skills and years of experience. It’s easier to put nerves aside when you feel ready to answer hard questions about why you deserve an increase.

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5. Express appreciation for the consideration

Remember to thank your manager for supporting you in your role and for considering your request. After you hit send, be patient. Your manager may need to talk to a higher-up or HR before getting back to you. Those conversations and the resulting negotiations can take time. Even if you don’t get what you’re looking for, thank your 

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5. Express appreciation for the consideration

manager for allowing you to express yourself. Seek clarity on what would be required for a future salary increase, and set a time to check in again. Negotiating is a process. Putting your request in writing is likely just the first step, but if you make the ask, it can pay dividends.

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