How to Write a Salary Increase Letter With Samples
You want a raise, and feel that you deserve one. If you can make a strong case for a salary increase, it may help to put a formal request in writing. Asking for a raise is not only difficult, it can be dangerous if you say the wrong thing. Saying the right thing, though, can help you get the increase you would like.
A well-developed letter can help support your argument while keeping you from tripping over your words in person.
A letter is also a record documenting the request should it be denied now but reconsidered in the future. It also removes any question of your boss taking the request seriously.
Who to Ask for a Salary Increase
A salary increase request should be addressed to the person you manages your raises and bonuses. That may be your supervisor, manager, or the head of your department. It is generally not a good idea to go above the person who makes salary decisions for your team. If you don’t trust your direct manager, the letter should help keep the process professional.
The letter should be formatted and written in a formal way. The example letter below is intended to be sent in hard-copy form. If it is being emailed, you can remove the date and the address for yourself and the employer, and begin the letter with the greeting.
What to Include When Asking for a Salary Increase
Before you start writing, gather resources that will help you justify a raise in salary.
Think back over your history with the company, and create a list of accomplishments since your last salary increase, paying close attention to those that may have improved the business’s bottom line.
If you believe you are being paid less than you are objectively worth, it’s important to include examples.
Do some research on pay rates for your job or similar jobs in your industry through salary websites like Payscale.com, Glassdoor.com or Salary.com.
What Not to Include When Asking for a Salary Increase
Avoid complaining or victimization, particularly if the company has been going through rough times. Assume that things are tough all around, but explain why your work stands out.
Do not include any personal insights about the salaries of coworkers, focus instead on your value in your role and your value to the company.
When to Ask for a Salary Increase
Before you send a letter asking for a salary increase, make sure the timing is right. For example, if you know the company is doing well, your boss is pleased with your work and sufficient time has elapsed (at least a year, or more depending on company culture) since your last salary raise, then all signs point to go.
On the other hand, if there have been recent layoffs of financial troubles in the company, or if regular salary raises as part of an annual performance review that is months away, this may not be the right time to make your case for an unplanned increase. Here are some of the reasons why you may not get the salary increase you're seeking.
If you think the time is right, below is a sample salary increase request letter that can be used as a guideline when you write your own customized letter requesting a raise.
Sample Salary Increase Request Letter
95 Park Lane
Anderson, CT 00880
23456 Broad Street
Stamford, CT 00834
[use above for hard-copy letter only]
Dear Mr. Boss,
I am writing to formally request a review of my current salary. As a [job title] with [five] years at [XYZ Company], I have always been ready and able when asked to take on additional work and new job responsibilities. I believe a review of my track record with the company, my recent achievements, along with industry average salaries, will demonstrate justification for an increase of at least X% in my annual pay.
My role has evolved since starting with [XYZ Company]. Added duties now include staff management, budget decisions, and project management. In the past year, I have distinguished myself with the following accomplishments:
- I improved efficiencies in the accounts payable system, saving the company $X in annual revenue.
- I managed the successful launch of our new product, helping to realize $X in quarterly sales.
- I’ve strived for excellence, continued adding value to the company, and never missed a deadline.
- Peer reviews indicate that my colleagues appreciate my management style and I am a valuable member of the team.
Further, the average annual salary for my position is $65,000, according to data from Payscale.com. This is more than 12% higher than my current salary of $58,000. A 10% raise in salary is would put my compensation in line with industry and regional expectations for the work.
Thank you for your attention in this matter. I am willing to work with you to accommodate my request along with what is best for the company. If you have another amount in mind or a plan to increase my salary in the future, I am open to negotiation.
Signature [for hard copy letter]