What Is Included in a Job Promotion Letter?
Example of a Formal Announcement
When an employee receives a promotion, it's typically announced in a job promotion letter. This is a formal communication between the company and the employee being promoted, briefly acknowledging the new role and outlining its place in the reporting structure.
It's also a chance for the employer, via their representative in human resources, to offer congratulations to an employee who has grown along with the organization.
What to Look for in a Job Promotion Letter
You don't want to discover on payday that your manager thought you were transitioning into your new role this week, but payroll had you down as starting at your new salary on the first of the month.
A job promotion letter will include details on when the promotion will be effective, the reporting structure of the role, the job title, and the salary.
The job promotion letter is also an opportunity to clarify the reporting structure involved in the new role. Even highly creative people find it easier to get stuff done if they know where they are in the organizational chart and who's calling the shots. Think of the famous scene in Office Space: you don't want eight bosses, especially if there's no formalized structure involved.
Hopefully, you've clarified all of this before the letter arrives in your inbox or is passed to you over a conference table, but if not, having it all out in black and white allows you one last chance to verify the detail of your new role, before you find yourself taking orders from multiple managers or getting paid your old salary to work in a challenging new role.
What the Job Promotion Letter Might Not Include (But You Need in Writing Anyway)
Internal promotions look great on your resume and give you an opportunity to learn new skills and work on exciting new projects, all without rolling over your 401(k) or adapting to a whole new way of doing things at a different employer.
That said, getting promoted from within is not without peril.
For one thing, the raise you get for moving up internally might not be as impressive as the salary you'd command if the company hired you from a competitor. For this reason, savvy negotiators sometimes ask for considerations to offset this lower salary - for instance, a review in six months, instead of at the yearly review period, or a larger bonus in recognition of better performance.
If you've negotiated anything like this—or any benefits or perks, such as additional vacation, stock options, parking benefits, and other perks—make sure you get it all in writing. Your job promotion letter might not include the nitty-gritty details, but some signed, formal document should.
It's not that your employer would cheat you on purpose, but employees come and go in human resources as in all other departments, and you don't want to count on anyone other than yourself to remember the agreed-upon details of your promotion. Furthermore, putting it in writing makes it harder to get confused about the agreed-upon terms should an issue regarding your promotion arise in the future.
Finally, don't lose track of your letters and documents after the fact. Many companies pass these letters along the old-fashioned way, on paper, and by hand. While that looks more impressive and formal, it's also easier to lose a paper document than it is a digital copy.
Compile a secure file for all of your employment documentation and keep it in a safe place where it is easily accessible. As a backup, you might also consider scanning your promotion letter and other important employment papers into your computer and preserving copies on a thumb drive.
Job Promotion Letter Example
Congratulations on your promotion to the position of Assistant Director, Marketing Communications effective January 1, 20XX.
The annual salary for this position will be $42,000 paid on a weekly basis.
You will report to Jane Dolan, Director, Marketing Communications. She is looking forward to working with you as you transition into your new role at our company.
Again, congratulations on the new position. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding your compensation and benefits package.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Director, Human Resources
cc: Jane Dolan