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Standard Letter for Salary Increases

by Jill Leviticus

You’re long overdue for a raise and ready to write a letter requesting the increase you deserve. A salary increase letter provides crucial facts that will help your boss make the decision. That’s why it’s important to do some basic research that will give you the information you need write a compelling letter that clearly lists your contributions to the company.

Research First

A little research can help bolster your case for a raise. Investigate what the average salary is for someone in your profession with your experience. If you belong to a professional organization, take a look at the association’s website for information on average salaries. You also might find information on salaries on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website or by reviewing job advertisements that list salaries. If you work in the nonprofit world, your state’s nonprofit association might offer a salary survey, although you might have to pay for the salary information if you’re not a member. As part of your research, review your accomplishments for the past year. Particularly impressive accomplishments will help you make your case for a raise.

Explain What You Want

Get to the point in your first sentence. Explain that you would like to discuss an increase in your salary. Briefly mention the reasons why you want an increase, such as your performance review is overdue or your duties and responsibilities have increased substantially since your last raise. Keep the first paragraph short and don’t include any extraneous information, such as how long you’ve worked for the company. Your boss won’t care that you’ve worked for the company for 20 years if you aren’t a stellar employee. Save the specific reasons for your request for the next paragraph.

Explain Why You Deserve It

Let your boss know why you deserve a raise. She won’t care if your landlord raised your rent, your wife is pregnant or your car is slowly falling apart, so make sure the reasons you list are related to your contributions to the company and not your personal needs. “Kiplinger” magazine suggests that you note how your contributions had a tangible effect on the company’s revenues or costs. Perhaps you’ve exceeded sales projections by 30 percent or completed a project two weeks before it was due and under budget. Focus on three or four stellar accomplishments that really set you apart from other employees and demonstrate your worth. If your research indicates that your salary is lower than industry standards, be sure to mention this fact.

Ask for a Meeting

Finish the letter with a request for a meeting to discuss the matter further at your supervisor's convenience. Basic manners are particularly important when you write a letter requesting a raise. Thank your boss for considering your request and mention that you enjoy working for her. Save a copy of the letter for your records. If you become nervous during the meeting and forget some of the reasons you deserve a raise, the letter will serve as a convenient reference.

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