How to write a raise request letter

Position yourself as a confident employee who brings value to the company.

How to write a raise request letter

A raise request letter has to be compelling.

Asking your boss for more money might feel uncomfortable, and you might even be fearful that it can backfire, causing your boss to have negative feelings about you. By putting in ample research and preparation, however, writing a professional and formal raise request letter can position you as a confident employee who brings value to the company and wants to be fairly compensated for doing so.

Depending on the nature of your work relationships, you can either ask for a meeting with your supervisor (or whomever makes decisions about raises and promotions), or you could start the process with a letter outlining your request and why you think you deserve a raise. 

Should you ask for a raise in writing?

Everyone's stomach tends to tighten when they think about asking for a raise. Letters can help break the ice. They can be useful for supplementing an in-person (or video) conversation. Putting your request in writing provides a paper trail and an easy point of reference should your immediate boss need to discuss your request with their boss. A letter can help build your case.

What should be in your raise request letter?

If you do put a request in writing, the most important thing to highlight are your recent accomplishments, says Vicki Salemi, Monster’s career expert. And if you can quantify them, even better. If you saved the company money, state how much; if you exceeded sales goals, share that figure, too. You can also include testimonials and/or accolades from clients, peers, and your boss/management to further amplify the value you bring to the organization.

The other key section to include is industry research, especially if you discover that you’re being underpaid as compared to others who hold your position in comparable companies. Monster's salary guide can show you what you're worth, but go beyond online salary calculators to include data from local chapters of industry associations, which may be more accurate.

Lastly, include your salary request amount. Be reasonable, but also leave a little room for negotiation if they decide to meet you halfway. Then, close out your letter by thanking your boss for considering your request.

These are all points you should make in person during your meeting as well, says Salemi, but having it all outlined in a letter can help guide the conversation.

Be assertive, but dignified and professional

When crafting your letter, it’s important not to sound like you’re demanding a salary increase or else. If it has a threatening tone that implies you may look elsewhere, your boss could end up calling your bluff.

You also don’t want to get into office rumors about other colleagues making more than you do, or other implications along those lines. Instead, stick to what you’ve brought to the table, and why that’s worthy of additional compensation.

Finally, your letter should be formally structured, not written like a casual email. Be sure to proofread it as well.

A sample raise request letter you can use

To help you get started as you craft a salary request, start with this template and customize it to meet your situation.

Dear. Ms. Young,

I’m writing to express my gratitude for the opportunities that my role at this company has provided me, as well as to formally request a salary review. As you know, I’ve been in the position of XYZ for XX years now, and I’ve consistently taken on new challenges and responsibilities.

Over the last XX years, I’ve increased my skills, and my role has evolved to include A, B, and C. In just the last six months, some of my accomplishments have included:

• [Example 1 using raw numbers if possible]

• [Example 2 citing another data point]

• [Example 3 about how you contributed to the company culture in some way]

What’s more, in my most recent evaluation, my peers and colleagues gave me a high rating, illustrating that I’m a highly valued member of the team.

Based on my research with the Local Chapter of the XYZ Association, the average salary for my position in this region is currently $85,000; my current compensation is more than 10% below that. I’m requesting a 12% raise to better align with industry standards as well as recognize my contributions to the company.

I am eager to discuss this matter with you further and am open to negotiation. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Top Employee

Get paid what you’re worth

Ultimately, your raise request letter and meeting may or may not go in your favor. It’s always a good idea to see what other opportunities are out there. Need some help taking the first step? Join Monster for free todayAs a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads.