by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.
The investment of most organizations in the possibility of giving you a raise or promotion lies in how much you've done to boost the bottom line. Therefore, the accomplishments you choose to spotlight in a proposal for a salary increase or promotion must show significant ways you've contributed to the organization's success. The subtle message you want to plant in the employer's ear is: "This person is so critical to our success that we want to ensure he or she stays with us."
Here's an example of deploying accomplishments in a request for a salary increase:
I appreciate the opportunity I have had during the last three years of serving as a vital member of the marketing and sales support team. This past year has been an especially challenging business environment, but my accomplishments have continued to build on my earlier achievements, and I have high expectations for this success to continue for the foreseeable future.
Here are some highlights of how I have helped the department and the company in the past year:
- Developed a proposal that brought a client from the brink of terminating our services to renewing at a higher level than ever before, adding a net gain of $500,000.
- Partnered with several sales team members to attract new business opportunities totaling $1.2 million.
- Conceptualized, proposed, and produced a market-research study that serves as a valuable tool for our industry, increasing our visibility, and making it easier for our sales team to call on prospective clients.
- Served on the team of two company-wide task forces that identified redundancies, cut costs, and save the company several million dollars.
- Participated in and attended four professional meetings, increasing the visibility of the company within the industry.
- Mentored and trained three interns who handled many routine functions within the department, freeing up team members to focus on new client development and current client retention.
- Proposed new projects, and completed all new tasks and assignments when requested to do so.
I look forward to continuing to play a key role within the department, and given all of my recent accomplishments and that my salary is still below industry averages, I am confident that you will offer a salary increase that reflects these issues and my standing in the department.
With minor tweaks in wording, the same accomplishments-driven approach can be applied to a promotion proposal.
Need more information, tools, and samples dealing with raises, promotions, or performance reviews? Go to our Workplace Resources for Dealing With Your Current Job/Employer/Boss or read our piece on Communicating Your Accomplishments: Samples for Every Phase of the Job Search and On the Job.
Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers, edits QuintZine, an electronic newsletter for jobseekers, and blogs about storytelling in the job search at A Storied Career. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Study Skills (Alpha).