How to Ask for a Raise

Shelly writes:
I would really appreciate if you could please send me some examples
about how to ask for a raise. I’ve been at my job for a year now and I
am stuck on a few things. I pretty much have all of my ducks in a row
and I know I deserve the raise but I really want to make it presentable
and professional. Basically I’m looking for a jump start; maybe I should
start with a cover letter introducing my specific proposal? What do you
think? Anything would help.

The Career Doctor responds:
Anytime we deal with money whether as a job-seeker talking about salary
or as an employee asking for a raise it’s natural to get a little uncomfortable
or anxious. But as long as you have a plan asking for a raise should not be
a daunting task — especially if you can show exactly why you deserve it.
And I think putting your request in writing is a great idea. It allows you to take
the time to really focus on the key issues to document your contributions and
accomplishments and make as strong a case as possible for why you deserve
a raise.
But as you are working on the letter — or even just talking points for those going to
an evaluation meeting — remember a few key things.
First you must be realistic in your expectations. Most raises are modest increases
not dramatic salary changes. If your accomplishments are so great you might look
beyond just a salary increase to some other perks the employer can add to
sweeten your overall compensation package. Just be careful not to go overboard in
your requests.
Second always keep the focus on what you deserve for what you do in your job –
rather than on what you need. While taking care of an elderly parent is a noble thing
employers don’t care if you need more money because your bills are rising.
Third use bullets to highlight you key accomplishments in the past year (or in the
time since your last review). Quantify those accomplishments whenever possible.
Fourth set the stage for the next review. If the employer can’t give you the raise you feel
you deserve ask for another review in six months rather than in a year.
Read more in my article published on Quintessential Careers:
Getting the Raise You
. And these
Do’s and
Don’ts of Requesting a Raise
may also help.