Writing a Letter to Request a Raise

Wendy writes:
I have to write a letter asking for a raise. This is our company policy. I
have been trying to find some examples because no one I have talked
to has ever had to write a letter for a raise. I was wondering if you knew
of any books or journals containing any examples of such letters.

The Career Doctor responds:
I think it’s great you have to write a letter because doing so will force you
to document all your accomplishments — which should not only help you with the
raise but will help you with updating your resume when it’s time to start job-hunting.
More and more you need to think of raise meetings in the same vein as salary
negotiation; thus the more ammunition you have the more likely you’ll get the
raise you wish.
You have two strategies for writing what basically boils down to a salary increase
proposal. If you have an annual goal-setting or MBO (management-by-objective)
meeting then your raise letter should be written in two columns with the first
column stating each task/objective/goal and the second column highlighting your
accomplishments/achievements. You could use the same format with your job
responsibilities in one column and your job accomplishments in the other but if
you don’t have a set of annual objectives I would favor an opening paragraph that
summarizes your accomplishments to the department/company and then a detailed
bulleted list of those accomplishments.
Don’t ever include personal reasons for a raise — always keep the focus on your
importance to the department/company and your key accomplishments. And
keep it professional at all times.
And for you folks not as lucky as Wendy who are working at companies that are
giving little or no raises for the foreseeable future don’t forget that while a raise
might be out of the question you may be able to negotiate a better benefits package or other perks (such as more vacation time flexible working hours more telecommuting etc.) in lieu of a raise.
Read my article published on Quintessential Careers:
Getting the Raise
You Deserve
. And be sure you understand the
and Don’ts of Requesting a Raise
Another good source for you to review is this useful tool published on Quintessential
Careers: Job-Seeker
Accomplishments Worksheet
Finally check out this sample letter requesting a raise.