In other words, the lack of responses caused me to think this article was unpopular. In reality, however, people were constantly discovering this article via Google searches: “how to ask for a raise letter” — “letter asking for a raise” — “asking for a raise letter” — etc.
In my “3 Steps” article, I did not provide a template for the letter I was encouraging my visitors to write. For this, I apologize — because it’s clear that’s what you were looking for.
Here is the basic template for a letter asking for a raise:
To: (Your Supervisor’s Name)
From: (Your Name)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (Your Supervisor’s Last Name):
Introductory paragraph. (Something that basically says: “I’ve been thinking about the future.”)
Explanation as to why you’re a resource person. (“This is what I do to stand out.”)
Request for a raise or promotion. (“Considering all that I’ve listed above, I respectfully request…”)
Demonstration that you’ve done your homework. (“Here is some research regarding salaries in my field.”)
Closing invitation to discuss the matter further.
Here is a sample letter:
August 24, 2006
To: [Name and address redacted]
From: Shaun Boyd
As an employee, do I stand out, or blend in? Do I really care about the employer I work for and the job I do, or is it just a paycheck? Do I take the initiative to spend my own time, money, or effort learning new job skills so I can add greater value to my employer, or just coast along day to day? Career wise, where do I want to be 5 to 10 years from now?
As I approach the start of my 3rd year with the [Library], these are questions I’ve asked myself and, I want you as my principal supervisor to be aware of as you evaluate my position for FY2007. My job title is “Senior Technical Assistant – Management Information Systems.” The primary responsibilities that are expected of me are:
- Provide computer technical support in person, remotely, via telephone, or via email to all library staff. Often expected to provide computer technical support over the phone for anyone that library staff transfers to the computer and network services department.
- Maintain computer systems, maximizing system functionality and efficiency. Respond promptly to minimize any system downtime, including weekends.
- Contact support partners to exchange defective computer components in machines under warranty. Document the particulars of these exchanges.
- Maintain an accurate database of the network configuration and computer equipment inventory. Regularly reconfigure machines for reuse. Permanently destroy all data on machines intended for auction.
- Document the problems encountered and develop the most fitting solution. Document procedures others can follow to do the work necessary in the computer and network services department.
- Set up projection systems for events held in the library. Prepare the projection systems to be delivered to other library branches as schedule indicates.
Other Responsibilities that are expected of the computer and network services department include:
- Regularly backup critical system data.
- Configure Cisco routers and switches in our network infrastructure.
- Monitor network traffic and investigate anomalies.
- Monitor wireless access and document abuse.
- Contact and work with our Internet Service Provider when segments of our network are down and their restoration is not within our control.
Initiatives that have been voluntarily produced outside of my job description are:
- Development of an Open Source (free) Internet Content Filter used to reduce the exposure of graphic pornography and violence on publicly accessible computers.
- Development of an Open Source Content Management System to catalog all tasks performed, decisions made, and procedures to follow in the computer and network services department.
- Development of an Open Source Web-accessible Calendar used as a shared resource for scheduling items on loan from the computer and network services department.
- Development of an Open Source automated Inventorying System. Will soon be employed to replace the tedious and inaccurate manual methods for equipment inventory.
- Creation of an Open Source Manual for the computer and network services department. The manual contains exact procedures for creating the four initiatives bulleted above.
Given the above listed responsibilities and initiatives, I would respectfully request that in addition to the customary cost of living increase for FY2007, I also be considered for a merit raise commensurate with my job performance.
I fully realize that public sector jobs do not necessarily pay as well as those in the private industry, however, in researching the salary.com website (which does not differentiate between public and private job sectors), it notes the median expected salary for a typical Help Desk Support, Sr. in the Atlantic City area is $57,715. While the median expected salary for a typical Network Administrator I is $51,687, and the median expected salary for a typical Software Engineer is $58,336. All of these full time jobs occupy a fraction of the work I perform as a Senior Technical Assistant – Management Information Systems.
I also realize that after only two years with the [Library], it would be difficult to expect an increase in salary from my current level of $30,000 to a median of $50,000 to $60,000. Nevertheless, I would greatly appreciate your consideration of this request for a salary increase in 2007. Based on the level of my responsibilities and performance in carrying-out the same, perhaps some thought could be given to a more appropriate job title that would warrant a higher salary.
In closing, I want you to know that I truly enjoy my work at the [Library], and trust that you can appreciate the basis on which I am making this request. After you have had a chance to review this letter, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter with you in greater detail.
The above sample letter is an actual letter I submitted to my supervisor in August of 2006. The letter was well-received, and my supervisor presented my case to the Director of the organization. My efforts were acknowledged, but my request for a raise was denied.
I believe that if the decision was at the sole discretion of my supervisor, I would have received a raise or promotion in response to my letter. Unfortunately, there were other factors involved that prohibited me from getting what many felt was rightfully mine.
This, I believe, is not so uncommon: People deserve to be making more than what they’re earning, but something is holding them back. Maybe it’s the budget. Maybe it’s the bottom line.
Or maybe it’s not. Maybe the only thing that separates you from the raise you deserve is the simple question: Can I have a raise?
Until you ask, you’ll never know.
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