How To Ask For A Raise: Sample Letter

I was surprised to learn that my How To Ask For A Raise In 3 Steps article attracts many new visitors to my website. The reason I’m surprised about it is because this early article of mine has received zero comments since it was published almost one year ago.

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:

(Today’s Date)

To: (Your Supervisor’s Name)
(Business Address)

From: (Your Name)
(Your Address)

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.

Sincerely,

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Here is a sample letter:

August 24, 2006

To: [Name and address redacted]

From: Shaun Boyd
[Address redacted]

Dear [redacted]:

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.

Sincerely yours,

Shaun Boyd

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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43 Responses to “How To Ask For A Raise: Sample Letter”

#1 Dan on 19, Feb, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Now if only my job gave raises :)

I just commented because I like your blog.

#2 Keara on 19, Feb, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Great article and IMPRESSIVE letter. I think the internet should give you a raise just for sharing that.

I feel like this article was on par with your Working Dead and other besties. Keep it up!

#3 Hunter Nuttall on 20, Feb, 2008 at 10:14 am

Wait, so you didn’t get any raise at all, not even cost of living? Or do you mean you didn’t get a merit-based raise beyond the normal cost of living raise?

#4 Shaun Boyd on 20, Feb, 2008 at 12:28 pm

@Dan and Keara
So glad you like it. Thanks!

@Hunter Nuttall
Sorry that I wasn’t clear. I received a standard cost of living raise, but my request for a merit raise was denied.

#5 Hunter Nuttall on 21, Feb, 2008 at 9:51 am

Shaun, I guess I was confused because I’ve never seen raises broken down into cost of living vs. merit. Thanks for clarifying, and glad you at least got the cost of living raise. I’m sure that your letter gave you the best chance for a merit raise, so I think it’s a good strategy even if it didn’t work in this particular case.

#6 Sheri on 18, Mar, 2008 at 3:41 pm

If you work for a small company and you haven’t received a cost of living OR a merit raise in 3 years and you know your company is struggling financially, what do you do? Things are actually looking up for my company for the first time in over 2 years but I’m concerned it’s still not the best time to ask.

#7 zhanna on 09, May, 2008 at 12:29 am

Dear Shaun,
This is great effort in requesting for your promotion and salary raise. Hope you find another job that rewarded you for what you are worth and gave you higher title. It is unusual they did not respond to such a convincing letter. Did anyone reviewed it and/or suggested anything from what you wrote?
i went through similar experience in asking my employer for a raise and promotion, similarly they agree but did not act on it. One month later I got an offer from different company with substantial increase and a job title. I am ready for my three month review and open to further success in the career.
Best of luck and thank you for sharing your story…

#8 Jon on 12, May, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Sheri,

It sounds like you’re in an uncomfortable situation. It’s hard to gauge the correct timing to go about asking for a raise. Sometimes, as employees, I think people can have a tendency to look out for their employer before themselves. It’s good to have a shared interest in your company, but it’s also important that you are receiving your fair share. When it comes to asking for a raise, it’s all about illustrating your value to the company. If your company is struggling financially right now, you may be facing more responsibility in support of the company. Therefore, you are an increased asset to the company, and deserve a salary representative of that. The best way to ask for a raise is to carefully plan out your pitch. Even if they do say no, due to financial reasons, you’ll have carefully laid out your worth to them. When the time comes, maybe you’ll have a place in line. If you’re interested, here’s an article I found with tips on asking for a raise, when times are tough: http://www.payscale.com/career.....-recession

#9 Kim on 22, May, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Thank you for your article! Of all my searches it by far helped me the best!

#10 Sanjeev on 04, Jun, 2008 at 3:40 am

It’s really a IMPRESSIVE letter. May be other can get raise from this letter. Anyway this letter can help others.

Thanks

#11 e.anand on 20, Jun, 2008 at 11:19 pm

I happened to come across this while I was really looking for an effective ‘how to ask for promotion’ letter.
Superb work and thnks for giving such wonderful guidelines and an example too…
Great work!!!!

#12 Mike Rushizha on 24, Jun, 2008 at 4:47 am

This letter WORKS like a charm! I submitted it to my HR Manager on May, 13th and well received it was. I am sorry Shaun that your request for a raise was denied. I on the other hand, was granted a raise back-dated March 2008!

I am a System Administrator and share almost the same responsibilities with you Shaun and I know that somewhere, someone is keen to have people like you in their organizations. Good work Shaun and God bless you.

#13 Shaun Boyd on 24, Jun, 2008 at 11:10 am

@Mike Rushizha
Congratulations on your raise! I’m so glad that you had success with it. How generous of your employer to back-date the raise — that’s awesome!

It’s great having some confirmation that this method works. Cheers.

#14 Prashil on 08, Jul, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Thanks for this. This is being very helpful to me.

#15 Michelle on 02, Oct, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Hello!
Just wanted to let you know that your information, and all the people that have responded, have made me feel so much better!
Like Sheri, I work for a company who seems to be doing well currently. I have been procrastinating since August about requesting a raise because of the financial crisis. I asked my peer (who has been doing the same job for twice as long) for advice and was shocked to hear that she is making the same salary as I am, and hasn’t asked for more compensation for over a year! Consequently, I felt even more awkward, seeing as a raise would put us on uneven ground when she clearly has more experience. After reading your sample letter, I feel more confident about my decision to submit my request even if it ruffles a few feathers. As you said, “Until you ask, you’ll never know”. Thanks!!

#16 PETER on 20, Oct, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Your letter is awesome…i never blog but i wanted to give u a pat on your back, thanks

#17 julius apelanio on 31, Jan, 2009 at 2:04 am

truly realistic testimony….good job man! this site is real

#18 Gio on 05, Feb, 2009 at 11:32 am

thank you for this website.

I am sending email to my supervisor for a raise. Let’s see what will happen. :S (nervous)

#19 Chee on 28, Mar, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Shawn,
I wonder if you would help me read this email that I plan to send to my boss. do you have any advice on the language. I currently worked with 4 others staff sharing equal job responsibilities. I am not getting the pay that is in comparison with what the rest are getting. I thought it is worth a try.

Here is what I have drafted:
I recently called HR and spoke to ___ as I have been wondering if my pay scale is reflective of my years of service and experience. She advised that I can submit my resume for HR to review but the request needs to come from my immediate supervisor.

I appreciate the opportunity I have had during the last three years of working with you and the team. I look forward to continuing to play a key role within the department. I truly enjoy my work and would really appreciate if you would assist me with this submission.

I welcome any advice you can recommend to assist me with my request to adjust my pay scale to be at least at par with the rest of the coordinators. I also welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter with you after you have had a chance to review this my reqest.

Thank you.

#20 Marco on 05, May, 2009 at 8:28 am

I would like to know if it is okay to write a letter like this:

“Please be informed that my employment contract with (Name of company) will expire (date). I would like to know if there is the possible of salary increment should I decide to renew my contract with you.”

#21 Marco on 05, May, 2009 at 8:31 am

I would like to write a letter to our company management asking if there is the possibility of salary increase if I decide to renew my contract with them. Could YOU help me write a letter. Is it okay to write a short letter like this:

“Please be informed that my employment contract with (Name of company) will expire (date). I would like to know if there is the possibilty of salary increment should I decide to renew my contract with you.”

#22 shesa on 10, Jul, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Hello,
I am in the process of writing a propoal for a merit raise. I was wondering if I could get some assistance with my letter. I am customer service supervisor. We had two supervisors but just recently one of our supervisors was returning to school in a different state so she is working remotely and is no longer a supervisor. We really have no ther potential supervisors so I will be the only supervisor. I have not recieved a raise in two years. Around the time when my 3rd year with the company came around we laid off some enployees so there was a freeze on raises. So now I would like to ask for a raise its been over a year and a half since we laid people off currently we are expanding and have already hired at least 3 new employees over the past year. I am the only supervisor and I assist with a lot of the training. Also I have improved my individual numbers. Please help…..

#23 Julius Osanjo on 11, Aug, 2009 at 12:23 am

Hi Shaun,
I have been at my current place of work for a year, and it is a big firm considering the size of my country(Kenya). I have just drafted a considerably nice payrise letter based on your above uploaded letter. It was of great help to me, to write my letter, am on my way to submit it in an hour to the HR, I just thought it would be a good luck charm to give credit to where I got the inspiration prior to actually submitting it.
Thanks, I hope it goes well for me, and I hope you are already at your ‘happy place’ by now, as employees, we all go through these phases..

#24 Rajat on 31, Aug, 2009 at 12:08 am

Thanks Buddy

#25 Charity on 02, Sep, 2009 at 10:28 am

Wornderful piece!

#26 Jisela on 16, Oct, 2009 at 10:15 am

The letter is really good. I just don’t understand why you opened your letter with that introduction? To me it comes off as very uncaring. I feel like you would have had a better chance at a raise if you worded your introduction differently. I feel like the first few opening sentences should be about how grateful you are to be working for that company.

Other than that the rest is good.

#27 Anonymous on 13, Mar, 2010 at 3:44 am

HR maintains that my years of experience don’t allow a promotion. Without asking, management fought for a performance raise went up to Executive level but was ultimately shot down again by HR.

Awesome

#28 James on 07, Aug, 2010 at 7:18 am

Thanks dude! helped alot.

Gamina

#29 Arunkumar on 11, Aug, 2010 at 2:59 am

Dear Sir,

I already escalated to my MD for Salary increments,but he saying Any reconsideration will be taken up only after internal
review by the management after 3 months.Now 3 months was expired.now how i can escalate to him.

#30 PB on 04, Oct, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I have promised a raise 3 times in 2 years and have yet to get one. I like the letter template and your ideas. I have making a list of accomplishments and added duties, so I hope this does it.
thanks.

#31 Noy on 18, Oct, 2010 at 5:42 pm

How to write a sample letter request for working overtime with pay

#32 Will on 21, Oct, 2010 at 2:50 am

I used your letter as a basis for my raise request and I received almost a 25% raise. Thanks for your help!!!!

#33 Jacob on 10, Nov, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Hi I’m workig as Business Development Manager in IT staffing company. Resently one of the Key Account manager who was handling Cisco account has resigned from my orginisition, I am interested to filling her position , how do i write an email asking my Managing Director to give that account .

#34 Brown Sugar on 29, Nov, 2010 at 6:10 am

Thanks so much,like u said one ca nevaer know until u ask. Thanks so much u have made things alot easier now for me to present my letter to my Supervisor.

#35 ernie on 05, May, 2011 at 9:25 pm

your article is a big boost for me now I am ready to ask for a raise thank you

#36 Chellen on 11, May, 2011 at 3:06 am

been wondering how i should go about it, thank God for people like you.

#37 Selena on 12, May, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thank you so much! I have been looking for exactly this for so long. I must have searching wrong. I’ve got it now. Wish me luck!

#38 Mrs.Robinson on 17, May, 2011 at 5:54 pm

First I must start by saying Thank You so much for writting this information. I’m a Branch Manager for three buildings for a luxury Natural Stone Company, I manage over 20 people and that number grows daily. I knew I deserved a raise but was unsure how to go about requesting one from tge CEO (my boss). After reading this article I wrote my a letter similar to above to the CEO of our company and requested a pay raise. That same day I got a reply back from the CEO requesting to meet with me in person the following week. In our meeting I was told how appreciated I was at tge company and how great my performance and got a raise higher than what I expected! I do beleave that the letter I wrote had a lot to do with my raise as well as my performance of course. Thank you so much for this info I will definantley refer everyone to this article when ask how to ask for a raise.
~Mrs.Robinson

#39 deepak on 26, May, 2011 at 1:26 am

Your letter is excellent. Can you help me (Or anybody who read this) to write a letter to our GM.
I am working in an oil field company accounts department. Our salary is very less comparing to the same compnies out side.

Last 1-2 years we dont have a stable finance manager to address our issues related to increment and promotion.Now the FM post is vacant.That is why we are not getting apt increment according to our work and experince.Our previous FM who got promoted to financial controller of our group of companies is interfering in our issues and he is not doing anyting good to us.

Only our senior accountant is getting paid high salary. Also he only getting high increment.He is selish and not discuss anything with mangement for our increment.Also he is taking advantage of all teams efforts by depicting the same to the top management as his efforts.

In this situation all other members of our accouts department would like to send one letter to our GM demanding salary hike/increment.

All other department in our company is getting good salary and increment by the proposal of concerned department heads. Frankly speeking a store keeper in our company is getting paid higher than an accountant.

kindly help me to write a letter to GM.

#40 Mitch on 22, Jan, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Honestly, as a supervisor, I would immediately have a negative reaction to someone who cannot spell or use proper grammar. Shaun, you may not have gotten your merit raise simply because you don’t know the difference between “principle” and “principal.” Many of the responses contain gross misspellings and typos. Folks, the first thing that will turn off a supervisor is spelling and grammar errors. Fix them before submitting your letters for merit pay increases!

#41 Shaun Boyd on 22, Jan, 2012 at 8:17 pm

@Mitch
You make an excellent point. Spelling and grammar matter.

Thanks for catching the error, it has been corrected!

#42 angela on 31, Jan, 2012 at 11:31 am

This is awesome information on how to ask for a raise. I would of never known where to start. Thank you Angela

#43 khutso on 28, May, 2012 at 5:56 am

Hi

I have applied for a senior training officer job at our company. minimum requirements are grade 12 and five years metallurgical experience and i have eight years experience. can i request that my salary be increased by R2000.00 because i have more experience and have been loyal to the company?

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