The salary increase letter: what should it say?

Asking for a raise is a bit like reliving your first interview. To put luck on your side, the letter you write to your boss should present only realistic arguments, be carefully edited, and diplomatic in tone. To help shed some light on this task, here are some key elements to incorporate into your letter.


Regardless of whether your boss knows you well or not, you should lay out your skills for them and situate yourself in the job market. Take some time to remember the skills you had coming into the job, then think about those you’ve acquired since then. Have you perfected your team management skills? Are you now a master of a software that you use every day? Next, include this information in your letter, taking care to mention your seniority in the company as well as your position.


If you want to get that raise, you need to prove to your employer that your work is invaluable and that your projects allow the company to grow day after day. To help solidify your argument, you should give several concrete examples that show your involvement and that allowed the company to develop, increase productivity and revenue, or secure business and contracts in the industry. Have you just won a lucrative contract? Did you have a hand in the achievement of your team’s goals? Sum up everything you’ve accomplished since you were hired through concrete and quantitative examples like objectives met, risks taken, and results achieved.


To supplement your argument, it’s also advised to explain your request through justifying the usefulness of your work over time. Don’t hesitate to ask for outside opinions — you can attach recommendation letters from your colleagues to your letter to support the contributions your work has made as well as their comfort and pleasure working with you.

This step could even be done through LinkedIn, which offers your colleagues (both current and former) the option of endorsing your skills. Their words of support will then be visible on your profile.


To put the finishing touches on your letter, you should also show that you’re up to date with the company’s raise policy and make sure that it’s the right moment to submit a request. If you think your boss will be a bit hesitant to accept your demand,  you can let them know about the norms regarding salary in your industry while avoiding, of course, resorting to blackmail, threats, pretension, or comparing your current salary to your colleagues’.


To ensure that your employer is happy to give you a raise and isn’t doing so out of obligation, make sure to adopt a positive tone and writing style. To do so, show your employer the ways in which increasing your salary will also benefit the company. You can explain what the raise will allow you to do, such as hiring a babysitter so that you can attend late-night meetings that you couldn’t make before. Finally, adopting a good attitude means always being fair and honest in your argument and being realistic about the figure you ask for.

Writing a salary increase letter comes with its own bundle of stress, but preparing well for it and employing an effective and convincing argument can tip the scales in your favor. And, if you need an additional helping hand, there is a good number of websites that offer services and advice that can help you successfully obtain your raise.

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