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While the common method of asking for a raise is by meeting with your boss in person, it can also be helpful to write out the request in a formal letter. Use standard letter formatting or format the request like any other business proposal -- depending on the standard method of correspondence at your workplace. On top of the usual dose of gratitude for the opportunity to work with the company, include a few key points in your request. Keep the letter short and sweet, including a section describing your value as well as a section that gets right down to the nitty-gritty of what you'd like to be earning.
Your request letter should give your employer some information about your performance and why you deserve a raise. Outline sales figures, new client counts, production levels or other markers of your productivity and success. Before you launch into the part of your letter that deals with money and a salary range, use the first paragraph to tell your employer what makes you so valuable and what you'll do to work toward being even more productive.
The other part of a successful raise request is knowing how much you should ask for. Do some research on how much other people in your position are making so you'll have some data to back up your request. Use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' wage information for positions like yours, keeping in mind that salaries vary widely by region. Also try other sites such as Glassdoor to get even more perspective on a workable salary range. In the second paragraph of the letter, ask for a specific salary range. Also note that you're willing to work with your employer to come up with a figure that suits both parties.
When you're asking for a raise, timing is key. For example, asking for a raise shortly after the company files for bankruptcy or is going through a restructuring could damage your career. You should generally only ask for a raise when you've been with the company at least one or two years, advises Business Insider. Ideally, make your request during an annual review. The only possible exception to that rule may be if you suddenly have to do a lot more work than when you first started out or if you get a new title with more responsibilities.
Talk to the Boss
Putting your request in writing is a good thing to do, but talk to your employer about the request in person, suggests Business Insider. Let your boss know that you'd like to meet to discuss salary, giving some time for consideration of the issue before you lay out the details. During your meeting, mention the specifics you outlined in your letter. Think of the letter as something used to document your request, which your manager can use to weigh the pros and cons with other decision-makers within the company.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.
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