InHerSight’s research shows women are not asking for raises. More than 50 percent of women say they have not asked for a raise in the past year—that means they might be missing out on money they’ve earned. It’s time we change that.
No matter when or how you ask for a raise, it’s a good idea to accompany your request with a letter that makes it clear how much you’re asking for and the reason you’re qualified to ask.
Wait, so I just send a letter and that’s it?
Not quite. Even if you work remotely or don’t work in the same location as your boss, the letter should always be accompanied by a verbal conversation, whether by phone, Skype, or in person.
Here are a few ways you can set up that conversation.
Before your next 1:1 meeting with your boss, send them a note saying that you’d like to discuss your salary and compensation in your next meeting.
If you don’t have regular 1:1 time with your boss, set up a meeting and let them know what it’s about: I’d like to meet with you next Wednesday to discuss my salary.
If you work remotely, set up a phone call or Skype meeting to discuss.
If you’re able to meet your boss in person, bring a printed copy of the letter. If you’re making the request remotely, send the letter via email an hour or so before the meeting with a note that says you plan to discuss it on the call.
I am writing to request an increase 8 percent to my base salary. In my time in product management at Super Product Management, Inc., I have advanced from a junior product manager to product manager, and expanded my responsibilities to include both client support and reporting.
In the last year, I have achieved:
-Positive performance reviews over the last four quarters.
-A reputation among my peers and solid and dependable, the point-person for troubleshooting within Product X.
-A client satisfaction rating increase of 20 percent since I took over Product X.
-Implementation of four new UX improvements that have resulted in 90 percent satisfaction scores from users.
-Because I hope to one day oversee my own team, I have participated in three company-run trainings on team management.
-I have also asked for cross-training initiatives to increase my understanding of products across the business.
An 8 percent increase to my current salary of $50,000 would place me at $54,000, which I believe is commensurate with my experience and contributions to Super Product Management.
I appreciate very much your time in responding to this request.
Thank you in advance,
Tips for requesting a raise in writing
Consider how formal your workplace is: More formal workplaces will require a formal letter format that includes addresses and contact information and addresses your manager more formally, i.e., Dear Ms. Sabina Ross.
Use numbers: Always support your request with as many numbers as possible. Increases in output, improved results, increased efficiency, higher scores, etc.
Research your number: Sites like PayScale can give you a sense of what others with similar education, experience, and responsibilities are earning. But, know that you can always ask for more than a middling figure. It’s all about how you back it up.
Practice first: Ask a friend to help you practice your request on the phone, via Skype, or in person—however you will be discussing your raise letter.
Make it only about you: As tempting as it may be to point out how much more successful you are than your peers, when you’re requesting a raise, the support you provide should be only about your accomplishments.
Be ready to discuss: Your manager may be ready to give you a raise right there, but they might also want to negotiate the terms of your raise. If they can’t offer cash, then perhaps flexible work hours , more paid time off , or the ability to work from home . If that’s the case, we have a guide for you: Never Say...When Negotiating a Raise .