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  1. Career Advice
  2. Pay & salary
  3. Do you think you deserve a raise? Write a salary increase request letter.
Do you think you deserve a raise? Write a salary increase request letter.
Profile Earnest Robinson

Earnest Robinson

Do you think you deserve a raise? Write a salary increase request letter.

Artwork by: Irina Troitskaya

  • What are the reasons for a salary increase?
  • How do I ask my boss for a salary increase?
  • How do you ask for a salary increase in a job interview?
  • How do I write a salary increase request letter?
  • A sample letter for salary increase
  • How do you present a salary increase proposal?
  • Key takeaways

Knowing how to ask for a raise in salary by writing a letter of request for a salary increase can be the difference between maximizing your annual salary versus remaining underpaid and undervalued. Learn how to create this letter, when to submit it, and the most effective way to present it for positive results.

So, you want a pay raise. You know you have earned a boost in pay, but there is one problem: It can still scare you out of your wits even to ask for a well-deserved salary increase.

Asking or negotiating for more money can be extremely frightening. You face questions such as:

  • Should you wait for your annual review to ask for more money?

  • Is it appropriate to request a salary increase in a letter, or should it be face-to-face?

  • How do you even go about writing a salary increase request letter?

Let’s end the suspense and give you some immediate answers. First, you do not need to wait until your annual review to request a pay raise. Next, it is appropriate to ask for a salary increase via a request letter. And as for how you request a salary increase through a letter, keep reading to get the answer along with a sample salary increase request letter that you can modify for your situation.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • Why you should ask for a salary increase

  • When and how to approach your supervisor

  • How to write a strong salary proposal letter along with a copyable example

  • The best way to present your salary increase proposal

A well-written salary increase request letter dramatically improves your chances of getting a salary bump by expressing the value you bring to the organization.

What are the reasons for a salary increase?

There are a multitude of reasons why a person may write a letter requesting a salary increase. But no matter the reason, it is essential that you can show how your contributions have increased your value to the company.

Here are just a few reasons that may justify a pay increase. 

  • You have taken on a more senior role.

  • You have taken on additional responsibilities that increased your workload.

  • You have developed and implanted programs, processes, and procedures that have saved or earned the company money.

  • You have earned an industry-standard certification in high demand that will generate an immediate ROI for the company.

  • You were offered a position from a different company with the same duties but higher pay.

Expert Tip

Do not include personal reasons when writing a letter of salary increase, such as to cover the purchase of a larger home or a new top-of-the-line car. Companies are looking to reward value, not your lifestyle.

How do I ask my boss for a salary increase?

The worst time to ask for a salary increase is during your performance review, as all decisions from your previous year’s performance have already been made.

The best time to ask for a pay increase is at least three months before your performance review meeting with your manager. This allows time to plan and present your case for a pay increase before all decisions regarding your salary are made based on your review.

Here are some vital steps to ensure success when requesting a pay increase.

  • Plan how you will present your case to your manager on why you deserve a pay increase.

  • Schedule a meeting with your manager at least three months before your annual performance review meeting.

  • Collect as much intel as possible to create your case for a pay increase. Learn what others are making in the same position. ( offers a Salary Analyzer Tool you can use.) Knowing this will help you determine your market value and allow you to make a specific, data-driven request.

  • Put your request in writing by creating a letter of salary increase. This letter will not only document your request but will also provide solid reasons why you should have a pay increase by presenting specific examples of the added value you bring to the company.

  • When asking for a pay increase, it is vital that you are confident in your request. If you know why you want a raise, the added value you bring to the company, and your market value, you can be confident in asking for pay that reflects your worth.

  • It is not the end of the road if your request is denied. Learn the reason why, and ask if you can revisit the topic of a pay increase in another three to six months.

  • Know that not getting a pay increase may not be a reflection of your performance, but financially it may not be the best time for the company. If that’s the case, ask for something else in place of the pay increase such as a spot bonus, additional paid time off (PTO), or an extra week of paid vacation.

How do you ask for a salary increase in a job interview?

It is important to know that salary negotiation is an entirely separate process in the employment search. It is separate from the interview process. You will want to keep the discussion of salary separate until after you have the job offer. This is when you will have the most leverage in negotiating a higher salary. With that said, the topic of salary may unavoidably come up in the interview process. Without fail, the interviewer will at some point ask you for your salary requirements.

When negotiating a higher salary, it is important to understand the position of the person on the other side of the table. From the hiring organization’s perspective, they are looking at the total compensation package, including salary and benefits. If they are not able to meet your exact number, they will try to meet it by considering the totality of the compensation package. 

Expert Tip


How to ask for a salary increase during a job interview.


Create your salary range. This range will consist of a low- and high-end number and a sweet spot somewhere in the middle. The low end will be the minimum you are willing to accept (your walk-away number). The high-end number is a perfect world scenario (the jackpot). And then there is the sweet spot. The sweet spot between your low and high end is where you want to be.


Know your worth, and do not leave money on the table. Research the salary for the position you are applying for by learning the hiring company’s salary range and what others are making in that same position. Consider the required work experience, education, and skill level. Then determine what additional value you bring to the organization. Get more insight in our blog on How to negotiate your salary after a job offer.

How do I write a salary increase request letter?

When asking for a salary increase, writing a salary proposal letter to your manager is a smart idea. It creates a paper trail and conveys what you want and why you should get it, all in a well-thought-out letter.

Here are five steps to writing an effective salary proposal letter. 

Be objective. Before you sit down to write your salary proposal letter, be honest with yourself and determine if you have added real value to the company over the past year that merits a salary increase.

  1. Know what you want. When asking for a pay increase, know exactly how much you are asking for as an annual increase.

  2. Know your market value. Never ask for an arbitrary number when asking for a raise; research salary ranges for your position using national, state, local, and company data to help determine your market value.

  3. Detail your accomplishments and achievements. The salary proposal letter is a request for the company to recognize and reward you for the added value you bring to the company each day, so identify how you add continuous value and how it translates to wins for the company.

  4. Meet with your manager. Create the salary proposal letter in a Word document and email it to your manager requesting a meeting to discuss your request.

A sample letter for salary increase


Dear (Manager’s Name),

I am writing to formally request a review of my work performance and current salary. During my [X] years with [Company Name] as a [Position Title], my ability and willingness to contribute at a high level have grown exponentially.

I believe my accomplishments that have led to large company wins and increased annual revenue over the past [X] months justify a [X]% increase in my annual salary, which will put me in line with the national average for [Position Title]’s.

Some of my distinguishing accomplishments and achievements over the past [X] months include:

- Accelerated the company growth by [X]% and delivered $[X] in recurring revenue.

- Expanded the company brand by aggressively entering new and underdeveloped markets.

- Welcomed the challenge of developing and leading a new sales program.

- Revitalized an underperforming sales territory using techniques learned in online training for professional development.

- Earned my [Certification Name] in project management [or other relevant area].

Please note that the median salary for [Position Name] in the state of [State Name] is $[X] a year. I believe my advanced degree, my multiple certifications, my over [X] years of sales and leadership experience, and my portfolio of high-value accounts worth over $[X] have earned me the consideration for a [X]% annual pay increase.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration regarding this important matter. I look forward to meeting with you and going into further detail about my continued value, my pay increase requests, and how I can continue to be an asset to [Company Name] for years to come.


[Your Name]

Do not assume your manager knows everything you have accomplished. It is up to you to spell out your accomplishments and achievements. Remember, your manager has his or her duties as well as other team members to oversee.

How do you present a salary increase proposal?

In today’s world of technology, it is easy to get away from personal communications. However, some things are still best done face-to-face, such as requesting a pay increase. But again, in today’s world of technology, many employees work remotely and may be miles away from their manager, making in-person meetings impossible.

Presenting a salary increase proposal via email using a Word document is completely acceptable using these guidelines.

  1. Create your salary increase proposal using the sample above in a Word document.

  2. Next, draft an email requesting a phone or video meeting to discuss your request for a salary increase, and attach the Word document. Keep the email brief and let the attached salary proposal letter do the talking.

  3. Be sure to make it clear in the subject line that you are requesting a meeting to discuss your compensation.

  4. Keep both the email and salary proposal letter formal.

Key takeaways

While asking for an increase in your annual salary can be a scary thought, it should not stop you from getting the pay you have earned. Knowing how to write an effective salary increase request letter enhances your earning power.

Follow these guidelines to write an effective salary increase request letter.

  1. Be objective and clearly show you have added tangible value to the company that merits a salary increase.

  2. Know what you want in terms of dollar amount before writing your salary proposal letter.

  3. Know your market value by researching salary ranges for your position using national, state, local, and company data.

  4. Detail your accomplishments and achievements that show your ongoing value to the organization.

  5. Meet with your manager to discuss your request for an annual salary increase.

Profile Earnest Robinson

Earnest Robinson

Earnest is a Career Coach (CPCC) and Resume Writer with expertise in providing professionals with the tools to effectively navigate the job search and prepare for a successful career. He has extensive experience leading HR and recruiting efforts. Earnest specializes in training, coaching, and mentoring career seekers on how to gain and maintain a successful career filled with purpose and passion, and he believes true career success comes from being holistically balanced.

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