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If you've been working hard but feel like you're underpaid it could be time to put in a request for a pay rise. Avoid tripping over your words and make your case with a well-phrased request by preparing a Salary Increase Letter ahead of time.
Here, we take a look at how to write up your very own letter which will place you in the best light for salary negotiations.
What's in this guide?
- What is a Salary Increase Letter?
- When should I use a Salary Increase Letter?
- What does a Salary Increase Letter include?
- What not to include in a Salary Increase Letter
- How effective is a Salary Increase Letter?
- Do I need a lawyer for a Salary Increase Letter?
- How do I write a Salary Increase Letter?
- Where to get free legal documents and templates like a Salary Increase Letter
What is a Salary Increase Letter?
A Salary Increase Letter is a formal request in writing to your employer for an increase in salary. It is usually accompanied by a meeting where you'll have an opportunity to discuss the points you've raised in the letter face-to-face.
When should I use a Salary Increase Letter?
At some businesses, salary increases are discussed during your year-end review or around the start of the new financial year. If there is no standard review period, and your boss is pleased with your work, then ensure sufficient time has passed since your last salary increase.
Another good time to present your Salary Increase Letter is after completing a big project or significant task successfully.
On the other hand, the timing around your request in relation to your company is also important. Consider how well the business has been performing and if it's been meeting its own goals. If it's been a bad year with redundancies or financial troubles, a pay rise could be a tough sell.
What does a Salary Increase Letter include?
Some of the key components to include in a Salary Increase Letter are:
The reason for your request.
Some of the most common reasons include your salary falling below the average market value, acquiring new skills and qualifications for your position or taking on new responsibilities.
The justification for an increase in salary.
Create a list of your accomplishments since your last increase, highlighting any that have improved the business's bottom line.
The amount you're requesting.
Make it clear what you're after including any additional remuneration that may apply including superannuation, bonuses and incentives.
What not to include in a Salary Increase Letter
It's very important to avoid complaining or appearing negative when preparing your letter. Keep things positive and focus on your value to the company.
Here are some key points to avoid including in your Salary Increase Letter:
- Don't include any personal insights about coworkers' salaries
- Don't use the length of time at your company as justification
- Don't bring up any personal financial struggles
- Avoid emotional arguments with no basis in fact
- Don't act like a victim and use complaints as a reason for an increase
How effective is a Salary Increase Letter?
The main benefit of writing a Salary Increase Letter is that you get to research and plan your case for a pay raise in advance. Not everyone was born with the gift of negotiating but by following some simple guidelines or even using a ready-made template, you will be able to eloquently describe just why you're entitled to a salary increase.
It also shows your boss how serious you are about a salary increase. Anyone can schedule a meeting and rattle off some points but a well-phrased letter gives your employer a chance to review your case with all the justifications made clear.
Do I need a lawyer for a Salary Increase Letter?
No, you do not need a lawyer to help you prepare a Salary Increase Letter. While not a legally binding document, it does document your request should it be denied and removes any question of your boss taking the request seriously. If you would like a lawyer to review your request, consider the options below.
Does your company belong in this list?
How do I write a Salary Increase Letter?
As with any professional document, you want to keep your letter clear, concise and simple. Here are some of our top tips to help you draft a successful Salary Increase Letter:
- Have the right frame of mind. Ditch the negative and focus on the things that are truly relevant. Make sure your focus is on the value you provide to your company and why you deserve to get paid more.
- Do your research. Find out how your company handles salary increase requests and also what similar companies pay to employees at the same level as you.
- Gather concrete examples. Make sure your increase is justified by describing your accomplishments and including supporting materials such as advanced certifications or training you've completed.
- Aim to fit it all on a single page. The best letters are edited down to one page. Keep it short, specific and professional. This makes it easy for your manager to read and take in all the important information.
Where to get free legal documents and templates like a Salary Increase Letter
Asking for a pay raise is never easy. Fortunately, there are many resources available online to help you prepare your Salary Increase Letter. Below we've listed a few options to get your hands on a template and take the guesswork out of creating your first draft.
- Template Lab. A repository for document templates, Template Lab has a slew of Salary Increase Letter formats for you to choose from.
- The Balance Careers. The Balance Careers is home to guides and resources to help you navigate different stages of your career. It has a sample salary increase request letter that you can use as a guide to customise your own.
- Word Templates Online. An online space for free document templates and helpful guides, Word Templates Online has several Salary Increase Letter samples for you to make your own.
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