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How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for a Raise

By Erin Monahan

It's nerve-wracking to ask for a raise, but if you're passionate about your skills and contributions to your company then you should be compensated for those successes. Putting your request in writing allows you the opportunity to get your thoughts together and present them in the most persuasive way.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You'll Need:

Internet Access


  1. Research the job market to see what other people in similar positions in your area are earning. This will let you know if what you're seeking is in line with the economy of the area. Sites such as and have salary search tools (see resources). Don't be dissuaded from asking for a raise if you're already at the top of the payscale, but it's good to be aware of all information that will help you plan your strategy for presenting your case.
  2. Be aware of your company's standard raise practices. If a yearly raise is expected, you'll need to phrase your request as a merit raise. You should also read your company's handbook to see if raises are discussed. It's futile to ask for a raise if your company has a wage freeze in place, so find out about that, too
  3. Create a list of your accomplishments and ensure you can articulate why they are above and beyond what the company might expect from you. Raises are usually given for performance that exceeds expectation, not for doing a good job at what you're supposed to be doing.
  4.  Be direct in your memo and lead with your accomplishments: "I would like to discuss my compensation with you at your earliest convenience. In the past year I have brought six new accounts onto our team and increased revenue by 13 percent." Then follow with a list of other accomplishments. Experts at warn against stating why you need the money (debts, for instance) and sticking entirely to your exemplary record.
  5. Name your number. Ask for a raise which is appropriate from your research and request it by outlining your accomplishments. "Because of these reasons I believe I deserve a 4 percent merit raise, in addition to the 3 percent the company has offered." Or if you're requesting additional money at another time of the year, write, "I realize that raises are given on anniversary dates, but believe my contribution to the company warrants a merit raise at this time to bring my salary in line with what other managers at my level in Chicago are making." Finish your memo with a reasonable time limit, such as requesting a sit down meeting in the following two weeks.
  6. Be respectful and don't threaten to quit if your wishes aren't met. It doesn't hurt to ask for a reasonable pay raise, but it can hurt your career if you are petulant or vindictive. Remember that you're putting your request in writing it may be passed along to other managers and human resource personnel. Keep your request short, simple and to the point.


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