Cindy Quarters reports:
"After you’ve been on the job for a while, it’s natural to begin thinking about getting a raise. While in some companies raises are automatic, such as an annual cost of living increase, at many places you may need to ask for a merit raise based on your contributions to the business. A good way to handle this is to present your manager or supervisor with an organized, thoughtful letter that states what you are looking for and clearly lays out your reasoning as to why you deserve more pay...Use a proper business format for your letter. Start with your address, phone number, email if applicable and the date, listed at the top of the page, against the left margin. Skip a line, then put your manager’s name and address directly below your information. Skip another line, and then write a formal salutation, such as 'Dear Mr. Jones.' Skip another line before you begin the body of the letter. Breaking the text into sections makes the letter easier to read...Create the body of the letter by formatting each paragraph as a block of text, with all text flush against the left margin. Skip a line between paragraphs. Keep each paragraph short; no more than a few sentences. Always type a professional letter; never submit a handwritten document. Use a professional font...State the purpose of your letter from the start. Begin by requesting a meeting with your manager, immediately followed by the fact that you want to discuss a raise. Give your basic reason...Start a new paragraph and make a statement about when and why you were hired by the company, and mention the company by name. Clearly state that you feel entitled to a raise because of what you have accomplished, and be very specific as to what it is that you have done. Ideally, put a short, bulleted list here that covers the major benefits you’ve provided, but keep each one very short, no more than a single sentence. Only list two or three things, because going over every single task you’ve completed might annoy more than impress the reader. If you’ve received any commendations, include them in a new paragraph at this point...Mention in the next paragraph that you have a positive view of your future with the company and very briefly state what you hope to accomplish in the future...Thank the reader for her time and state that you are looking forward to meeting with her soon, writing each comment on its own line. Sign it 'Sincerely,' leave a space where you can sign your name, and type your name underneath...Send the letter to the addressee using either regular mail or company mail, whichever is most appropriate. Be sure to address the envelope properly, using the same typeface that you used for the letter...Have an amount in mind when asking for a raise, and be prepared to explain why you deserve it. Take copies of commendations and reviews with you to the meeting...If you come off as bragging or discussing things in terms of what you want, rather than explaining how the company benefits, you may not get your raise. Stay low[-]key and factual when discussing your accomplishments."
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