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How To Ask For A Raise (With Email Template)

Purse with money on the wooden table

Want to know how much of a salary increase you should ask for? Use ValueMyCV to find out.

Go on, how much are you really worth? Most would answer that it’s more than we’re currently being paid, but it’s a conversation that can be daunting to approach.

Brits can be notoriously bad when it comes to talking money, but if you think you’re being underpaid and deserve a salary hike, you should pluck up the courage to ask for more. But don’t just go barging in through the boss’s door – take a look at our top tips which will make it difficult for them to say no:

How To Ask For A Payrise

  1. Do Your Research – Find out from HR how your company calculates pay increases and use that as leverage. Take a look at jobs on Adzuna and see what other companies are offering for similar roles, that way you know where the benchmark lies and can dangle the unspoken threat that you’ll walk away in front of them.
  2. Time it right – If you’ve just been given a pay rise in line with the rest of the company, you need to have a very good reason to ask for another one so soon. Biding your time for a couple of months could quite literally pay off, so pick your moment.
  3. Ask for a meeting – This isn’t the sort of conversation you can have over the watercooler on a Friday afternoon, and grumpy Monday mornings aren’t great either. Ask to have a few minutes with your boss some time during the week when things are quieter and they’re more likely to have the time for you.
  4. Back up your claims – There’s no point saying you want a pay rise just because you think you deserve one – they’ll need to see proof that you’re worth it. Before you go in, jot down a few examples of how you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty. Being able to produce some numbers and statistics to impress them will give your case more weight.
  5. Be realistic – Plucking some wild figure out of the air isn’t going to work. Make sure they know your expectations are reasonable given the industry average; that way they’re more likely to take your case seriously.

The Most Important Don’t

  • Don’t give up – These tips are designed to make it difficult for your boss to say no, but there are all sorts of behind the scenes reasons you might not be successful this time around. Don’t sulk or start firing off moaning emails, simply thank them for having considered it and try again later. Never burn your bridges – even if you decide that without a pay rise it’s time to find a new job altogether, you’ll need to keep your boss sweet to get a good reference.

Asking For A Pay Rise In A Letter

Depending on your relationship with your boss, an email might be the best way to ask them for a pay rise, or at least lay down the groundwork.

Before you take the plunge it’s still worth answering the question we opened with – how much are you worth?

Upload your (updated!) CV into the ValueMyCV tool to get some idea of how much your skills are really worth to your employer, which is a great base for you to build your case for a raise. With good, hard evidence to lay down in front of them, you’ll be able to walk in there more confident that you’re worth what you’re asking for.

Don’t just start talking about figures straight away – the key thing is to emphasise your achievements. Stress your ‘accomplishments’, ‘contributions’ and your ‘value’, and lay it on thick when telling them how much you enjoy working there. You want to keep their goodwill, even if they turn you down.

But where to start? Using the following letter sample as a guide will put you in with a good chance of getting the raise you so richly deserve – just remember that individual circumstances differ, so it’s important you customise the template to best reflect your own position or change how formal/casual the tone is.


Email Template: Ask For A Pay Rise

Hello ,

I have greatly enjoyed working with you over the past ___ years, and as well as feeling I have learnt a lot from my time within the department, I also feel I have contributed a great deal to the ongoing success of the team and the company.

I hope you will agree that I have accomplished a great deal in the time I have been with you. Over the past year alone I have [insert your own achievements here].

Given the added value I bring to the company, I no longer feel that the salary I am receiving reflects the contribution I am making to the department. I believe my current remuneration package is below what can generally be expected for someone in my position, and would request an increase of X% to bring my current salary into line with the industry average.

I would greatly appreciate an opportunity to discuss this further, and kindly ask that we meet at a time most convenient for you. Once again I would like to express my sincere thanks for the support you have shown me and I look forward to continuing to serve the department and the wider company.

Kind regards,

Your Name Here

Remember that before you start bashing away at the keyboard it’s a good idea to find out exactly how much value your skills are bringing to your boss. Upload your CV into ValueMyCV to find out how much you’re really worth to them.

Knowing your true value could be just the confidence boost you need to kick-start the negotiations, so be brave and hit send on that email – you’re worth every penny.