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Brilliant Cover Letters by James Innes

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CHAPTER 8
Career
development
letters
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W
hilst the majority of cover letters you write will be related to your
hunt for a new job, there will be times when you need to write to
try to improve upon the conditions of your current employment.
The two principal scenarios are:
G you want to request a pay rise;
G you want to request a promotion.
First, we’re going to deal with how to successfully handle a request for a pay
rise.We’ll come to handling a request for a promotion later in the chapter.
Pay rise request letters
Requesting a pay rise
If you’re happy in your current role and the only reason you would want
to change jobs is that you feel you should be paid more, your first step
should always be to address this issue with your current employer. There
is every chance that a mutually agreeable solution can be reached.
There is no shame in asking for a pay rise.Whilst your employer might not
be delighted by the prospect, they should respect that you are entirely within
your rights to make such a request. If you feel
you’re no longer being paid what you’re worth
then you’re perfectly entitled to speak up and
say so. Ultimately, you could be doing your
employer a favour. Rather than looking elsewhere for work and then just
handing in your resignation, you are giving them a chance to review your
remuneration and make an appropriate effort to retain your services.
there is no shame in
asking for a pay rise
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166 brilliant Cover L etters
I won’t claim that they’ll greet your request with open arms though!
Timing
Before we talk about the content of your letter, let’s discuss the timing of
it.Timing can be a very important factor when asking for a pay rise. It can
have a significant impact on your chances of success.
Clearly it would be a mistake to demand a pay rise too soon after starting
a new job (or too soon after your last pay rise).You need to allow yourself
time to make sufficient impact as would warrant a pay rise. Conversely,
you shouldn’t leave it too long either.You deserve to be paid what you’re
worth and not have your remuneration eroded by inflation.
Many organisations automatically review salaries on an annual basis.
However, if 12 months pass and there’s no sign that a pay rise is forth-
coming then it’s very possibly time for you to seize the initiative.
You still need to choose your moment carefully though. Try to pick a time
when your contribution to the organisation is going to be seen in the best
possible light. If you’re halfway through a major project then wait until its
successful completion. If you’re working on a tender for a big contract
then wait until you’ve won the contract. If you’ve recently taken on new
duties or responsibilities then wait until you’ve demonstrated that you
have risen to the challenge.
You also need to bear in mind other factors that could impact on the
timing of your request. If your organisation is currently experiencing
financial difficulties then your request may well be frowned upon. If your
boss is under an unusual amount of stress or is experiencing personal
problems of some sort then, again, you would be well advised to post-
pone your request until things have settled back down.
Tact and diplomacy
It’s obvious enough that putting in a request for a pay rise can be a deli-
cate matter.
Whilst receiving a letter of resignation is undoubtedly worse for an
employer, receiving a request for a pay rise is not exactly good news
either. A lot therefore depends on how precisely you write your letter and
phrase your request.
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