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how to negotiate a raise

In today’s tight labor market, many workers feel more confident to negotiate a higher salary. In fact, 34% recently said they felt more empowered to negotiate their salary or ask for a raise in the last year (and of those that negotiated, about half (48%) were successful!).

  • Research Salary Ranges

Determine the job’s “fair market value” based on experience, education, and responsibilities, and identify a comfortable range to propose. Make sure your figure is realistic. 

For those wondering how to negotiate a raise, maybe you’ve been in the position for a while and feel you “deserve” the increase. But, are you really going above and beyond? Can you demonstrate that? Have you advanced your skills and education by attending seminars or workshops? Did you complete a certification? If you really have gone above and beyond, make sure you’re pointing that out to the company and explain how your growth benefits them and not just you.

  • Negotiate Based on Your Strengths

To help make the case as to why you should be paid more, identify which of your skills and experiences will help you be successful in the role and contribute to the company. Whenever possible, quantify your previous experiences in dollar terms to show your actual dollar value for each part of this new job. When you’re negotiating the salary, you can pull from this analysis to show the employer exactly why you’re worth your requested salary.

  • Don’t Make It Personal

It can be tempting to bring up personal financial situations in negotiations, but don’t.

But it doesn’t matter whether you’re paying for three kids in college, trying to pay off some old debt, or have a mortgage to pay for. That’s not the company’s concern. Instead, if you’re wondering how to negotiate a raise, focus your negotiation on the value you bring to the position to justify an increased salary.

  • Remember the Whole Package

Keep in mind that salary is just one part of the overall offer or compensation package. Be sure to factor in other benefits in your assessment. You may be able to negotiate around these as well.

  • Amount of paid vacation and sick time
  • Signing bonuses, end-of-year bonuses, performance bonuses
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Student loan repayment
  • Health, vision, and dental insurance plan coverage
  • Flexible work options (the average remote worker saves about $4,000 a year by not commuting to an office)

Template: How to Ask for A Raise

Dear [hiring manager name / HR person name],

Can we schedule some time to talk about the role I fulfill at the company and compensation, maybe in the next week or so? My schedule is open on XYZ days and times. 

I want to reiterate how excited I am to be contributing to [important company goals] and supporting my team/our product/service! 

To prepare for this conversation and make the most of our time, I evaluated my current rate compared to the average market rates for this type of role and the specific contributions I’ve made since my last increase. Based on that research, I’d like to request an increase of X%. I understand this sort of request may need more specific information, which I’m happy to provide for our call.

I appreciate your consideration and I look forward to talking more about this with you!


If you hear this… 

If you hear this: “The salary for this position is set by HR—I really can’t go up at all.”

Say this: “I understand exactly where you’re coming from, and what you’re saying makes perfect sense. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time researching the standard salary range for this position. From my perspective, based on my experience level, I do believe that the figure should be a bit higher. Would it be possible for you to share these thoughts with HR and get back to me?

If you hear this: “My hands are tied on the salary—it’s based on the corporate band for this level of employee.”

Say this: “I definitely understand, and I’m wondering if we might be able to make a case together to HR about my unique credentials and experience. I’ve done quite a bit in my previous roles that I feel justifies my move into the next salary band.”

If you hear this: “I can’t bump up the salary offer, but we may be able to add a little more vacation time instead.”

Say this: “I really appreciate that, and benefits are an important part of the package. But I would be more comfortable if we could find a way to meet in the middle about the salary. Is there any way to find flexibility in that number, given my experience level and strong credentials?”