A Letter to a Present Employer to Request a Promotion

Stay positive and realistic, and never tell lies about your performance in your request letter.

Stay positive and realistic, and never tell lies about your performance in your request letter.

When you love your company but want more from your job, the natural solution is to move up to a better position. If you're ready to seek another position within the same company, be ready to tell your own story -- even if you're not used to self-promotion. As you get ready to write a letter asking for that promotion, spend some time preparing your pitch so that you'll be in the best position possible to be noticed by the higher-ups at the company.

Research

Before you write your letter or set your sights on a certain position, it's important to know what that new position entails. Look over any job descriptions that are available for that position, or speak with someone already in that position to get a feel for their background, skill set and training. If you find that you need additional training, look into getting that training. Even if you don't complete the training -- for example, if it's an MBA you need, it's going to take several years -- showing that you've started the process could be enough to get you in the door. If you know someone in the position, ask him to recommend you for the job, and get a written recommendation, if appropriate.

Accomplishments

Once you know what's expected of you, you'll be a in good position to outline the skills and accomplishments you already have that will make you a good candidate for the job. Start by making a list of your big accomplishments, such as improving sales or increasing your customer base. Also list any "soft skills" the company managers may be looking for in that position. While you don't want to be dishonest, try to match the specific skills the company uses in its job description to the skills that you possess. In other words, if the company wants a "good talker" and you know you are one, list "good talker" among your skills.

Tone

When you write the letter, start out the first paragraph by showing your gratitude for the opportunities the company has given you thus far, demonstrating that you are committed to the company and to being as effective as possible. At the end of the first paragraph, state that you are looking for ways to grow within the company, and state the specific position for which you are applying. In the second paragraph, maintain a positive tone as you detail some of your biggest accomplishments within the company, and how they may relate to the new position. Keep that paragraph succinct, while at the same time making your biggest gains known. In the third paragraph, request a meeting to discuss your future with the company, and say when you will follow up to discuss your meeting. Close the letter with another expression of gratitude, and then provide your contact information at the bottom of the letter.

Timing

Once you've crafted a draft of your letter, have a friend or co-worker look it over for typos and to suggest improvements. Then, consider what will be the best time to send the letter. If you know your managers deal with personnel issues on a certain day, e-mail or post the letter the day before so it's one of the first things to hit the manager's desk that day. Likewise, if you know someone is leaving the position you want, time your letter to arrive just before or after that person's resignation letter. A time of change at the office can be a great time to send that letter, advises Forbes.com.

 

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images