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Aug 31, 2022

Writing

How to ask for a promotion in an email with samples and templates

It's increasingly common to ask for a promotion in an email. Read this in-depth guide with email samples to help you succeed.

Blog writer

Saku Kähkönen

Marketing

Blog writer

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Table of contents

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Let's face it, we all have career ambitions. Thus it's only natural that you find yourself in a situation where you want to ask for a promotion (we have been there).

You can't sit around and wait for a promotion to happen. Thus sending that first email asking for a promotion can be the crucial first step that puts things in motion.

We hope you will put this guide into practice and secure the promotion you are after.

There are three questions we will answer in this article:

  1. When should you ask for a promotion?
  2. Should you ask for promotion via email?
  3. How to write an email asking for a promotion?

This article will provide you with some proven tips for learning how to ask for a promotion in an email. Additionally, we'll give some email samples and templates that you can use to help you move up through the ranks.

P.S

When asking for a promotion, it's important to carefully draft a personalised message. If you need any help, our smart promotion request template can help you get started. Test it out:

How to ask for promotion in email

Many people are cautious about asking for promotion via email. Even when we think we deserve to advance, putting ourselves forward or finding the right words can be challenging.

Before you start asking for a promotion or writing a promotion request email, remember to read the situation. It's critical to pick the right moment for you and the company.

Firstly, you need to think about what's happening at your company. If the business is going through tough times and is laying off staff, it might not be the right time to ask.

Secondly, you need to pick the right time for you. If you're new at the company and haven't had the chance to show them what you can do or what you're capable of, it's going to be harder to secure a promotion.

Thirdly, you need to wait for or create opportunities. You can always ask for a promotion, but you'll probably be rebuffed if no roles are available.

How and when should you ask for a promotion?

So, timing is essential. The best time to ask for a promotion in an email is when your stock is high and there is an open position.

Suppose you've completed great work on a project or are driving revenue.

In that case, your superiors will be far more likely to entertain your request.

If you're not sure how receptive your boss would be to giving you a promotion, it might be worth feeling out the situation. You can do this subtly by requesting a meeting to discuss your career development and progression.

Modern businesses understand that retaining employees is essential. The costs of replacing a leaving employee are higher than most people expect.

Remember that a company must pay recruitment fees and absorb the loss of productivity while training a replacement. As a result, businesses should be wary about losing good workers.

So set up a meeting with your manager. Talk about your career goals and what you can do to develop. Providing a career path is a great way to boost employee engagement. Thus this should be in your manager's best interest.

Try to get a sense of where they see your future. If things seem positive, writing an email asking for a promotion could be a good idea.

Another thing to remember is to be confident but not cocky. We believe humility and confidence are not mutually exclusive, so why not be both?

You must be direct and full of self-belief to ask for a promotion. So think about all your good qualities and what you bring to the table. If you're doing good work, remind yourself that you deserve the chance to progress as much as the next person.

Yes, asking for promotion via email is nerve-wracking. The thought of your request being rejected is tough to consider. But it's worth it, especially if you have big plans for the rest of your career.

Should you ask for a promotion in an email?

Asking for promotion via email is totally acceptable nowadays. Some people believe you should only ask for a promotion in person. However, that's probably based on an old way of doing things and not even possible all the time in today's business environment. 

Digital communication is a massive part of how we talk at work now. Lots of messages that were once considered best delivered in person are now done via text, video call, email, Slack, or other channels. This situation has further grown due to the rise of remote work.

Email is one of our most crucial work communication tools. Email, in many ways the standard option now, has replaced sending a physical letter.

However, we would suggest using email to set up a discussion about your promotion rather than outright asking for it. Think of the email as a first step to floating the idea. If your boss is receptive, they'll set up a meeting. From there, you can tell them why you think you'd make a great candidate for the position.

Do's and don'ts of asking for a promotion in an email

OK, so we've underlined:

  1. The right timing when asking for a promotion
  2. Why and when you should use an email to ask for a meeting to present your case

Now, it's time to move on to a few do's and don'ts of writing an email asking for a promotion.

Do's:

  • Be concise. A long, meandering wall of text isn't going to help you. Keep it brief and punchy, and don't lose sight of the purpose of the email.
  • Keep it formal and professional. Don't try and tug on your manager's strings or make a desperate plea for a favor. You're asking for a promotion because you think you deserve it; you're not asking for charity.
  • Research the position you are applying for. Find out as much as possible about the job, the duties and responsibilities, the challenges you'll face, and what a reasonable salary would be. Be prepared to offer strategic insights.
  • As we mentioned in the section above, use your email as a way to set up a meeting. You can use this meeting to showcase why you believe you'd be a great candidate for the promotion. 

Don'ts:

  • Don't send an email asking for a promotion when irritated or upset. Pick a time when you're feeling good about your work. Career progression can be frustrating, especially when other people are making progress and you're not. But don't let those feelings bleed into your email. You want to appear professional at all times.
  • Don't include ultimatums when you write your email asking for a promotion. Never say things like, "I want a promotion, or I'll quit." While that may very well be true, it's not an attitude that people appreciate.
  • Don't forget to show appreciation. You're asking for someone's time, so ensure they understand that you appreciate it. Even if things don't go your way, keep your counsel. It will help during your next attempt.

Format of an email asking for a promotion

If you want your request for a promotion to be successful, you should ensure your email follows a few formatting rules. Get them right, and you'll increase the chances of your email getting you what you want.

1. Subject line for an email asking for a promotion

You can take a couple of different approaches when composing your subject line.

The first approach is to be transparent and direct about what you want. It's generally the best way to go about things. Something like "request for a meeting to discuss the possibility of a promotion" is effective because your boss will understand what you want when they read your email.

Of course, you know your boss or manager the best. Not everyone appreciates frankness regarding matters like promotions or pay raises. So use your best judgment. If you think your boss will bristle at such a forthright email, you can try a different tack.

Instead, you can "request for a meeting" or "request for a meeting to discuss career progression." From there, you can't start the discussion in person. 

Here are a few email subject lines you can use when asking for a promotion.

  • Request for meeting to discuss the promotion
  • Promotion request
  • Can we meet to talk about my career progression?
  • Can we schedule a meeting?
  • I need to talk about the possibility of a promotion
  • I'd like to put myself forward for X role
  • Open (insert desire role) position

2. Body of an email asking for a promotion

Once you've got a winning subject line out of the way, it's time to move on to the main body of the email. Hopefully, you'll have your boss's attention, so it's time to make a solid case for why you are a great candidate.

You should include a few essential elements in the body of your email.

Accomplishments: Your workplace accomplishments are something your manager will consider when evaluating you for a promotion. While they may already know what you have achieved, collating your successes in the email is a good idea. 

Effectively, you are making a logical argument. So frame the positive things about your work contributions. Always keep it brief and to the point, and select just a couple of your best achievements.

Additionally, use numbers to make your point. For example, "increased product signups bringing extra revenue" is OK, if a little too vague. Something like "increased product signups by 40% in Q1 2022, leading to revenue growth of $115,000" is far more concrete and impressive. 

Suitability: You should also make sure your boss understands how your current role has given you the skills to do the job. Again, make a data-backed case for your suitability if you can. 

Talk about the hard and soft skills you have developed over the years that show why you can do the job well. 

Education: If relevant, include any educational experience that will prepare you for the role. If it's been a while since you've been interviewed, your boss might not remember what qualifications you have. 

Additionally, if you've done any additional courses, workshops, or such, in preparation for career progression, you can include them too. For example, suppose the job involves leadership, and you've recently completed a management course. In that case, you can make a note of that. 

Additional items you can include in the main body of an email asking for a promotion are:

  • A list of reasons why you believe you can flourish in the new role
  • A note about your loyalty to the company
  • Any referrals you have from within the business

Again, you should keep it tight and include your "greatest hits." An overly long email won't help. So only add those extra details if there is a compelling reason.

3. How to end an email asking for promotion

Once you've got a good subject line and a concise and persuasive body done, it's time to wrap things up. 

The best way to conclude your email asking for a promotion is to keep things upbeat and include a clear call to action. 

You want to include a next step that you find desirable. Most likely, that will be a request for a meeting or perhaps a reply to your request. 

Additionally, don't forget to thank your boss for their time and consideration. 

Here are a few different ending lines you can try.

  • I'd love to get a chance to discuss this further. I appreciate your taking the time to consider me for the position.
  • Thanks for taking the time to read and consider my request. I look forward to your response.
  • I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for taking the time to hear me out.

Promotion request email samples and templates

Now that we've got the theory out of the way, it's time to practice. In this section, we'll include some asking for promotion email samples and show you an email template for asking for a promotion.

Writing an email asking for a promotion takes a bit of consideration. In some ways, it's easier to do than asking in person. You have more time to consider what to say to make a solid case. But it still needs to be well-planned, concise, and convincing.

If you've read the other sections, you should have a good idea of what to write and the reasoning behind writing it. However, it's always good to see some solid examples of what to include.

1. How to ask your boss for a promotion email example

Here's an example of how to ask for a promotion in an email to your manager or boss.

Hi (Boss's name),

I would like to formally request that I be considered for the open position of (desired role). I strongly feel that I am ready for the challenge, as evidenced by my excellent performance.

Can we schedule some time to discuss this further? I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

2. How to ask your manager for promotion in email example

This next asking for a promotion email sample is a bit more informal. It could be a good choice if you've already established a good relationship with your boss or you know they prefer this communication style. This is how to ask a manager for promotion in an email.

Hi (Manager's name),

I hope all is well. I saw that the position of (desired role) has come up, and I'd like to put myself forward. I think I have gained the right amount of experience over the years, and I'm ready to take the next step.

Let me know when you have some free time to talk about this.

All the best,

(Your name)

3. How to ask for a meeting to discuss promotion in email example

The first two samples we listed were fairly brief. However, sometimes you'll want to present your case. Here's how to ask for a promotion in an email with more details. This sample concentrates on how to ask for a meeting to discuss promotion but also includes some more information to further your candidacy.

This asking for a promotion email sample implies that you'll send an attachment or document that details your recent work and projects.

Dear (Recipient's name),

I'm writing to apply for the open position as (desired role).

I wanted to reach out to you about this because I feel my work over the last few years shows my progression and readiness for the job.

I've put together a short list of my recent accomplishments and projects. I think you'll see that it makes a compelling case because of my hard work and consistent contribution to the business.

Thanks for taking the time to read the email, and I hope to hear from you on the matter soon.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

4. How to ask for a deserved promotion by email example

The last email asking for a promotion example used an attachment. But sometimes, you'll want to include your skills and attributes in the body of the email text to present your case. This is especially true when you're learning how to ask for a deserved promotion by email.

These emails will be a little longer and more detailed. However, it's essential that you still keep things as tight as possible. 

Hi (Recipient's name),

I wanted to reach out to you to talk about the open position of (desired role).

During my time at the company, I have learned a lot and furthered my education, including completing a recent management diploma. I feel like my current skills, experience, and strong contributions mean that I would be an excellent candidate for the position.

During the last year, I have helped drive revenue by 25%. Additionally, I have helped supervise and train junior staff. I feel ready to take the next step.

I want to request a meeting to discuss the possibility of promotion. Thank you for your time.

Best,

(Your name)

Email template asking for a promotion

Templates are a great way to learn how to write your own message. This email template asking for a promotion is a helpful guide to composing your request. 

Hi (Recipient's name),

I want to request a meeting with you to discuss a promotion to (desired role).

I have worked at the company for [X] years, and based on my experience, skills, and education, combined with my recent accomplishments and projects, I would be a strong candidate for the job.

I would appreciate it if we could sit down and discuss this at a time that is convenient for you.

All the best,

(Your name)

Getting the promotion that you deserve

Asking for promotion via email can be nerve-racking. But if you feel that you have adequate experience, skills, and achievements, you should be comfortable about putting yourself forward for an open role or a new opportunity. And a big part of that is knowing how to ask your manager for a promotion by email. 

Before you write an email asking for a promotion, you should consider a few key things. Have you and your manager had positive discussions about your career development? Unless you have some indication that they believe you can progress, you might need to bide your time and wait for a better opportunity.

Your email asking for a promotion shouldn't come as a huge surprise to your manager. If you have the qualities and temperament the organization is looking for, they should perhaps have already earmarked you for the role. So test the waters with an email to your boss when you feel ready to progress.

If you manage to secure the promotion, always remember to express gratitude for the opportunity. 

Now that you know how to ask your manager for a promotion in an email, it's time to get out there and reach for the stars. As they say, if you don't ask, you don't get.

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