Want A Promotion?

Want a Promotion? Write a letter that gets you noticed.
by Susan West

Jackie has been in her current job for more than 4 years. She has mastered projects she’s received year in and year out. She feels that she’s gone as far as she can in her current position. She’d like her boss and human resources department to know of her interest in advancement. Jackie writes a letter that points out her qualifications, experience and eagerness for a promotion. She bases her request on her performance and progress alone.

Here are some dos and don’ts that Jackie kept in mind when crafting the letter.


Tone of the letter
Jackie writes in a formal writing style and she checks her grammar, vocabulary and spelling. She is brief, confident and respectful.

Jackie begins her letter by saying that she has enjoyed working for the company. Jackie ends it by thanking her employer for taking the time to consider her request.

Why she wants a promotion
She states that her reason for seeking a promotion is to look for new challenges. She adds that she believes that she deserves what she is asking for.

List of accomplishments
Keeping in mind the position that she wants, Jackie does the following:

  • Gives examples of her accomplishments, loyalty, years of service, etc.
  • Lists her most important contributions to the company, including specific projects that she’s devised or managed.
  • Focuses on the progress she has made while at her company.
  • Mentions the skills that she’s acquired in her current job and any outside business classes or seminars she’s attended.
  • Concludes that she is ready to move up the ladder.

Request for an appointment
Jackie concludes her letter with a request for an appointment to discuss a new opportunity within the company.

Jackie has updated and enclosed her resume with her letter of interest.

Jackie has received many compliments from her colleagues and clients. She contacts them before she mentions this in her letter to make sure they would be willing to write actual letters of recommendation on her behalf when the time comes.


Jackie has avoided the following:

  • Don’t waste your employer’s time. She immediately gets to the point and states the reason why she believes she’s qualified for a promotion.
  • Don’t demand a promotion. Jackie is careful to make her letter a respectful request.
  • Don’t confuse your employer with auxiliary information that could weaken the message you actually want to convey. Jackie only mentions those skills that are needed to be successful in her new venture.
  • Don’t tell your boss what a ‘good egg’ you are and how you get along with everybody else. Maintain a professional tone and stick with your talents.
  • Don’t threaten to look for alternative employment if the request isn’t granted. This may not be the right time to get a promotion, but there will likely be another opportunity. For Jackie,her attitude of goodwill will be remembered and be considered for another opening.

Click here for a view of a sample letter, The Promotion Letter

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