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Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

How to write a promotion request letter (examples & advice)

12 min read
How to write a promotion request letter (examples & advice)
When you’re climbing the career ladder, sometimes you need an extra leg-up. Learning to write a promotion request letter is the way to go. Read our writing guide now.

You’ve been toiling away in the same position for years and you’re ready for something new. If you have your sights set on the highest heights, it may be as simple as… well… asking. That’s where a well thought out promotion request letter can help you along the way. 

Here at Resume.io, we have a selection of useful resources to help you get ahead of the competition. In the following letter writing guide, we will be covering these topics: 

  • What a promotion letter is and when to send one
  • How to format your promotion request and what to include
  • An example of a well-structured promotion request letter
  • Bonus: Simple writing tips and advice.

What is a promotion request letter?

A promotion request letter is a formal letter that you send to either your manager or supervisor. As the name suggests, you use the letter to make a formal request for them to consider you for an upcoming promotion. You can send this letter when a shiny new vacancy opens up or, more speculatively, at any point during your career. 

When do you write a promotion request letter?

Of course, you can write a promotion request letter whenever you please. However, it won’t always be the right time for you to level up. If you want to increase your chance of success, you need to be strategic about this move. While there are many scenarios that may mean you are ready for a promotion, here are some common ones to consider: 

You’ve been in the same role for years 

Experience holds true value. If you’ve worked at the same company in the same role for a matter of years, it may be a good time for you to go for a promotion. Before you make a formal request, take stock of your accomplishments and how much you have developed over the years. You can use this crucial information when writing your promotion request letter.

You’ve taken on additional duties 

Are the new duties and tasks piling up? If your role is expanding but your title isn’t, it may be time to speak up and ask for a promotion. Again, you should make a list of the new things you have been asked to do and how they differ from your original job description. It’s all about providing evidence that you are already going above and beyond the call of duty.

You have just completed training 

Whether you’ve taken an online course, completed a degree, or trained to use a new program, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Your newfound skill-set could help you get ahead in the working world. While qualifications don’t always equal promotions, you might want to take this opportunity to put your hand up and ask if there’s a step up you can take.

You always get positive feedback

Let’s talk about your “proven track record of success”. How’s it looking right now? If you’re always receiving positive feedback from your line manager and you’re hitting those targets, it may be that you have outgrown your current role. If you’re looking for a whole new challenge in the workplace, it could be a smart move to ask for a promotion. 

Best format for a promotion request letter 

Before you start working on your promotion request letter, you should think about the structure that you will use. If you’re not certain where to start, here’s a quick rundown: 

  • Date (and additional details)
  • Greeting
  • Introduction
  • Statement of intent
  • Main paragraphs
  • Closing statement
  • Sign-off

Following the above format gives your promotion request letter structure. You kick things off with the date of the letter. You may also want to include additional details, such as your name and location and your manager’s name and location here. 

Next up, greet the reader. You should know who you’re writing to so you can use a standard format like “Dear Mr. Smith”. Don’t use your manager’s first name. While you may call them by it on a daily basis, keep in mind that this letter is a formal request. 

Once you’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to get down to it. Introduce the letter and then give your statement of intent. You need to get to the point quickly as your manager likely doesn’t have time to read a lengthy preamble. State that you want a promotion pronto. 

Now that you have stated your case, you’re going to need to provide some evidence. Why do you deserve a promotion? What achievements do you have that warrant this step up? Have you undertaken any additional training either inside or outside of the workplace? Your main paragraphs should cover all of the above. Consider what nuggets to include here. 

Expert tip

Always be specific! 

When you are writing about your training or experiences, it pays dividends to be specific about them. Avoid using vague statements that will leave the reader guessing. Instead, let them know exactly what you mean with each of the points that you deliver. 

One of the easiest ways to do this is to quantify statements. For example, rather than saying that you “line manage some workers” say that you now “line manage two workers”. Really zoom in on what it is that you do and your core accomplishments.

When you have provided the reader with your best case, it’s time to add in a closing statement. Keep in mind that you are asking (not demanding) so you need to be polite. You may want to thank your manager for their time, reaffirm your passion and interest, or include a short call to action here. Be sure to end your promotion request letter on a positive note. 

Finally, you need to sign-off. Once again, you should use a formal approach here. “Cheers” or “Thanks” may look too casual. Don’t make that mistake. Instead, go for the tried and tested “Kind regards” approach and then add your full name. You can’t go wrong with that. 

Address the promotion request letter to the appropriate decision-maker and state your intention to request a promotion
Address the promotion request letter to the appropriate decision-maker and state your intention to request a promotion

Promotion request letter example 

Ready to get started and write your promotion request letter? If you have a case of writer’s block, we’ve got your back. Take a look at our example below for some inspiration: 

Copyable example

Dear Mr. Bridges, 

I hope that this letter finds you well. I am writing to formally request that I am taken into consideration for a promotion within Zero Eight Limited. 

Having worked at the business for more than seven years and with a proven track record of success, I believe that I am ready to take the next step up. 

Since starting as a marketing officer at the company in 2015, my skill-set and duties have expanded to meet the growing demand of my department. Most recently, I began the task of training new hires on how to use Salesforce and line managing two other employees. 

I have always had a passion for learning new things and acquiring skills. This is demonstrated by the fact that I recently undertook a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) qualification online in my own time. The expertise I learned over the course of this training have equipped me with the tools I need to take on a higher role at Zero Eight Limited. 

In addition to my ongoing learning and development, I have recently begun working closely with the managerial team to create new marketing strategies for the coming year. As a result, I was recently commended on my contributions to the Q3 sales presentation. 

Given all of the above, I am confident that my skills and experience put me in a prime position for the upcoming round of promotions. I am excited at the opportunity to expand my learning at Zero Eight Limited and would relish the chance to take on new challenges.

I would like to thank you in advance for your consideration. I also welcome any feedback. 

I look forward to the potential of discussing this further with you. Please do let me know if you would like me to offer any additional details on the above. 

Kind regards, 

Michelle Stevens

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Tips to help you write your letter like a pro

If you have gotten this far, you should be well-versed in how to write a promotion letter. Submitting a formal promotion request may seem like a huge deal. However, if you follow our advice, it can be straightforward. Here are some final tips to keep in mind. 

  • Be appreciative and gracious. Remember, your manager may not be expecting this letter. Don’t go in there with all guns blazing. Show your gratitude for their time.
  • Don’t be presumptuous. You may think you’re ready for a promotion, but you don’t know what is going on above you. Understand that now may not be the right time for the managers to promote you. As such, don’t make presumptions in your letter.
  • Showcase your value. As you can see here, the main bulk of your promotion request letter should be dedicated to showcasing your value. Talk about your skills, experiences, and qualifications. In short, explain why you are ready to be promoted.
  • End on a high note. You have no idea what will happen when you send this letter. Regardless, you should end on a high note and stay positive. Thank the reader once again and express your enthusiasm for discussing the matter further.

Key takeaways

  1. If you are ready to take things to the next level, learning how to write a promotion proposal is the answer.
  2. Always adopt a polite and grateful tone in your promotion request.
  3. Avoid making any presumptions or demands in your promotion request letter. You only know your side of the story, after all.
  4. Show off your value and be specific. Promotion request letters should highlight solid reasons that an employee is due to level up.
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