How to Ask for Your First Salary Increase

Caitlin Edwards

Whether you are just beginning your career or are a veteran in the software space, asking for your first salary increase can seem daunting.

We’ve listed some of our top tips to help you prepare and approach the situation.

Start the Conversation

In most cases it will be your responsibility to ask for a salary increase.

Whilst this might seem quite intimidating the key is to be confident and keep the conversation focused on why you deserve the raise not why you want the raise. Practicing what you’re going to say as well as your answers to anticipated questions is a great way to increase your confidence. You could also set up an agenda for the meeting to provide structure and make sure that you cover everything you wish to discuss.

Prior to setting up this meeting and starting the conversation it is vital that you set expectations. Asking for a realistic increase in salary will help to increase the credibility of your request. Do some research around salaries in the industry, consider your companies salary structure, and decide what is appropriate to ask for.

Be Prepared

In order to emphasise why you deserve this increase in salary, it is a good idea to collate evidence that showcases your hard work. Demonstrate how you add value to the team and the company. There are lots of different ways that this can be done.

For example, you could keep a record of your KPIs and how they have improved over a particular time period. You could make a note of any key achievements you have worked towards.

Whilst focusing on your technical performance is essential, it might also be useful to consider how you have personally developed; highlight any particular skills that you have learnt. You could even ask your colleagues for a peer review to showcase your contribution to the team. Getting an external perspective on your performance will help to reinforce why you should be given an increase in salary.

Set a Goal

Sometimes your request for a salary increase might be rejected. However, this is not the end of the conversation.

If this happens take the time to chat with your manager about what you need to achieve in order to be given the raise. Take on more responsibility. Set realistic goals and a timeframe for when you will review your progress. This will help you to stay motivated and keep yourself accountable.


If you are a talented tech professional looking for your next role, get in touch with our specialist recruiters today!