How to Write a Letter or Email to Your Boss

You need to be careful to sound polite and diplomatic when you write to people with high status, such as your boss or a client. Make sure you use the correct verb forms to avoid sounding too direct. Here are some tips and samples for writing politely.

1. Make a suggestion rather than giving advice.

"We should commission a report" becomes "Perhaps we could commission a report."

2. Make a request rather than saying what you think.

"I haven't used up all my annual salary" becomes "I'd be grateful if I could take five days off next month in order to use up my annual salary."

"We need to discuss my salary" becomes "Would it be possible to discuss my salary?"

Here's an example of what you can write if you want to ask your boss for a meeting to discuss a pay raise:

Dear XX

Would it be possible to set up a time to discuss my compensation? / to have a performance review?
(Or : I would appreciate the chance to meet to discuss a performance review. )

Please could you let me know when would be a convenient time for you?

(Your name)

3. Instead of giving orders, make a request.

"I would like you to sign this letter" becomes "Could you sign this letter?"

4. Involve the other person, rather than focusing on your own needs.

"We need to meet the suppliers" becomes "Do you think we should / could meet the suppliers?" Or "It might be useful to meet the suppliers."

5. Remind your boss why it's important

It's often useful to put the purpose of your email or letter into context for your boss. Why is it important for him / her to read it? What business problem are you solving with your email or letter? Some phrases you can use at the beginning are:

"I'm following up on the project / the client meeting."
"As you're probably aware, we've been experiencing problems with … and I'd like to propose a solution…"
"I wanted to let you have / pass on to you …" (Continue with what you're sharing with your boss, such as "the latest sales figures", "the results of our marketing campaign", etc.)




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16 comments

jose
I liked very much this lesson. Congratulations for initiative! thanks
Satish
i would like to letter my boss to inform that i have done the meeting with my client and discussion of our meeting,please help me out how to write a mail
Clare
You could write:I have had the meeting with (client) where we discussed (say what projects you discussed).We decided to ... (say what was decided at the meeting).(Your name)
Ria
I got terminated from the service of my previous company. Still i am searching for a job but i didn't gt anything so far. So i am in a plan to write a letter to boss to reconsider his decision or refer me somewhere.
Rayda
Could you help me write a letter to my Boss requesting a meeting in order to discuss a salary review or salary adjustment
Clare
Personally, I'd write an email rather than a letter. This means you can be much briefer. You could write something like:Dear X (boss name)(Give a reason why - the following are all possible and you could also use the same wording in your meeting)In the last few months, my responsibilities have expanded to include ... (add new responsibilities) ORWe agreed ... (on date) that we would review my salary ... (after six months / if I reached all my targets) ORThis year I’ve been able to … (name one / two most important achievements) which … (has / have resulted in X% profit / Y% savings, etc.) OR(As you probably know,) this year I had some excellent opportunities to make an impact. In particular … (name the opportunities) which resulted in … (state the impact). ORAt the beginning of the year, I was set a target of … (name the sales target / goals, etc) and as you know, I have (consistently) exceeded those targets. For this reason, would it be possible to arrange a meeting to discuss a salary review / adjustment? ORFor this reason, I'd like to request a meeting to discuss / I was hoping we could discuss a salary review / adjustment.I look forward to hearing from you.(Your name)An additional tip! When you have your meeting with your boss, make sure you can give business reasons for your salary increase. What results have you brought the organisation? Mention these rather than any personal reason for getting a pay rise.
Rebecca
Im currently working with 102 year old lady r 5 years.i want to write a letter to her thanking her for the so not good and good days I had with her, for putting food on our table, learning wisdom and strength from her. She's a tough lady fighting to stay alive till next year as she said.
Clare
I think what you have already said is lovely! Why not write that to her?
Chris
What to ask my boss to let me work Monday - Friday 7am to 3pm as a CNA. I have worked for this place for about 17 years now . how would I write if so I won't sound pushy
Clare
Hi (boss name)I'd be really grateful if I could arrange my shifts to work Monday - Friday 7 am to 3 pm. Would this be possible at all?Many thanks(your name)I'm not sure what CNA means. Could you let me know?Clare
Chris
CNA is a Certified Nurses Aide
Clare
OK - thanks! You might not need to include your role as CNA in your email, as presumably your boss knows what job you do. Good luck with it and I hope you get a positive result!
Sara
How to write my boss an email about previous mistakes i did and ask him for guidlines and support and that i really need a chance to improve my self in the company
Clare
Dear (boss name)I'm writing to ask you for your support and help. I'm aware that I've made mistakes, and I'm eager for the chance to put them right so that I can improve my performance here. Would you be able to provide me with some guidelines to follow? I'd be really grateful for this opportunity to turn things round.With many thanks in advance(your name)
sid
how do we professionally request the manager to review the goal settings that we set.
Clare
You can start with a reason, then give your request. For example:Dear (manager name)Given the (reason) / Because (reason), I'd like to request a review of my monthly / quarterly / annual goals. Would it be possible to discuss this in a meeting next week?Best wishes (your name)

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