Aaron Gouveia has worked as the Content Manager of Salary.com since 2011. Prior to that, he was an award-winning journalist at several prominent New England newspapers. Read more...
Don't ask for a ridiculous amount of money. And definitely don't do it in the Dr. Evil voice.
But seriously, even if you've timed your raise request correctly, focused on your professional accomplishments, left the personal stuff out, and proved to your boss that you're worthy of the investment, eventually you'll be asked the million dollar question -- how much money do you want? So be prepared.
The first thing you should do is use our Salary Wizard to look up your job title, plug in your location and see what your job is worth. Depending on where you fall in the bell curve, you'll want to tailor your raise request accordingly. There are many factors that go into determining how much you should ask for (the financial state of the company, how much revenue you generated, how much money you saved the company, etc), but merit increases are generally in the range of 1% to 5%. So if you're already well paid and you ask for a 30% increase, be prepared for some puzzling looks and the possibility of being laughed out of the room.
In short, do your research and then exercise common sense and good judgment.