By Joyce Lain Kennedy
When you hope to rise through the ranks to nab a specific internal job, adequate research is a must. Sniff around for information among coworkers in the department housing the vacancy to find out what the job’s really about and why the previous job holder left. You want to be sure that the job is worth your effort to land and that you will accept it if offered.
The people you’re talking to may also be applying for the position and purposely not share the real deal. Discreetly try to get the facts before you show your hand.
Stephanie Clarke of New Leaf Resumes in Nanaimo, B.C., Canada, suggests that you seek a meeting and use a short e-mail note to schedule it with the appropriate manager. Here’s Clarke’s sample phrasing:
Undeniably keen on continuous improvement, one that includes fostering a lean workforce, I am submitting my application for the position of Continuous Improvement Coordinator.
My resume and cover letter provide examples of continuous improvements in identifying opportunities, building interdepartmental teams, providing staff training, writing reports, creating presentations — a full cycle of CI project rollouts.
With results that have, for example, recaptured $35K in AR write-offs, increased assembly by 200%, and saved $175K/year in staffing requirements, I hope you will see the benefit of meeting for further discussion.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Don’t apply for every open position at your company, even if it offers more money, more prestige, and more room to grow. Doing so dims your chances of being taken seriously. Your objective is to show that you’re perfect for some jobs and you’re cultivating a career path within the company — not merely looking to make more money any way you can.
Right things to say
Keep the following points in mind when preparing your statement:
Remember to show courtesy, tact, and charm in your writing style.
Make sure your manager knows that you’re pursuing another position within the company. Involve your manager from the beginning, and mention in your statement that you have your manager’s support.
Highlight your history of positive job performance and your desire to keep expanding your contribution.
Close the letter with a sentence or two talking about your loyalty to the company and enthusiastic expectation of a continuing relationship.
Wrong thing to say
Never hint that you think the company already has someone lined up for the position. (Even if you’re right, they won’t appreciate your cynicism.)
Tossing your hat into the ring for an open job where you work and expecting no competition is naive. Instead, take pains to write a first-rate statement of your interest, as these sample letters demonstrate:
Credit: Melanie Noonan — Woodland Park, N.J.
Credit: Vicki Brett-Gach, CPRW — Ann Arbor, Mich.
Application for internal job positions
Just because you are an internal candidate for a new job in your company doesn't mean you're a shoo-in.
Working within a large organization provides many advantages. One of the pros is that internal job opportunities arise from time to time, so employees don't even have to leave the building to advance their careers.
But it's easy to trip up when applying for an internal job. Why? One of the main problems is that many employees approach internal job offerings too casually. It's important to remember that similar rules and standards are in place when applying for any job, whether inside or outside a company.
Applying from within doesn't always necessarily give you an "in." The bottom line is you're trying to get a new job, and you need to use every professional tactic you can to get it. Follow these tips to help you get in from the inside.
Don't apply for every available position
You'll never be taken seriously if you apply each time a position opens. Clarify your reasons for applying for a specific job. If the opportunity is in a department in which you wish your career to grow, or if the position will allow you to expand your knowledge in a particular area, make it known.
Update your resume
Many internal candidates don't update their resumes, assuming that it's all in the family and the new internal position is merely an extension of their current one. Make sure your resume includes all the achievements you've earned since joining the organization.
Write a customized cover letter
What if you've done work for the manager who needs a new assistant, and he already knows you're terrific? There are still things the manager doesn't know about you. A cover letter should begin, "I appreciate the opportunity to apply for the XYZ position. Let me tell you why I am a good fit for the job."
Sound a bit formal? That's the idea. No matter how often you've talked to the person you're applying to, or how well he may know you, you want to use the application process as an opportunity to show how professional you are. It's quite possible the new potential boss only sees you as Sally, and not as Sally the super assistant, because he doesn't know about your specialized training, the education you're currently pursuing or your past work experience. When writing a cover letter for an internal position, be sure to expand on what makes you such a natural fit for the position: You're already familiar with the company's culture, there would be less onboarding time needed for things like orientation and paperwork, you would adhere to the same high standards that are currently expected of you, you would welcome the opportunity to build upon your success and continue your career at the company, et cetera. At the same time, you want to highlight the skills that would make you a valuable addition to that person's team—just as you would in a resume for an outside company.
Let your current boss know you're applying for the job
While you may not want your current boss to know you're seeking a new opportunity in the company, he will find out quickly if you become a candidate. Bosses don't like to be in the dark about what their employees are up to, so don't keep them there. Be honest about your reasons for applying for another position, and see if he would be willing to put in a good word for you.
Construct an internal support system
If you don't know the manager you're hoping to work for, get other people you know in common to promote you.
Write a thank-you letter after the interview
Remember it's still a job interview, and all the regular courtesies apply, including sending an interview thank-you letter.
Didn't get the job?
Now is a good time to find out why. Try to get some feedback from HR. Turn the rejection into an opportunity by getting whatever skills you need so that the next time you apply for a similar job, you'll be the winning candidate.
In the meantime, you should look for jobs outside of your current company. you can start by joining Monster today. As a member, you can get upload your resume, so recruiters, searching our database every day, can find good job candidates just like you.