🎯What I noticed is that these employees are beginning to realize that they still must be competitive and bring their ‘A-game’ even when the job opening is in their own backyard (so to speak).
It’s easy to think that you are a shoo-in for an internal position, just because you already work there; however, that does not always mean you are at the front of the line.
🔝If you find yourself eyeing an internal position, here are a few tips to be ‘top of mind’ for your coveted position.
1. Update your resume with your current job, make sure to include your achievements (if you know me, you knew that would be #1) and TARGET your resume for the new position.
2. Make sure to include a cover letter with your application even though you are already an internal employee. So many candidates skip this step thinking it doesn’t matter. As I ALWAYS say, when you don’t send a cover letter, you miss an opportunity. In this case, you would miss the opportunity to show how your experience, training, and current job align with the new job, how you won’t need to attend orientation or be onboarded and express your loyalty and commitment to the company by wanting to progress there.
3. Schedule a discussion with your current boss around the topic of the job you are interested in. Find out if your company has explicit instructions on when you should tell your supervisor you’re applying for an internal position. Some even require that you your current boss has to agree to ‘release you’. I once worked for an employer that was able to keep me for 45 days after I had accepted an internal position before I could start my new position. Once you know the policy, it’s best to verbally tell your supervisor. It’s not good workplace etiquette to blindside your boss or have them feel betrayed. It may not create the most ideal situation for you with your boss, but it is better to be upfront and respectful. Hopefully, you will find a new champion in your supervisor.
4. Start building or adding to your referral network. Ask for referrals or recommendations from other managers, peers, or mentors in your industry arena.
5. Utilize your knowledge of the company’s hiring process and practices (or learn them) so that you are sure to apply correctly, professionally (with all the right documents), and in a timely manner.
6. Schedule a short meeting with your Human Resources Department (even if it has to be a Zoom meeting due to distance) to discuss the specifics of the job posting and garner as much information as you can. (This is usually more difficult, if not impossible for external candidates).
7. If it is allowed, and you are able, schedule a meeting directly with the Hiring Manager and be prepared with specific relevant questions. If you already have some knowledge of the innerworkings of the department, then makes sure to reference that information when you speak. For example, “I noticed that you have increased your training program for direct sales reps, is that something that this position would be involved in?” This shows that you pay attention and have ‘insider’s knowledge’.
8. Prepare for the interview (it’s usually rare that an internal candidate does not get an interview). Use all your research and groundwork you conducted to craft 5 to 7 questions, to include – ‘What would I be challenge with or hit the ground running with in the first 30 days?”
9. Follow up after the interview and send a Thank you letter/email. It’s good etiquette!
10. What should you do if you don’t get the job? Although you may be disappointed, maybe even upset, don’t let it show. Stay positive (speak positive) and hold your head up high. If it is allowed, ask for feedback from the Hiring Manager who interviewed you, so you are better prepared for the next time you interview. Remember, they may have already had someone in mind before you even applied.
Whether you are the one chosen or not, continue to cross-train, elevate your own position, take on new responsibilities, and continue to seek out new opportunities. 🎉