4 Tips for Internal Job Applicants

During my time at Beyond.com, our HR department has emailed job announcements for internal job postings within various departments of our company.  While I personally have not attempted to switch departments or leave my role as a Career Advocate, I know many individuals within our company and throughout the United States consider transitions often.  The obvious benefit of applying for an internal job posting is that you likely have a leg up on potential applicants from outside the company when your HR department does publicize the job.  With that being said, below are some good tips to remember should you decide to pursue a new role within your company:

  1. Notify Current Boss – Be honest and upfront with your current boss and tell them why you are seeking to apply for the new job.  He or she will find out eventually either way so you don’t want any surprises to leave you in an awkward position.  The best part is that your current boss may be able to refer you to help you land the new role.
  2. Network – In some cases you may know the current boss of the role you are seeking.  If you don’t, be sure to see if a coworker can put in a good word for you or get you an introduction.  The adage “it’s not what you know, but who you know” can certainly apply to internal job postings as well.
  3. Take it Seriously – One of the biggest mistakes you can make when applying for an internal posting is to not take the application process seriously.  Just because the role may be with a colleague you know or your office has a casual attitude, you still need to treat this like any other opportunity you are seeking.  Update your resume and cover letter, send a thank you note after the interview, and dress as you would for any other interview.
  4. Ask Questions – This tip applies to both before and during the interview.  Be sure to illustrate you’re interested and ask questions about the expectations of the role.  Illustrate that you’re interested and clearly explain how this move within the company would benefit yourself and the company.  If you ultimately don’t get the job, be sure to follow up and learn why.  You will be better prepared the next time around as a result.

These four tips will prepare you well for the next internal job posting that interests you.  I recommend not applying for every position that becomes available or you may not be taken seriously for the new role, however.  If this is the case, it may be time to have a meeting with your boss about expanding your role or developing new skills to keep you motivated.  Good luck!

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