Moving to a new position within your existing company is a great way to advance your career, acquire new skills and increase your salary. And, if you’ve built a reputation for doing a great job in your current role, you might be a shoo-in for the position.
However, until the offer is in hand, you can’t assume you’ll get a job just because you’re an internal candidate. You’ll be competing against external candidates, many of whom may have more experience or advanced skills. You’ll still need to go through all the steps of applying for the job, which includes filling out an application and writing a cover letter.
An internal position requires a unique approach
As an internal candidate, your cover letter is less about helping the hiring manager get to know you and more about showing them why you’re the right choice for the job. The good news is, since you don’t have to allocate space to introductions, you can spend more time focusing on your skills and accomplishments.
To help you convince the hiring manager that an internal candidate is the way to go, use our cover letter examples for an internal position and for a promotion below.
Why use a cover letter internally?
Show how your skills are transferable
How does your current position make you well-suited for this new job? Sure, external candidates may have more years in the industry or more leadership experience, but you have the great advantage of being familiar with the company and its inner workings. So, mention this! Explain how the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired in your current position will serve you in another role in the organization.
Convey your excitement to grow with the company
Retaining great workers is a key priority for successful organizations, especially in a tight labor market. It’s in your employer’s best interest to hold onto you, and it’s always a great sign when an employee makes it clear they want to stick around. Use your cover letter to convey your desire to advance within the company and continue to be an asset to it.
What to include:
Accomplishments in your current role
If you’ve been working hard in your current role for some time, this should be a no-brainer. Even if you know the hiring manager, it’s helpful to lay out your accomplishments in black and white for them to see. Give specific examples of how you’ve made an impact–bonus points if it’s something that’s specifically relevant to the hiring manager, like assisting their team on a project or achieving a win that made them look good.
If you have a contact that has the hiring manager’s ear, ask them to write you a referral. In a competitive environment, having a trusted manager or other colleague go to bat for you can seal the deal in your favor. Likewise, if a company leader suggested you apply for the job, mention that early in your cover letter.