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How to Write a Transfer Request Letter

If you’re looking to make a change in your career, it doesn’t always mean looking for a new employer. If your company is large enough, you can move into a different position or to a new geographical location by sending a transfer request letter. 

We’ll explain some circumstances where it makes sense to ask for a transfer and share how to write a transfer request letter that will help get your move approved. 

What is a transfer request letter?

A transfer request letter is a written request to management asking for a change to your position, department, or location. 

You might request a transfer if you’re moving for personal reasons but want to remain with the company. Or, you might write a transfer request letter if you’re looking to try something new by moving into a different position from the one you currently hold. 

A written letter helps you make the case for why HR should give your transfer the green light. However, it shouldn’t be the first step in making your request. 

Instead, it should come after you’ve had a discussion with your manager to let them know you’re interested in a transfer. This conversation gives you the opportunity to gauge their feelings on a potential transfer, get feedback that might help you make a stronger argument, and ensure they’re not blindsided by your official request. 

Why it’s important

A transfer request letter serves two purposes. 

First, it acts as the official written documentation of your interest in a transfer. Copies should be provided to your manager and your HR department. 

Second, it functions as a cover letter emphasizing your skills and conveying how the transfer would benefit the company. If your company requires internal candidates to go through a full application process, your transfer request letter can kick-start the proceedings. 

When should you send it?

When you’re relocating

Maybe life circumstances are taking you to a new city, but you want to remain with your current company. A transfer is the perfect win-win option if they have a branch in your new location. Your company will be happy to retain a good employee, and you’ll avoid the inconvenience of going through a job search on top of a move. 

When you want to change departments

In some cases, different departments within the same organization will have similar roles in their staffing charts. Take project managers, for example. The marketing department might use project managers to keep the company’s marketing campaigns on schedule, while the research and development department might rely on project managers to keep the company’s engineers on track. 

Transferring to a different department allows you to put your skills to use in a new context and with a different team, which can be a good way to change things up if your career is feeling a bit stagnant. 

When you’re looking to try something new

Professionals today rarely follow a straight and narrow career path. People are much more likely to try different things and work in a variety of positions over the course of their career than they were a few decades ago. 

Transferring to a new role–either one that’s parallel to your existing job or a new type of position entirely–is an ideal way to advance your career while remaining with a company you enjoy working for. 

What to include in a transfer request letter

A brief summary

Introduce yourself and explain the purpose of the letter.

An overview of your history with the company

Describe your tenure and express your thanks to the company for the opportunities it has provided you.

The reason for your request

Give a general explanation of why you’re seeking the transfer.

The argument in your favor

Your resume

This can be provided as an additional attachment.

What you should omit

  • Extensive detail. Avoid oversharing irrelevant details, especially if you’re looking to transfer because of tensions on your existing team.
  • Casual language. Don’t assume a transfer is a done deal just because you’re already an employee of the company. Your letter should be written in a professional tone, the same way you’d write a cover letter when applying for a new job.

Letter of request for transfer example – different position

Mr. Stanford, 

I’m writing to request a transfer from Essential Electric’s customer service department to its sales department.

I’m grateful for the many opportunities I’ve been afforded during my three years as a customer support representative. During that time, I’ve maintained consistently high call success rates and have exceeded team goals for cross-selling and upselling.

I learned of an open position for a junior sales representative and believe my knowledge of our customers’ needs would make me an asset in the role. I’m invested in the company’s mission to bring affordable, reliable utilities to the communities of Western Michigan and would be excited to continue to grow with the organization. 

I am attaching my resume for your review and look forward to discussing the opportunity with you further. 

Many thanks for your consideration, 

Jordan Petrosky

Transfer request letter example – different location

Ms. Smythe, 

I would like to inquire about transferring from Riverwood Development’s Orlando office to its Fort Lauderdale location. I will be relocating to South Florida to be closer to family there and would welcome the opportunity to remain with a company I greatly enjoy working for. 

During my six years as a business development specialist, I have established strong community ties that have served the organization in the form of new clients and beneficial partnerships. As a South Florida native, I would leverage my existing connections to forge new relationships in the Fort Lauderdale area that could help the company establish a stronger foothold in this rapidly expanding market. 

My timeline is flexible, and I’d be willing to assist in finding and training my replacement in the Orlando office if my transfer were to be approved. 

Thank you kindly for your consideration, 

Cassandra Jackson

Writing a professional letter that states your request and presents the benefits to your employer is an important step in transferring to a different role where you can find a new growth path within your current company.