Promotion Cover Letter

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.

Read Part 1 - Overview, Part 2 - Entry Level Jobs and Part 4 - Professional Cover Letters

When you've been in the workforce for a while, and have built a strong CV, the degree of difficulty naturally goes up as you apply for higher positions. The situation has now changed considerably. As you progress, you have to apply for jobs where your experience makes you a credible applicant.

This is where your cover letter really has to be effective. The logic is different in these cases. You have to prove you can do a job above your nominal level. Applicants really do have to make a case for themselves, and that's where the cover letter really comes into its own as an asset in applying.

Foundations of your application

When going for a higher job, you must provide proof in the form of factual information as your foundation for applying for the job. Your CV, which is mainly your work record, can only do so much to demonstrate your abilities. You have to add your unique claims to the position in your cover letter.

For example:

An experienced accountant is going for a middle level job in his company, two levels up from base grade. So are all the other accountants at that level, so the applicant has to be competitive.

I've had extensive experience in all aspects of our Accounts Branch's work, including holding three relief positions in this position. I received very positive feedback from management and clients in this role, and that has encouraged me to apply for this job.

This reminds management that the applicant did well when working in that position. The applicant has a real claim to the job.

Supporting the claim to the job

The next phase is a true quality issue, establishing additional credentials over other applicants. All job applications are competitive, none more so than when competing for a promotion.

Our applicant now makes a further statement regarding their qualifications and experience:

During the firm's Internal Audit Program, I acted as a supervisor in Systems Testing and Analysis. This experience drew heavily on my knowledge of the Accounts Branch systems, procedures, and management guidelines. I was able to supervise our staff with confidence in many aspects of the current position's roles.

Our applicant was supervising other staff in relation to the key aspects of the position. That's quite enough to convince management to give this person an interview. It also makes this applicant very competitive.

Covering with logic

The basis of any claim to a higher position must make a clear case in favor of the applicant.

Our applicant has this base covered:

In my five years with the company, I've gained valuable skills and experience in all functions of the Accounts Branch. This work has given me additional professional qualifications, and many opportunities to improve my career prospects. I hope I will be considered for this position on the basis of my work for the company.

The applicant will be considered on that basis, because it's all good job related information. Anyone could read that cover letter and be quite sure this applicant has a real chance at getting the job.

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