How to Apply for an Internal Job Vacancy - dummies

How to Apply for an Internal Job Vacancy

By Joyce Lain Kennedy

When you hope to rise through the ranks to nab a specific internal job, adequate research is a must. Sniff around for information among coworkers in the department housing the vacancy to find out what the job’s really about and why the previous job holder left. You want to be sure that the job is worth your effort to land and that you will accept it if offered.

The people you’re talking to may also be applying for the position and purposely not share the real deal. Discreetly try to get the facts before you show your hand.

Stephanie Clarke of New Leaf Resumes in Nanaimo, B.C., Canada, suggests that you seek a meeting and use a short e-mail note to schedule it with the appropriate manager. Here’s Clarke’s sample phrasing:

Undeniably keen on continuous improvement, one that includes fostering a lean workforce, I am submitting my application for the position of Continuous Improvement Coordinator.

My resume and cover letter provide examples of continuous improvements in identifying opportunities, building interdepartmental teams, providing staff training, writing reports, creating presentations — a full cycle of CI project rollouts.

With results that have, for example, recaptured $35K in AR write-offs, increased assembly by 200%, and saved $175K/year in staffing requirements, I hope you will see the benefit of meeting for further discussion.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Don’t apply for every open position at your company, even if it offers more money, more prestige, and more room to grow. Doing so dims your chances of being taken seriously. Your objective is to show that you’re perfect for some jobs and you’re cultivating a career path within the company — not merely looking to make more money any way you can.

Right things to say

Keep the following points in mind when preparing your statement:

  • Remember to show courtesy, tact, and charm in your writing style.

  • Make sure your manager knows that you’re pursuing another position within the company. Involve your manager from the beginning, and mention in your statement that you have your manager’s support.

  • Highlight your history of positive job performance and your desire to keep expanding your contribution.

  • Close the letter with a sentence or two talking about your loyalty to the company and enthusiastic expectation of a continuing relationship.

Wrong thing to say

Never hint that you think the company already has someone lined up for the position. (Even if you’re right, they won’t appreciate your cynicism.)

Tossing your hat into the ring for an open job where you work and expecting no competition is naive. Instead, take pains to write a first-rate statement of your interest, as these sample letters demonstrate:

[Credit: Melanie Noonan — Woodland Park, N.J.]
Credit: Melanie Noonan — Woodland Park, N.J.
[Credit: Vicki Brett-Gach, CPRW — Ann Arbor, Mich.]
Credit: Vicki Brett-Gach, CPRW — Ann Arbor, Mich.