When a job vacancy arises organisations often open it up to internal applicants first. Are you prepared?

We see a great deal of candidates each week who are seeking their next career challenge. Often, these candidates are looking for a step up in terms of role and responsibilities or an increment in salary. Many do not move forward as they haven’t got the requisite experience required for the position in question. We often wonder, why don’t they put their hand up for these roles internally?

Now, some organisations are too small for employees to go up the chain but many organisations have room to offer greater responsibilities and promotions to valued and capable staff members. It’s a natural progression and the individual and their skill set are known within their current organisation.

When a vacancy arises organisations often do one of three things. They either open it up to internal applicants first, they combine an internal with external recruitment exercise or purely look at the external market.

In two out of three hiring strategies, you’re in with a chance. However it is vital that you to stand out amongst your peers. But how?

Make your resume rock!!

Being an employee is a double edged sword. On the one hand, you are known to your employer. They know you, your work orientation and often your skills and abilities in the role you are performing. That’s great!! Or so you think?!? Often employees are pigeon holed because of this.

Performing well in your current role does not equate to being seen as capable at a higher level. What’s more your employer has a better understanding of your weaknesses in addition to your strengths.

Finally your employer only takes you into account “in-situ” – your manager will often forget about the work you did or your roles, responsibilities and projects undertaken prior to joining the organisation or from within other departments.

When applying for internal roles your resume must shine. Gain the position description (PD) from the hiring manager and look at the role, responsibilities, qualifications, skills, experience and attributes sought after.

Now, write your resume with intent. While your employer has your employee record, still put your name, email and telephone at the very least. Contact details are present in every professionally written resume so follow the format. Next, write your career objective and within this state what you bring to the role you are applying for.

List in three headings your qualifications, other courses and skills you bring to the role. Then, in reverse chronological order under Date, Organisation and Title headings detail the responsibilities you have or have had (paying particular attention to responsibilities in the PD) ensuring that if you’ve had responsibilities equivalent to those outlined either in current or previous roles. If there are career highlights or achievements that would add value to the role you’re applying for make sure you list these as well.


Dress to impress at interview

When we have certain attire we wear to work we dress instinctively for the working day. If you don’t wear a uniform make sure you are neatly and professionally presented on your interview day.

Take it up a notch. If you are in uniform, wear a clean, pressed uniform, shine your shoes and groom yourself as you would for an external interview.


Prepare and plan for the interview

Again, you know the people interviewing you and often it is the familiar that can lead to many an internal candidate’s undoing.

Prepare as you would for an external interview. You have the added benefit. You’re on the ground and can talk to the person that holds or has held the role you’re applying for. Ask them about the nuances of the role and be sure to have examples of your abilities and/or experience that would add value.

If you know the team members with whom you’ll be working or managing, think about how you can work with and through these people to gain the outcomes your company seeks.

Then, at interview, yes be true to yourself but be sure you go into detail when answering questions. Many internal applicants may say “Yes, I’ve done that. You know what I’ve done”. Explain and give examples. You may remember but your manager may not. Ensure you give the hiring team no doubt as to your suitability and capability for the role.

Many internal applicants gloss over the process however by taking the time and effort to follow these simple steps could yield a lasting benefit to you and see you well in your way to succession within your own organisation.

Need help preparing for your job interview?  Contact us. We can help.

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