How to Apply for a Job Within Your Company
Landing That Internal Position
One of the best places to look for a new job could be the company you are working for now. You may be interested in transitioning to a different role, shifting your career focus, working for a new department, or you could be relocating and want to continue working for the same employer.
Companies want to keep good employees, and if you're interested in a job change, but don't want to switch companies, checking out what options are available can make good sense.
Check Job Openings
Most companies list open positions online. In addition, you may be able to sign up to receive email alerts when new jobs are posted. Before you apply, be sure that you have the credentials the company is seeking. The company isn't going to give you a different job just because you applied. Plus, you are wasting your time, and the company's time, applying for jobs that aren't a good fit.
Telling Your Boss
It's important to let your boss know that you have applied for another position before he or she finds out from someone else. However, it's also important to be careful as to how you mention your application. You don't want your boss to infer that you aren't happy with your current role, even if it's true. You may not get the new job, so it's important to stay on good terms with your supervisor.
The best rationale focuses on the positive aspects of the new job without expressing dissatisfaction about the job you have now. In fact, it is usually safest to emphasize that you are enjoying your current job, so your boss doesn't think you can't wait to move on.
How to Apply
What's the best way to apply? It depends on whether you are applying for a transfer or seeking a promotion. However, in both cases, companies typically have an internal job application process you will need to follow.
Following the instructions is just as important, perhaps even more so, when you are applying for an internal job opening versus an external position. Hiring managers expect all applicants to follow the rules. You won't get a pass if you don't follow the application guidelines. In fact, your application may not be considered if you don't submit the required application materials.
Customize Your Application Materials
Don't presume that you will automatically be hired for the new job just because you are already working for your employer. Some companies will give preference to current employees; others evaluate all candidates equally.
Spend Time Networking
Who do you know who can help your application? A referral from your current supervisor would be terrific, but other employees can also put in a good word for your candidacy. Again, be sure to talk to your boss before you start networking. You don't want your boss to find out that you are seeking a new position from anyone other than you.
Many companies require references, typically three employment-related references. If your reference list includes current company employees who are willing to attest to your qualifications it will boost your candidacy. Talk to managers and colleagues to see if they would be willing to provide you with a reference.
Ace the Interview
It's important to take the time to get ready to interview. Don't think that you'll get off easier because you already work for the company. In fact, you may be held to an even higher standard than external job applicants and may be expected to know more about the company and the job. Take the time to thoroughly prepare for the interview.
Check out the company website to be sure you are up-to-date with all the latest news. Review sample interview questions. Make a list of the company's requirements for the new job and the qualifications you have for it.
Send a Thank You Note
It's always important to say thank you for a job interview, regardless of whether you are interviewing for a job with your present employer or at a new company. Send a thank you letter via email or in writing to let your interviewer(s) know that you appreciate their consideration for the job.
If you do get the job, it's a good idea to take the time to thank your boss for the opportunities you were provided with while working with him or her. Also, thank everyone who helped support your candidacy for the position.
If You Don't Get the Job
Don't feel bad if you don't get the job. There may have been other candidates, internal or external, who were a better fit for the position. Ask for feedback from those you met with. They may not be able to disclose why you weren't hired, but, if they can, it will help you plan your next steps—which could entail applying for another internal position or seeking employment outside the company.
Even though it can be challenging when you are excited about switching jobs, be sure not to neglect your current position. It's important not to slack off and to continue to excel in your present role. It will not only enhance your chances of getting a new job next time around. It will also assure your boss that you are still committed to the job you have.