4 Tips on Applying To an Internal Job Posting

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated January 11, 2023

Published December 12, 2019

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Applying for an internal job posting may allow you to advance your career and increase your potential earnings. If you aren’t fully satisfied in your role, but enjoy working at your current company, an internal transition could be a good option for you. An internal job transition can even allow you to move to a different department and learn new skills. Learning how to apply for an internal job posting can increase your chances of receiving an offer. In this article, we will discuss how to apply for an internal job posting. 

What is an internal job posting?

An internal job posting is an open job that is available to current employees within the company they work for. Many companies and government departments post jobs internally to promote growth within current employees. Members who already work within a business typically know more about the policies and workplace environment, lowering the training time that would be required if the company hired an external employee. 

The internal application process is typically slightly different than if you applied to an external posting. You will most likely still need to submit an application and prepare for an interview, though the questions that the hiring manager asks may vary from what you would encounter in an external interview. It is important to be ready for the internal hiring process so you appear professional in every step and demonstrate yourself as the strongest candidate for the job.  

How to apply to an internal job posting

Here are the steps you can take to apply to an internal job posting: 

  1. Research the open position

  2. Target your resume and cover letter to the job

  3. Get ready for the interview

  4. Follow up after the interview

1. Research the open position

Learning as much as you can about an internal job posting will help you decide whether you want to apply for the position. You can talk to employees who already have the job you are considering to learn several important pieces of information, including:

  • Their opinion of the position and the duties involved

  • The most enticing aspects of the job, including responsibilities and potential salary

  • What they believe are the most important qualifications to be successful in the role

You may also wish to meet with the department human resources manager responsible for filling the opening. During this meeting, you can talk with the manager about the requirements for the job, your knowledge and experience and the reasons you believe you are a fit for the job. You can also ask the HR manager if they have any advice about applying for the job and if they believe you are a strong candidate. 

In addition to meeting with the HR manager, you may wish to meet the manager of the department in which you wish to work. If possible, find a team to speak with them about the open role and their ideal candidate. Introducing yourself before applying can help your application materials stand out when they begin reviewing resumes. 

Related: How to Find the Best Jobs for You

2. Target your resume and cover letter to the job

Before applying to an internal position, it is important to rewrite both your cover letter and your resume. Target both documents to the job for which you are applying so that the hiring manager will notice and remember your application. You can use what you have learned about the job opening to update your resume and cover letter. Consider the attributes other employees mentioned as important to their success and emphasize past accomplishments that demonstrate how you possess these qualities.

Use your cover letter to talk about specific projects you have worked on and other successes that translate to the job for which you are applying. While updating your resume and cover letter, you should also remove anything that does not apply to the new job. Focus on the goals you achieved within the company instead of your accomplishments before your current role. 

Related: 7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

3. Get ready for the interview

Preparing for the interview is vital when applying for an internal job posting. You should treat the interview as if you were an external candidate, meaning you acknowledge that the interviewer is not familiar with you or your professional background.

Start your preparation by performing some basic research about the position and department. Make sure that you are aware of the department’s latest developments, particularly those that are related to the job for which you are applying.

Reviewing potential interview questions is also a good way to prepare for your interview. Knowing the type of questions the interviewer may ask will make it easier to provide intelligent, memorable answers. You can find sample interview questions online, or you can ask employees who already have the job what types of questions they needed to answer during their interviews.

Before the interview, spend some time reviewing the internal job posting. Identify the requirements mentioned and consider how they compare to your qualifications. Next, think about how you can most effectively discuss your qualifications during the interview.

Be sure to dress professionally for the interview. Wearing the appropriate business attire will give the impression that you take the interview seriously and value making a strong impression.

4. Follow up after the interview

The day after your interview, you can send the interviewer a note thanking them for their time and consideration. Sending a handwritten note will add a personal touch and will help the hiring manager remember you when they make their final decision. You can send an email if you can’t send a physical note. The subject line of your email should be concise and informative to ensure the hiring manager sees your message in their inbox. 

If you receive the job, you can send a second thank you note to your new manager. In your note, you can thank them for the opportunity and emphasize that you will give your full effort to the position. You may also wish to thank everyone personally who supported you during the application process, particularly the managers and coworkers who helped you during the process.

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