If you’re preparing to apply for a position with your current company, you may think a cover letter is a needless excess. After all, you’re already a known entity within the organization. While this is a tempting thought, nothing could be further from the truth.
A winning cover letter is an essential element when you’re applying to an internal position. However, the focus and expectations will be quite different from a cover letter you would write applying for a job with a new employer.
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Writing a Cover Letter When Pursuing a Job Within Your Company
While a typical cover letter focuses on things like the skills and education that make you particularly suited for a position, focusing on these first impression elements in an internal application can be a bit tiresome. Your current employer already knows a lot about you, and your resume will be able to fill them in on any of the technical details.
When writing an internal cover letter, focus instead on the tandem growth that both you and your company have experienced during your tenure. How has your company benefited from your presence? How have you grown while working in your current position?
Here are a few other tips to keep in mind as you compose your letter of interest:
Emphasize Upward Growth
Many companies pride themselves on the concept of promoting from within. If your organization takes pride in internal promotion, make sure to emphasize this in your letter.
Offer yourself as an ideal candidate for upward growth. Point backward to a proven track record within the company and point forward to a future where you can help them reach their goals. Reference company vision and values — things you should already be very familiar with — as a way to show that you’re well aware of what the company is looking for in their employees.
Recall Personal Triumphs
Much like asking for a promotion, preparing a list of personal success stories or anecdotes can be a critical part of your bid for a new internal position.
This is because you aren’t simply referencing scenarios that are unrelatable or unknown. You can call out specific times in the history of your employment that you found personal success and helped the company improve.
Utilize Your Internal Network
References are helpful when you’re applying for a job with a different company. When it comes to a new job with your current employer, you can utilize your internal network to even greater effect. If you have allies in the company who are aware of your values, work ethic, and other qualifications, take advantage of the connections.
Ask coworkers, managers, or other associates if you can use any of them as a referral. If they approve, make sure to include them fairly early in the letter to make sure their endorsement is noted.
Mention Where You Went Above and Beyond
If you’ve done more than just your basic duties during your time working at this company, make sure to allude to those efforts in your cover letter.
Time spent shadowing a coworker to learn about their work, taking on extra responsibilities, or even helping others accomplish their tasks can all be worth highlighting, as they show your willingness to go out of your way to ensure that the company is successful. However, make sure to couch your wording in a way that is informative rather than showy.
Explain Why You Will Flourish
Chances are you’re considering a move within your company because the new position will be a better fit for you. Why is this? Will it enhance your career, give you a new challenge, help you find better fulfillment in your work, or provide a chance for you to maintain better mental health?
Whatever your reason, express this in your cover letter to demonstrate why changing positions will allow you to flourish and, by extension, impact the company for the better.
Cover Letter for Internal Position Example
If you’re not certain exactly how to start your letter of interest, here is a template to get you started. Copy the text into a document and fill it in with your own personal recommendations. Don’t forget to carefully proofread and edit it once you’re done as well.
[Name of recruiter.]
[Position of recruiter.]
[Name of company.]
[Address of company.]
Dear [name of recruiter], [Either use their full name or Mr., Ms., Mrs. and their last name.]
[Open up the letter with your intentions. Include the name of the new position you wish to apply for and reference your history of employment and knowledge of the company. Also, remember to name-drop any references you may have.]
[In the main body of the letter, take the time to focus on why you should be considered. Mention things like upward growth, personal triumphs, where you went above and beyond, and why you will flourish in the new position.]
[Close by thanking the hiring manager for their consideration. You can also add a respectful call to action such as “I look forward to talking with you more about the position.”]
[End the letter with a closing phrase, — e.g. sincerely, regards, cordially.]
[Your contact information.]
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