You just found out that your company has opened a position that you've been vying for for a while. It's time to get your internal resume ready!
Changing jobs can be tough. Fortunately, you can move up the career ladder without ever leaving the company where you're currently employed. While it is true that some people get promotions based on merit by having a manager come up to them and offer them a new role. But, odds are, you'll likely need to apply in a similar manner as you would if you didn't work for the company.
Often times companies will list internal positions before they make them available to the general public. When this happens, you will need to have a new resume ready. But, how do you write a resume for an internal position?
Research and due diligence are your friends
Before you begin the process of writing your resume, speak to some people within the company – Human Resources, as an example – about the role. Try to find out as much as you can about what will be expected of the person who steps into those shoes.
By taking the time to talk to someone, you're showing extreme interest in the position. That can only benefit you when it comes time to talk about the transition.
Resumes for internal positions are different than resumes for external roles
Go ahead and get ready to write a brand new resume because the old resume you wrote to acquire the position you have now won't work for moving into a new internal position.
The general rule of thumb for most resumes is to focus on the last 10 years of experience. For your internal resume, you'll want to place the bulk of the focus on what you've accomplished within your current company.
You should always write your resume so that it highlights career achievements. The minimum number of achievements is about five. However, when you write an internal resume, the sky is the limit.
The benefit of writing a resume for an internal position is that you already know the management, you have an idea of what they expect from employees, and you know how things work. Since you have this inside information, you probably know which metrics they want to see.
Think about everything you've done since you started with the company. Ask yourself these questions:
Have I done anything that saved the company money?
What have I done to make things more efficient?
Have I streamlined any processes that reduced labor hours?
Have I onboarded any new, big-ticket clients?
"Abandon all [fear] ye who enter here"
Most people have a fear that by extolling their own virtues, they'll come across as boastful. You really can set that aside when you're writing a resume for an internal position. For one, the company has immediate access to the work that you've performed. On top of that, if you're not willing to remind them about how great you are, the new managers may feel you lack the confidence to perform the higher-level role.
You want to include a minimum of three measurable achievements within the professional experience job listing for your current role within the company.
Just as you would with a resume for an external position, you should take the information you learned from HR, along with any listing they've posted for the new job, to determine the appropriate keywords for your resume. Even though you're applying for an internal position, the resume will probably be run through their Applicant Tracking System as a first line of defense to ensure that you're qualified.
Don't forget to focus on both hard skills and soft skills, especially leadership as a soft skill.
Here is a sample resume for that internal role you want
Homer, WA 12345 | (111) 222-3333 | firstname.lastname@example.org
TITLE (one that mirrors the job description)
Loyal front office clerk dedicated to achieving the organizational mission, vision, and values. Earned a promotion to full-time employee after three months as an intern. Known as the face of the company and serve as a resource for more than 150 customers each week. Consistently employ expert knowledge of company offerings to provide elite customer service to a diverse population. Seeking the opportunity to step into a new role to further the ABC Company mission of 'white-glove' customer support.
Leadership | Knowledge of Product and Service Offerings
Creative Problem-Solving | Autonomous Decision-Making
Positive Approach | Sales | Stakeholder Relations | Internal Collaboration
Front Office Clerk | 05-2015-Present
Prevent loss and mitigate risk by maintaining control over equipment and office supplies valued at $10K.
Manage customer flowthrough by evaluating wants and needs and assisting sales with closing approximately $125K in new business.
Professionally respond to customer complaints, resolve escalated issues, and prioritize shifting priorities resulting in a 35% increase in NPS (Net Promoter Scores).
Intern | 01/2015-04/2015
Established long-term relationships with key customers and kept exacting records of their preferences, behaviors, and purchases.
Developed new procedures surrounding the disbursement of incoming correspondence which improved efficiency and got mail to representatives 30 minutes faster than normal.
ADDITIONAL CAREER EXPERIENCE
Receptionist | 03/2012-12/2014
Mailroom Clerk | 01/2011-02/2012
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) | 05/2019
Be even more prepared with a targeted cover letter
Since the covid-19 pandemic, hiring managers on the whole are reading cover letters about twice as much as they did before. A cover letter for an internal position sets you up for greater success.
A cover letter allows you to narrate your career story within the company. It gives a voice to how loyal you are and why they should choose you over some external candidate. Most cover letters begin with an introductory paragraph. You can skip that since the company already knows you.
Here's a great way to start your cover letter for an internal position:
Homer, WA 12345 | (111) 222-3333 | email@example.com
Dear Hiring Manager*
(*Use the person's name, you shouldn't have a hard time discovering it)
Since the beginning of my time at ABC Company, almost seven years now, I've been at the forefront of and devoted to maximizing profitability and efficiency through careful adherence to the company's mission and goals. In the last year alone, I've helped the sales staff bring in over $125,000 in new sales. I've sharpened my collaboration skills with leaders, colleagues, and external stakeholders. The team and I have forged new relationships with the goal of building a culture of excellence through open communication that facilitates future-facing decision-making and problem-solving.
(Write at least one more paragraph with a strong mix of hard and soft skills and close the letter with a call to action. Hard skills are things you've learned through education and experience while soft skills are personality characteristics you possess that make you good at what you do.)
Network with company contacts
If you've been in your current role for any significant amount of time, it's likely that you've built relationships that could benefit you. Leverage that network of people to get referrals and recommendations, if possible. Referrals often help external job seekers land interviews. Imagine how much an internal referral can help you.
By following the steps listed here, you'll be a shoo-in for a new internal position. The differences between a resume for an external position and an internal position could cause you some stress though.
TopResume has a team of professional resume writers waiting to help you land your new role!