Posted on 05/03/2022
What is one consideration a candidate should have when applying to the same company for a different position?
To help you apply for new positions in the company you currently work for, we asked CEOs and HR managers this question for their best insights. From considering your internal resume to avoiding complacency with the interview, there are several pieces of advice that may help you when applying to your current company for a different position.
Here are 12 considerations when applying for a different position in the same company:
- Consider Your Internal Resume
- Beware of the Optics
- Be Transparent With Your Supervisor
- Allay Any Negative Notion About Your Decision
- Consider Your Genuine Reasons for The New Position
- Make Sure Your Skills Match The New Position
- Ensure The Compensation Is Right for You
- Think About The Potential New Connections
- Solicit Internal References
- Address The Hiring Manager by Name in Your Application.
- Prepare To Show Mutual Benefits of Your Decision
- Avoid Complacency With The Interview
Consider Your Internal Resume
When candidates apply for a position in their current company, they should consider their internal resumes. Many candidates may have the skills and experience required to fulfill a position. However, they should consider their internal interactions and work output. The candidate should think about their interactions with others outside of the department they seek to work in. Have they had good interactions with other employees and provided them with exceptional customer service? Or is there a history of missed deadlines and failure to acclimate to the needs of others? Not only do you need to look good on your application, but you also need to sell yourself with a historical record of being a high performer who has achieved results—realizing that your internal resume changes with each interaction with other employees. So, it’s essential to craft a positive internal resume with each interaction.
Annette Harris, Harris Financial Coaching
Beware of The Optics
Consider how many positions you’ve applied to before, as more than 2 or 3 can become a red flag for the hiring manager. Multiple applications make you look too persistent; more focused on getting a job for the company than concerned about how well your skills fit the job. No recruiter wants to feel like you’re wasting their time, so look at the job listing and compare it to your resume of skills and experience. If you don’t have something highly relevant to bring to the table, wait for a better position to open to apply.
Stephen Light, Nolah Mattress
Be Transparent With Your Supervisor
Let your current manager know. You don’t want the rug pulled out from underneath your direct supervisor. Have an honest conversation with them. Depending on the relationship you have, they may even give you a recommendation for this different position. Tell them you enjoy working for them, but this other role is a better fit for you. Or, maybe you want to be challenged and this new role will push you out of your comfort zone. Whatever the case may be, make sure you’re transparent with your manager.
Isaiah Henry, Seabreeze Management
Allay Any Negative Notion About Your Decision
Applying for a different position at the same company might make you come off as unfocused. This should be a big consideration for a candidate who intends to do such. Employers might interpret this as though you are not clear on which career path you wish to take or that you are making their company an experimenting ground. To avoid this impression, thoroughly explain how your skillset fits the different positions you are applying for. Vividly illustrate how you can be an asset to them in both of these job positions. Then tell them why it is important for you to work at the company because it will show them your sincerity and loyalty.
Brogan Renshaw, Modelers Central
Consider Your Genuine Reasons for The New Position
If you’re not in love with your current role or are sick of dealing with a toxic work situation, consider whether those motives are driving you to apply more than your actual desire for the new job. A hostile working environment can wear us down, harming our mental, physical, and emotional health. But desperation to get out might push us to apply for jobs we don’t really want. Since internal postings are the easiest way to transition out, they can tempt us for the wrong reasons. If you’re not excited and well-qualified for the new role, don’t apply internally—make your way out of the company and find a better fit.
James Diel, Textel
Make Sure Your Skills Match The New Position
When applying to the same company for a different position, know that it won’t pay off unless you’re at least doubling your efforts. If you apply for two positions, you should provide both a customized cover letter and resume for each position. Doing anything less will be seen as lazy, unfocused, and desperate. Only apply for different positions if you can provide concrete details to demonstrate you are an excellent candidate for each job. Businesses make changes more rapidly than ever nowadays to stay competitive. So as departments, staffing, and business needs undergo frequent adjustments within a company, it’s helpful for hiring managers to have candidates who have a wide range of skills. This also helps when applying for a different position at your present employer. For example, I started in our research department, then became an outreach team lead when I shared my experience in writing, editing, and SEO administrative tasks.
Karen Condor, ExpertInsuranceReviews.com
Ensure The Compensation Is Right for You
Just because you’re applying to a position at the same company, it doesn’t mean you’ll be getting the same salary. Each department and job have a different salary range not only based on the skills it requires, but also on the experience you have. If you’re looking to try out a new position that you do not have sufficient experience for, you could end up getting paid a lot less, cause issues with your boss, and feel demotivated. Be sure to check out what compensation the job offers and whether your skill set matches the job or not.
John Gardner, Kickoff
Think About The Potential New Connections
One of the best parts of applying to a different role in the same company is expanding your current network to include coworkers and associates in the role you’re looking to move into. Expanding your network in this way means that you can acquire new mentors, which can help you grow your skills and expand your knowledge base to make sure you can slot right into the job of your dreams. Since you’re working in your existing company, you can likely arrange for plenty of shadowing opportunities, so you know exactly what to expect out of a new role, lowering the chance for any culture shock. For most companies, this should be an opportunity they don’t want to miss because growing talent in this way can reduce attrition, and build loyal, well-trained associates that have established roles in a company culture.
Kyle Risley, Lift Vault
Solicit Internal References
Line up your references. I’d suggest reaching out to current colleagues and/or supervisors to see if they’ll vouch for you. References within your own company will go a long way to proving you would be a good fit for this other position. This will boost your credibility and give you a leg up compared to your competition.
Ben Hyman, revivalrugs.com
Address The Hiring Manager by Name in Your Application
When crafting your cover letter or any other application materials, you should make sure to address the right person. If you’re applying to two separate positions within the same company, those positions may well report to two separate people throughout the hiring process. Even if you suspect that it’s reaching the same person, it’s best to do the extra research to determine exactly whose desk your application will end up on.
Though it may not seem important, using the person’s name instead of “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To whom it may concern” goes a long way. Hiring managers appreciate these little details, as it shows that you went the extra mile to leave a strong first impression. Not to mention, addressing them by name is a great way to grab their attention. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to a company contact for clarification or take another look at the job listing. It takes no more than five minutes to do, and could have a great impact on your application’s success.
Max Wesman, GoodHire
Prepare To Show Mutual Benefits of Your Decision
One consideration a candidate should have when applying to the same company for a different position is how the candidate’s skills may align with the new position. If the candidate’s skills are not a good match for the new position, it may be difficult to succeed in the role. If they are not fully qualified for the new position, they should consider if they are willing to put in the extra effort to become qualified. Also, candidates should be prepared to explain why they are interested in the new position and how it fits into their career goals. This will help them better articulate their interest and demonstrate that they are a committed, motivated employee. Overall, candidates should carefully consider all aspects of the new position before applying to ensure that it is the right fit for both themselves and the company.
Chris Lewandowski, Princess Dental Staffing
Avoid Complacency With The Interview
Just because you’re applying internally doesn’t mean that the hiring manager is familiar with you or your work. Treat the interview the same as you would if it were an external position. Make sure to highlight your strengths and skills, explain clearly why you want to make the change, and talk about how your current position can help you succeed in the one you’re interviewing for. You should also compile a list of facts and figures you can share that showcase your contributions to the company, as this helps position you as a good employee.
Mark Pierce, Cloud Peak Law Group