The biggest mistake employees make is to think that, because they already work for an organization, they are a shoo-in for any internal job. Professional organizations do not make jobs automatic for employees – they conduct a rigid hiring process to ensure the best are hired.
However, as an insider, you have an advantage and you can leverage this to get the job on offer. Here are a few tools and resources that you can take advantage of to help you land your dream internal job.
Do the Legwork
Don’t assume that just because you work for a company, you’ll have automatic access to internal job postings. While some organizations use internal openings to entice their workers, others focus on finding the best candidate, whether inside or outside.
Also, for large companies, a job opening may be in a department that is far off, and before the news gets to you, it might be too late. That’s why you should be proactive in finding out about openings.
- Sign up for Emails: Make sure that you’re on the mailing list for the HR department, especially if the company does not send job postings to your company email.
- Bulletin Boards: Bulletin boards are another common way organizations publicize openings. Constantly check such boards and subscribe to emails or notifications from such boards.
- Referrals: A lot of internal jobs come by referrals. That’s why your network and social circle of business should be strong and expansive. You can let your seniors know that you are interested in a particular position if it ever becomes available. When an opening like that comes, you’re sure to be on their minds.
Nothing beats networking. You could be the most qualified for a position but if you’re a recluse and no one is willing to speak for you, you may remain at your position for a long time.
Your immediate boss and colleagues or even subordinates would go a great length to determine whether or not you get the internal job you’re applying for. That’s why your relationship with them should be good.
Good networking will also help you get information that the ordinary applicant may not have access to. For instance, you can talk to the head of the hiring department and find out if there’s anything you need to know or do. Attend seminars, training programs and every meeting that is designed to make you a better employee.
A tool like LinkedIn can come in handy as well. Consider this, it is possible the position you’re gunning for requires you to deal with various people in the value chain, from suppliers to retailers. The contacts you’ve built in the industry can give you an edge over candidates who are new to the industry. Other options for professional networking include Angellist, Xing, Hired, Opportunity and Meetup.
Work on Your Portfolio
Your portfolio is your proof of work. For instance, if you are a graphic designer or a software developer looking to move up in your industry, your portfolio of works is sure to speak volumes.
That’s why in whatever field you are in, you should be racking up a portfolio or some sort of proof of work. If you are creative, take advantage of portfolio tools such as Behance. This platform allows you to host your profile along with millions of others for free. It has a traffic of close to 70 million views per month.
Other portfolio options include Morpholio, Dribble, etc. These portfolio platforms provide an intuitive interface to help you design and set up your own portfolio in the way you prefer.
Update Your Resume
Never submit your application with the same resume you used to apply to your job, say, five years ago. To do that would be sheer arrogance. A resume is a “living organism” and it grows with you as you grow in experience.
Take note of the conferences, seminars and the training workshops you attend. Significant milestones in your work should be noted down and added to your resume, if feasible. According to resumebuild.com, you should put your best foot forward by listing your skills, accomplishments and experiences appropriately.
One advantage you have over external applicants is that you already know the business and the way the organizations run so you wouldn’t need time to settle or learn the ropes. Highlight that advantage in your resume and cover letter. If you have an outdated resume, here are a few tips to update it.
- If you have a career objective as the starter for your resume, remove it and start with a resume/professional summary instead. Write a great resume summary that is captivating and arresting to the hiring manager. It should not be written in the first person. Use engaging words and concisely outline your experiences and achievements.
- Change fonts and visuals. If your resume was written several years ago, there’s the likelihood that the font and colors used are dated. Fonts like Calibri, Garamond and Georgia are popular for resumes, while colors differ based on the effect you want to have on the hiring manager.
- Use keywords that are relevant to the job you are applying for. These keywords help ensure that your application doesn’t land in the rejection pile as a result of the use of Applicant Tracking Systems. These systems weed out applications irrelevant to the position on offer using keywords.
- Update your milestones and achievements. Let your employers know you’ve covered some grounds and made some gains.
- If your education was over a decade ago, you’d be better off leaving it undated. Just list the qualifications accordingly. If you’re in the process of acquiring some certification or licensing, you can indicate that on your resume as “pending.” This would let the recruiters know you are on track.
- Make sure your cover letter is also gripping enough to captivate the attention and arouse the interest of your potential employees. If writing a cover letter filled you with terror, you can check out samples of similar cover letters.
An insider always has an advantage when an internal job is posted. However, don’t sit back and think the opportunity will always come. Take the initiative and be on the lookout for openings through emails, bulletin boards and referrals
Networking is the key to unlocking opportunities that otherwise would not be available. And don’t forget to make sure that your cover letter and resume are up to scratch when applying for the job. Your portfolio would go a long way to lend credence to any claims you make.