Writing a Cover Letter for Internal Positions

Cover letter for internal application

Writing a cover letter for internal positions is a unique experience. The company already knows your background, current level of performance, and how you fit in with company culture, yet you must still be able to prove you’re the right person for the job. Learn how to write an internal cover letter to stand out and gain an edge over external applicants when applying for a new role in your current company.

Highlight your company knowledge and culture

Many resume articles can show you how to create a list of skills, but hiring managers also want to know if the candidate they select for the job will fit in with the company culture they’ve worked so hard to build.

The good news is that if you’ve worked at the business for any length of time, you already have what you need to convey this in your cover letter. Here are three ways to communicate this important distinction to the person reviewing your application.

Showcase familiarity with processes and procedures

Hiring someone internally often means less work for the hiring manager because they don’t have to acquaint you with how things are done around the office.

Therefore, you want to communicate to the hiring manager that one advantage of hiring you is that you already understand company processes and procedures. Note ways you’ve adhered to them in your work, such as always speaking courteously to customers or showing professionalism when collaborating with teammates. 

Demonstrate your understanding of goals, values, and mission

Remind the hiring manager of the company’s strategic goals and mission. Then, tell them how having you in a new role will help them meet them.

What skills do you bring to the table that will help company leadership get where they want to go? Why will exercising those skills in a new way be the key to unlocking the company’s potential and helping the team move forward?

Display an awareness of company culture and dynamics

Hiring managers want candidates who fit in with company culture, knowing those who do are often happier, more engaged, and more productive.

As you write about your work and accomplishments in your current role, discuss how you’ve upheld and positively contributed to company culture and dynamics. This is especially important if it's something you’ve been recognized for in the past.

Discuss your current position and achievements 

Since you already work for the company, you may have an advantage over others applying from outside.

Remember, however, that while the HR manager may know who you are, they don’t necessarily work closely with you each day. Consequently, they’ll likely need you to help them see the full picture of your professional achievements. Here are several ways to accomplish this in your cover letter.

Talk about your role in depth

In a cover letter for internal positions, it’s important to write about how what you’ve done so far relates to the company’s overall mission or has helped it reach its goals. This shows that you take your current role seriously and aren’t just trying to avoid a job you dislike.

Showcase your overall growth

When writing a cover letter for an internal position, examples of growth in your current role are critical. If the hiring manager can clearly see how you’ve helped your team get to the next level, they’re more likely to believe you’ll do the same in a different position.

Highlight your transferable skills

As you tweak your resume examples and cover letters for internal positions, it’s important to lay out how your current job has prepared you to take on new challenges and move forward in your career. What have you learned that will help you be effective in a different role or capacity?

Expert Tip:

Use numbers and figures in your cover letter for internal positions to quantify your achievements and show growth. While anecdotes can be impactful, numbers can paint a much clearer picture of your overall improvement for the person reading your application.

Align with the new responsibilities

Though writing about your current role and achievements is important, you must also ensure that the hiring manager understands your enthusiasm and readiness for the new role. Here are some tips for aligning your skills, experiences, and achievements with a given position.

Read the job description thoroughly

The first thing you should do is review the job description. It might be tempting to think you already have an in-depth understanding of the new role because you work for the company, especially if you currently work closely with that team or department.

However, the purpose of a cover letter for internal positions is to convince the hiring manager that you’re perfect for the role. This means your letter must match what they think is important in terms of skills and experiences.

With that in mind, make a note of the skills the hiring manager has deemed necessary for the position and focus on them when writing your cover letter.

Connect your background and current role

Once you know what skills to focus on, you’ll need to gather facts and stories that help you connect them to your background and current role. How have your training and experience helped you develop the necessary skills for the role? Have any of those skills produced tangible or quantifiable results? If so, describe those results.

"It’s important to write about how what you’ve done so far relates to the company’s overall mission or has helped it reach its goals."

Consider professional relationships and references

When it comes to writing a cover letter for an internal position, your professional relationships mean a lot.

The hiring manager likely has a lot of trust in the managerial and executive staff at your company. If any of these leaders endorse or can vouch for your skills, accomplishments, work ethic, or adherence to company culture, their opinions will doubtlessly hold weight with the HR staff.

Because hiring managers also want to hire candidates who are team players, you’ll want to make sure your co-workers can put in a good word for you about your collaboration skills.

While you can include these references or testimonials separately from your cover letter or resume, consider including them in your cover letter to back up your anecdotes. That way, you won’t be the only one speaking highly of your abilities.

Mention career goals and development

Many cover letter articles drive home the fact that hiring managers appreciate candidates who have taken the time to visualize their career aspirations.

Doing so shows that you fully understand the role, what it entails, and how it will help you reach your personal and professional goals. Because you’ve thought about these things in depth, the HR team knows you’re more likely to work hard and stay long-term.

For this reason, you should mention your career goals when polishing your internal cover letter templates. Tell the hiring manager how this role connects to your overall professional development plan. Then, help them see how your growth has and will continue to help the company move forward.

Closing statement

The closing statement of your internal cover letter should be just as impactful as the rest. Use the last paragraph to reiterate your enthusiasm for the new role you’d like to take on and frame that excitement as a way to assist the company in reaching its strategic goals.

It can also be helpful to affirm your long-term vision as an employee. Let the hiring manager know you want to grow within the company and are willing to take on new challenges to make sure that happens.

Write an internal cover letter that helps you gain an advantage

The key to writing an impressive internal cover letter is to focus on how the skills you’ve developed in your current role can help you do a great job in the new one.

Start your letter by reminding the hiring manager of your recent achievements. Then, align your skills and accomplishments with the job you’re applying for and explain how those things will help the company reach new heights.

Don’t be afraid to use a cover letter or resume template if you need help crafting your internal application.

With the help of a few cover letter examples, internal applications will be much more polished and compelling. Instead of worrying about writing the perfect letter, you can get it done faster, move forward with your professional development, and land a coveted new role within your organization.

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