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Resume Tips for Landing An Internal Opportunity

28 Jan, 2020

Resume Tips for Landing An Internal Opportunity

For a variety of reasons, you’ve decided to look for a new role in your existing company. You pull out the resume you put together years ago when you first started.

You figure you will make sure your current position is listed and call it a day. “They know me, what does it matter?” you say.

Well, it does matter. Typically when applying for a position in your current company, you will need to provide an updated resume.

The resume supports all the necessary research, informational interviews, training, and certifications that you are doing to be considered the best candidate (both internally and externally) for the new position.

However, the resume itself should accentuate your tenure, history, and knowledge within the company.

Like an external resume you still want to:

  • Target your resume to the job description.
  • Highlight accomplishments with quantifiable results.
  • Communicate you fully understand what the position requires and that you can exceed those expectations.
  • A maximum two-page resume is the target. (Note item #9 below for an alternative!)
  • Make sure the content is readable by Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software.
  • Double-check spelling and grammar.

There are additional items to consider when updating your resume for that internal move or promotion.

1. If you currently have an Objective statement, consider using a Professional Profile instead. Translate how what you have done will be beneficial to what you will be doing. Make sure the profile is contribution and value-based.

2. In an external resume, we want to limit/remove jargon and acronyms that other companies may not know. In an internal resume, jargon (but not too much) is appropriate. In using the company’s language, you remind the hiring managers that you are “one of them” already.

3. Highlight the company-specific systems or programs you have expertise in that external candidates would not have. This shows you have the leg up on your competition.

4. Consider adding testimonials from well-known members of the company. Add direct quotes or comments from performance reviews. Having respected colleagues in the company vouch for you helps tell your story.

5. You don’t have the same concerns with internal resumes when it comes to using client or account names. Inserting those client or account names into your accomplishment bullets gives you credibility in an area your company may find valuable.

6. The same goes for including some quantifiable information in your accomplishments. You don’t want to disclose confidential or competitive information in external resumes, but you have a little more leeway with internal resumes.

7. Look to include performance metrics and goals that are specific to the role. Most external candidates won’t be able to get that level of detail, but you can by talking to people in your company. Use informational conversations to collect valuable insights.

8. With external resume, not all your awards and recognitions make sense to list. With the internal hiring manager, list any that might be immediately recognized and that are relevant to the role you are targeting.

9. Consider using an Addendum to list strategic or high-impact projects or activities you have worked on over the years. The Addendum will allow you to show your depth and breadth of relevant experience without cranking out a three or four-page resume.

Whether looking for an internal role, or crafting a resume for an external one, take the time to track your accomplishments as they happen.

Using whatever system you are comfortable with, hold on to performance reviews, emails from clients or colleagues, social media posts, etc. that highlight your value and contributions.

This information is the fodder you need to keep your resume up-to-date so you will be ready for any opportunity that comes your way.

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