The Internal Job Search – You’re Not Taking It Seriously Enough!

The Internal Job Search - You're Not Taking It Seriously

I think I’ve seen it all during my decades of recruiting and hiring (and not hiring)!

In the “old days,” employees got tapped on the shoulder to get promoted or moved laterally to their next position. Or an employee would make a few phone calls to some buddies around the company and they would find the “hidden jobs.”

The world has changed! Today, employees are staying in their roles longer and hiring managers within a company are able to select from multiple highly talented candidates. Plus, hiring managers and human resource managers may want to interview external candidates as well as internal candidates, opening up a much larger applicant pool.

Now, combine the current state of internal hiring with the deplorable application methods of internal job seekers today. It’s the perfect storm. The good news is that those internal career-movers who do a professional job with their job search WILL stand out above the rest.

Here are two key rules to follow when you search for a position within your company. And these rules hold true regardless of whether you are applying for a position within your division or in another division, moving geographies, or any other situation.

Rule #1: Go through your job search process exactly as if you are interviewing externally.

Whoever said that the internal job hunt is more casual? Big mistakes I’ve witnessed first-hand:

  • No cover letters.
  • Late for informational meetings and interviews.
  • No copies of résumé to distribute during meetings and interviews.
  • No pen and paper in hand to take notes during an interview.

Pretend that you are interviewing externally. There should be NO difference.

Rule #2: Information Meetings or “Informationals” ARE interviews!

Yes, I do recommend you request a 20-30 minute meeting with the hiring manager or someone who knows a lot about the position prior to a formal interview. At some companies, information meetings may be required in order to be selected to go through a formal interview process. But, don’t make these errors!

  • Coming in without any insightful questions about the position or division.
  • Unable to discuss the job description that the hiring manager wrote!
  • No pen and paper to show an eagerness to collect information.
  • No copy of a résumé but a great excuse, “Oh, I thought this was just an informational!

Just remember: Every move you make, everything you say, and everything you put in writing are all samples of how you would work if they hired you! Don’t let your guard down, don’t get informal, and don’t make the blunders that sabotage your chances of getting that next, great position within your company!


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