It's a horrible position to be in ... Having to apply for a position in a company you are already working for — sometimes for the job you are doing right now.

Too many people think they can glide through the process, believing their experience will speak loudly about their expertise and fit for the role.

However, while the boss may love them, too often the decision comes down to a more senior manager, HR adviser or external consultant, who knows nothing about their background and achievements. Therefore, they miss out as they are not seen as a strong candidate.

Selling yourself internally


Treat the application process as if no one knows you within the business. This is a great opportunity to rebrand yourself, reminding your employer why they hired you in the first place. Key areas to focus on include:

Know what the employer is after

ust because you think you know what the company is seeking in the role, does not mean you actually do know the key competencies it is after. Have the responsibilities changed to some degree, or is there a new requirement that you are not aware of? Read the job description well and make sure you know and can speak to the key competencies.

Know and communicate your achievements

Think back over the last 10 to 15 years of your career. What achievements have you had during this period that may be relevant to the role? This could include key projects you have led or been involved in, mentoring and coaching staff or successfully implementing new systems or processes within the business. Depending on how long ago you were initially employed, chances are these achievements are forgotten by key members of the recruiting panel, if they are known at all.

Articulate your value in your CV and cover letter

In my experience of recruiting in this situation, too many people don't respect the process enough, and just rush the CV and application when they apply internally. The problem is they may well be competing against external applicants, who have taken time to articulate their skills and achievements properly, showing themselves as more suitable for the role. This also gives the impression that the internal candidate is probably not the best fit and someone else could do the job better.

Treat the interview as if you don't work there


At interview time, make sure you communicate key points and examples, even if they happened only a few days ago. Chances are the HR manager or external consultant would not know of these, and they will add genuine value to your application. Also have examples of your success top of mind, as they will be very valuable when those horrible behavioural questions that demand a story of some sort crop up.

Remember that even if you know you are a great fit for the role, it's up to you to communicate this during the internal application process.

Contact Tom O'Neil and the team at CV.CO.NZ for a free CV or LinkedIn assessment or to be your personal career coach. Visit CV.CO.NZ or to find out more.