5 Things to Know About Applying for Inside Jobs
Are you worried about a layoff? Are you looking to find opportunities to grow as a professional? Are you hoping to pivot or change careers? For most people, any of these scenarios would send them out searching for a new job. But, what if you could satisfy your need for a career change and stay with the company where you’ve formed friendships and enjoy the company culture?
Finding and pursuing opportunities within your current organization is a great way to combine your need for professional growth and your desire to establish more stability. If your company has a culture of talent mobility, they may offer these types of career changes as part of an overall redeployment strategy.
Talent mobility and redeployment opportunities
The HR term redeployment is used to describe the retaining of high-performing, talented employees by matching their skills, experiences, and career desires to opportunities in other departments or business units within the same company. If you’re not sure if your organization has a structured way of smoothly transitioning people from one role to another, ask your HR department about redeployment initiatives and options.
Talent has the upper hand right now. Use this knowledge as you position yourself to apply for jobs inside the company. Once you’ve decided to change careers within your own organization, you’ll need to make sure you’re ready to compete against other candidates for the same positions. If your HR department is working with a career transition services provider, you may be able to take advantage of those services to prepare you for the transition. Whether you’re getting help from an outside source, or you need to get yourself ready, here’s what it takes:
- Professional branding
- Internal networking
- Interview preparation
- Updating branding documents
If you feel the need to be better prepared for redeployment, here are five actions you can take right now.
#1: TALK TO YOUR CURRENT COLLEAGUES
Just because you and your colleagues work at the same company and you consider each other friends, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting business value from those relationships.
Make it a point to network internally, in-person, and with both new and existing contacts. Networking is the single most effective means of obtaining your next job - if the job you’re looking for is inside your company, you’ll want as many contacts there as possible.
Reach out to managers or other associates with whom you may not ordinarily work as part of your regular job. Focus on building rapport and forging relationships over the long term instead of just focusing on short-term gains.
How do you step outside your comfort zone and get started networking internally? Here are a few tips:
- Listen carefully and then be sure to engage when you feel you can bring value to any conversation. When you demonstrate knowledge of a company's challenges and position yourself as a solution, you may show the hiring manager that they have a need for someone just like you.
- Scope out those with whom you would like to have
adeeper conversation and ask if they would be open to an informational chat during a coffee break or at lunch in the near future. Check out this minute-by-minute approach to one-on-one networking meetings.
- Remain active and show that you are a company-oriented team player. Share useful experiences to help colleagues; participate in brainstorming groups; volunteer for company committees; attend company lunches and events; offer advice to help coworkers. Become known throughout your organization as a “go-to” resource and thought leader. Be visible.
- Consider simple things, like congratulating others on their achievements, praising hard work, and telling successful colleagues that you are truly happy for them.
It’s not who you know, but who knows you, so strategize on uncovering opportunities in other areas of the business by proactively networking to widen your connections and broaden relationships.
#2: THE IMPORTANCE OF AN UPDATED RESUME OR PORTFOLIO
The greatest mistake internal candidates make is assuming that because they are a known quantity at an organization, they don’t have to treat the application and interview process as seriously as they would if they were applying to an outside organization. The truth it, it’s just as important. Remember, the hiring manager isn’t just looking at internal candidates. Your application, resume, and interview performance will be weighed against external candidates who have worked hard to put their best foot forward. These candidates may have branding documents written by a professional resume writer who knows how to brand and make documents stand out. To be competitive, you need to a resume that sets you apart from both your internal and external competition.
Use your resume and updated online profile to increase your chances of impressing hiring managers and recruiters in your organization. These tools will help to demonstrate your value and contributions, as well as your day-to-day responsibilities.
If you decide to pivot to another type of role, you should emphasize your transferable skills. These show that you can perform the tasks and provide value, even if you don’t have significant experience in that specific department or role. Look for growth opportunities to find out what additional qualifications you may need and to understand what to showcase on a resume that highlights these skills
The optimal resume or portfolio should include the following:
- Easy-to-read, coherent content that demonstrates how you fit into a specific role
- A design with content that reflects work that is relevant to what your future employer wants
- Keywords that are easily searchable (especially for Applicant Tracking software)
- Aesthetically pleasing design
#3: PREPARE YOUR PROFESSIONAL VALUE PROPOSITION (PVP)
A PVP is your 30-second elevator pitch, including a high-level summary of your background, strengths, and goals. It should be focused, concise, well practiced—and no longer than a minute in length, preferably less.
Personal marketing and branding provides information to employers on:
- Your professional and general background, and how your skills create value and make an impact
- What your strengths are and how you stand apart from your competition
- What excites you about your next potential role at the company
Make sure you cast a wider net by letting people in your organization know your most important values, passions, and interests. Stay in touch with your expanded network of colleagues and update them with your PVP focus as change occur
s. This will help put you in the minds of those who may need to look for new talents as needs arise.
Learn how to leverage your PVP. It’s one of the best and easiest strategies to help you stand out in a crowd!
#4: KEEP DIGITAL PROFILES UP TO DATE
Updating your resume is a great start to your redeployment strategy. But we are in a digital world where people research online more than anywhere else. Even if you are not currently searching for a job, you need to have a professional public image. This image can make the difference between success and failure, both internally and externally.
Ask yourself if you have:
- Thoroughly optimized your LinkedIn profile, connecting to all current and target contacts within the company, and joining all company LinkedIn Groups,
- Googled yourself to see how you come across presented online
- Posted your new resume on the company job board so internal recruiters can find you
- Set up job alerts so you can be notified of openings as they are posted
- Utilized online company resources, i.e. intranet site, online training resources, and message boards
- Followed company recruiters on social media to stay abreast of new openings and to build a stronger relationship with them
Social media helps build your professional brand, so you want to make sure you create an optimal digital reputation and have a positive social media presence. Here’s some advice for enhancing your profile with redeployment in mind:
- Determine your goal before changing anything in your profile. Social media and branding documents are written for your future and not your past.
- Share and provide valuable content. Reflect your brand to properly, engage your followers, and let new readers see clearly who you are and what your career focus is. Clarity is everything on digital profiles because readers can scroll very quickly. If you don’t capture their attention, your point can easily be missed.
- Stay digitally relevant. Keep your profiles up-to-date to show you are invested. It can also assist in gaining access to people who can help you pivot your career or build connections with other members of your organization to help with a redeployment strategy.
Digital visibility can help your network see you as a leader and enhance your professional image across the organization. When jobs come down the pipeline, the decision-makers will hear your name as a reference and look you up. For redeployment into a different area, make sure your social media profiles include transferable skills.
#5: POLISH YOUR INTERVIEWING SKILLS
Interviewing is a skill that can be enhanced with practice. What’s more, good interview skills are sewed into every aspect of your life, not only in your career. They’re handy in social circles, personal relationships, professional networking, and more.
Make sure you are up to date on etiquette, as well as how to convey your value through a conversation by being clear and concise about your goals.
Make sure to keep the following current for all interviews at all times:
- Institutional knowledge and stewardship of company culture
- Relevant or transferable skills/strengths that align with company priorities
- Specific areas of expertise or interests, ambitions and aspirations
- Skills to handle change and adversity
- Your "most valuable asset" messages and contributions
Interviewing is a two-way street. Being able to answer the interviewer’s questions and also have some insightful questions of your own will help you stand out as a top contender. You want to make sure you can easily convey how you meet the essential criteria for the position (or can do so with reasonable and appropriate training).
DOES YOUR ORGANIZATION HAVE AN OUTPLACEMENT PROVIDER?
If your organization has a redeployment program through an outplacement provider, they may provide one-on-one coaching and resume writing assistance.
While you don’t want to give the impression that you are looking to leave, it’s perfectly acceptable to be interested in professional growth and taking on new responsibilities.
Asking HR about talent mobility may be a wakeup call—for them! It may compel them to be more proactive in their redeployment strategy.
Opportunities can come when you least expect them, and sometimes they show up during a time of extreme stress, such as a corporate restructuring when you are in the midst of navigating the unchartered waters of a career transition. The good news is that more organizations are finding redeployment as an effective employee retention strategy.
My best advice to anyone seeking to remain relevant in their professional career is simple: Be proactive. Be prepared.
Celia Stangarone, CPRW, CEIP is a RiseSmart Certified Resume Writer and Transition Coach. With a background as a Recruiter for an MBE/SBE employment agency and an HR Associate at a marketing research organization, she understands every perspective of the job search, sourcing, and hiring arenas. Celia takes a holistic approach to her writing and coaching by understanding people t hrough career progression and projection including cultural, behavioral, and digital observations to create engaging personal branding.