Whether it’s for a role in a department you’ve been hoping to join, or another role within your team, an internal job application should emphasize why you’re the best fit for the role. To do this, you need to make the most of your cover letter.
Being a part of the company doesn’t necessarily place you above external applicants. While you have valuable company knowledge, you still need to put as much effort into your application as you would when applying for a job externally.
So yes, you do need to include a cover letter for your internal job application. In fact, 47% of recruiters consider cover letters essential for internal roles. And as many as 45% of hiring managers read the cover letter before the resume. So it’s your chance to make a strong first impression.
“The key to standing out is not to assume that your work speaks for itself. In addition to performance metrics, showcase your softer skills like effective communication, leadership, and adaptability.
“Draw attention to instances where you've proactively solved problems or helped to streamline processes.
In this article, you’ll learn how to write the perfect cover letter to help you land that internal role, and review examples from our cover letter generator that’ll save you time spent writing a cover letter from scratch. Let’s get to it.
Our Top Tips for Writing an Internal Cover Letter
You’re looking to position yourself as a strong candidate with a thorough understanding of the organization and requirements of the role. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when crafting your internal cover letter to help you stand out from the competition.
Step 1: Apply for the role like you would any other
You might be applying for an internal role, but that doesn’t mean you should be lax with your application. You need a memorable cover letter that includes all the key points you’d outline in an external job application, such as:
- Why you’re interested in the role
- Any notable achievements and career successes
- Your personality traits that make you a good fit for the team
Step 2: Start on a strong note
Avoid saving the best for last when writing a cover letter. Hiring managers are pressed for time, so pay special attention to your introduction. This is where you’ll catch their attention. Here are some tips for making a great first impression in your cover letter intro:
- Introduce yourself with your current job title and state the role you’re applying for.
- Share your career goals and passions that align with the requirements of the role you are applying for.
- Mention any relevant qualifications and achievements.
Step 3: State your transferable skills and knowledge
State the skills you’ll bring from your current role that can be applied to the new position, and the relevant knowledge you possess that makes you a great candidate. Showcase your value and highlight your commitment to growth, both for your role and for the company at large.
If you can show them that you have skills and knowledge that can be used to fulfill the new role quickly and efficiently. This puts you ahead of the competition.
Step 4: Use your company knowledge to your advantage
You already know how your employer operates, and likely have insights into how this role fits into the broader business. Use this knowledge to your advantage by stating how your skills can solve specific pain points and achieve core business goals.
By explaining your familiarity with company processes, you’ll demonstrate how much easier it will be for them to onboard you into the new role.
Hiring managers often favor internal candidates for new positions. Here’s why:
- If you already know how the company processes work, onboarding and training times are shorter.
- Internal hires are more cost-effective (costing as much as 1.7x less than external candidates) and come with a reduced time-to-hire. That’s because of the time and money it takes to advertise new roles and conduct background checks and any other vetting procedures.
- Your track record is already easily accessible, and you have already integrated into the company culture.
Step 5: State the name of a colleague who is willing to vouch for you
Another great tip is to include a colleague as a reference to vouch for your work ethic and impact. This could be your manager or co-worker. Hiring managers often need to contact suitable references when vetting candidates. What’s better than someone already working for the company?
Important note: Speak to your manager about your intention to apply for the new position. This shows integrity and maintains honesty and professionalism throughout the hiring process. Once your manager or supervisor is on board with your decision, they will be an invaluable reference and can support you throughout the application process.
Cover Letter for an Internal Position Example
Here’s a professional cover letter example you can adopt to speed up your application process.
Why Does This Cover Letter Work?
The cover letter example provided above creates a solid backbone for an application.
- It starts with an exciting introduction showcasing the eagerness of the applicant to apply for the new role.
- It states key and quantifiable achievements in the applicant’s current role to highlight the value they bring to the table.
- It states the applicant's specific transferable skills that make them fit for the new role.
- It states how the applicant is upskilling to prepare for the new role.
- It states a key organizational goal and how the applicant’s skills can be useful. This is a great example of how to use your knowledge of the company to your advantage.
- It includes the name of an insider who can vouch for the applicant, serving as a vote of confidence.
With our AI cover letter builder and wide range of ready-made, easily customizable templates, applying for that internal role is much easier.
How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internal Position or a Promotion
Internal cover letters differ slightly from those written for external roles but still follow many of the same principles.
1. Follow the Best Practices for a Standard Cover Letter Format
A standard cover letter format includes six core elements: the header, salutation, opening statement, main body, closing statement, and an official sign-off.
The job post should explain whether to include your cover letter as an attachment or as a document. You will usually be guided on file format, but if there is no information provided in the job ad, a PDF is usually best.
- Spacing: Leave a paragraph space under the heading, intro paragraph, main body text, and conclusion.
- Font: Ensure that your cover letter and resume use the same type of font and size. Your cover letter needs to be easily readable and meet the requirements for applicant tracking systems (ATSs). In most cases, this will be point 12 font size, and a standard font such as Calibri or Times New Roman.
- Length: Cover letters should never be longer than one page. Your letter should fall somewhere between 250–400 words, broken up into paragraphs for easier reading.
Don’t forget to proofread your letter thoroughly. Spelling and grammatical errors make you look unprofessional.
2. Start With a Compelling Opening Statement
Your cover letter introduction or opening statement should capture the hiring manager’s attention.
Since this is an internal position cover letter, begin by expressing how excited you are to apply for the new role. Explain how you’ve been preparing for a career pivot while working in your current position.
Experts advise you to:
“Show how your current role has prepared you for this new job, or what extra insights or skills you bring to the table as an internal applicant that give you an advantage over any external hires they’re considering. It can also be valuable to show ways that you’ve made an impact on the company in your current role, or highlight some key accomplishments that demonstrate your value and past successes as an employee.”—Matt Erhard, Managing Partner at Summit Search Group
Your opening statement can also begin with highlighting a specific pain point the organization hopes to solve through the new role and how your skills position you as the best person to solve the problem.
“I am writing to express my interest in the Senior Full Stack Developer position at Sparkles Limited. As a current Full Stack Engineer at Sparkles Limited, I have had the opportunity to work on various projects and contribute to the company’s success. I am excited about the possibility of taking on a more senior role and continuing to make a significant impact on the development of innovative software solutions.”
3. Highlight the Impact You’ve Made
Emphasize your value and the difference you’ve made in the organization. This will help you stand out as a candidate. Talk about what you’ve achieved in your current role and how that makes you a great choice for this new position.
To start, explain the skills, methods, and tools you used to get the required results. Wherever possible, quantify your results with data to make a strong case for how your work contributes to overall business goals.
“During my time at Sparkles Limited, I have been involved in the development of APIs in .NET Core, impacting thousands of students and internal users. I have also implemented software principles such as SOLID and Clean Code, which have been adopted by the entire team.”
Add Some Real-Life Results
To emphasize the impact of your abilities, ensure you add real-life results and data. This could demonstrate how you helped exceed a set target in your current role or how you helped save costs and get even better results than planned.
By stating real-life results and outlining how they impacted the business bottom line, the hiring manager can see how much value you already bring to the table. It also encourages them to think about how much more the business can benefit from your involvement in the new role.
“Additionally, I have contributed to the development of mobile applications using React-Native and C# and have provided documentation and support to facilitate the work of my colleagues.”
“Provide specific, measurable proof of your impact as an employee thus far. The more tangible data that you can point to showing the value you bring to the company, the more you’ll stand out as a candidate.”
4. Expand on How Your Work Experience at the Company has Prepared You for This Role
To make for a strong case on why you’re a perfect fit, indicate how your current position relates to the new role you’re applying for.
To start, state your transferable skills, both hard skills and soft skills. You can also note any specific responsibilities you carry out in your current position that will be needed in the new role. Make sure you’ve cross-checked these against the job description.
In addition, list examples of collaborative projects you worked on that are related to the new position and how they have prepared you for the role.
“Beyond my technical skills, I am a strong communicator and collaborator. I have experience working in cross-functional teams and understand the importance of effective communication and teamwork to deliver successful projects. I am also a web content writer for dev.to and Bit News, where I have written articles on emerging technologies and technology news, reaching a wide audience and demonstrating my ability to explain complex concepts clearly and concisely.”
Share the Qualifications You’ve Gained Over the Period
To strengthen your cover letter, add any relevant training you have under your belt, certifications acquired, and personal projects where you gained additional experience. This demonstrates your commitment to growth.
“Over the past few years, I have honed my skills as a full-stack developer, working with various technologies, including Vue, React, React Native, .NET Core, and SQL (PostgreSQL). I have also gained experience in Agile methodologies, design patterns (TDD, DDD, SOLID), and web design principles (Adobe XD, UX/UI).”
And if you’re applying for a promotion, include details on any leadership experience or skills.
“If you have taken on any leadership roles in your current position that is a great thing to include. This doesn’t need to be a formal leadership position. Demonstrating how you’ve served as an informal leader within your team can also show that you’re ready to take on this responsibility in a more formal capacity.”—Matt Erhard, Managing Partner at Summit Search Group
5. Include an Internal Referral
Including the name of an internal referral who will vouch for you is another crucial part of nailing an internal cover letter. This could be your manager, a colleague, or even an individual in the department you are looking to move into. An internal referral positions you as a reliable and trustworthy candidate who is fully immersed in the organization.
“Another thing you can do to stand out is include a reference from someone in leadership within the company. Having a trusted individual who can vouch for and verify your capability can make a major difference when hiring teams are choosing which candidates to move forward through the process.”
6. Thank the Manager for Their Time
End the letter by thanking the manager for the time they took to review your application. You should also express gratitude for the growth opportunities the company provides.
“Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the prospect of continuing my professional growth at Sparkles Limited and would love the opportunity to continue to contribute to the company’s growth and success.”
Ready to Apply for a Promotion? Use our Cover Letter Template
Now that you’ve settled the basics, it’s time to send in your application for that internal promotion. However, you don’t need to write your cover letter from scratch, especially when you are pressed for time with other work commitments. This is where our cover letter templates come in.
With our ready-to-use cover letter templates, applying for a new role is quick and easy. With just a few tweaks, you can tailor your Rezi cover letter to meet the requirements of any internal role.
Expand Your Knowledge with Our Cover Letter Resources
Knowledge is power, and with expert cover letter knowledge, you can take your career to new heights.
And once you’re ready to get started on the perfect cover letter, you can try Rezi for free today.