Applying for an internal vacancy: just chatting, right?

It’s time for a new challenge, preferably at your current club. And you’re already in – they already know what you have to offer! Right? Whether you want to continue to grow in your current role or enter a completely different field: applying internally is a whole new ball game. But fear not! With these tips from TOPdesk recruiter and talent lead Luke, you’ll be better equipped than your internal competitors.

Your current role has run its course

“I’m ready for the next step. It’s time for something new.” Everyone recognizes that feeling. Including me! Both personally and among my own talents. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re performing your current tasks on autopilot. Envisioning your next career step – or even your dream job 10 years from now – is very healthy. The challenge should be: how do you get there? And what intermediate steps will help you get on the right track? An internal job vacancy can be your ideal intermediate step or the top of that proverbial mountain. And if you want to maximize your chances of beating the competition, be sure to read my tips!

1. (Fore)knowledge is power, so get started!

Found a fantastic vacancy? Then first sit down with your talent lead and talk about your chances. Personally, I’m always as honest as I can be with my talents when it comes to their chances. The information may not always be pleasant, but it’s actually always instructive. Does your talent lead also think the vacancy is something for you? Great! Time for your concrete action plan.

Find out who’ll be doing the selecting, who your new team members will be, and arrange some informal talks about your dream role. Don’t lay it on too thick: “What will you ask at the job interview?” No, no. You know that by now, right? Instead, ask about the characteristics of the ideal candidate. What competencies are important? What kind of work experience matters? Find out if you have enough fire power for a promising letter and that your letter will actually count.

2. Go for a short, to-the-point letter

Whenever I receive a long application letter, I have to smile. Not that they’re bad, but for internal vacancies they’re really unnecessary. If you’ve filled up two pages, you can probably cut out more than just a few words. Sure, a good cover letter stands out, but when you’re applying internally, many colleagues already know you. Put your energy into a concise letter that mentions all your relevant work experience and competencies. Save your fire power for the interview itself! That’s where you’ll see immediately how people react, and you can give an example that fits much better into the flow of the interview.

3. Seize your moment in the job interview

The time has come for your job interview! The most important moment. I’ve already read your CV, no worries there. And if I want to know more about it, I’ll ask. You could be sitting at the table as the absolute favourite candidate or the biggest underdog. How do you make the most out of your situation? Easy-peasy: thanks to all your preparatory work, you obviously have watertight examples from your glittering career ready and waiting. That means my tip is somewhat simple: prepare your examples well. It really helps. Also take a deep breath. Nerves are normal, but try to conquer them.

And then…

After your interview, the waiting begins. The most nerve-racking time, right? Fortunately, at TOPdesk we think it’s important that you get something out of your application, whether you get the job or not. Learn from the feedback you get, even if you’ve landed your new dream job. Did you miss out? Then understand that a rejection is never personal – it has nothing to do with who you are. In addition, you’ve now got an excellent temperature reading of your career. Where are your growth opportunities? What roles might be a better fit for you?

What now – wait for your next dream vacancy? There’s no need! At TOPdesk, we always appreciate open applications for certain roles. We’re constantly looking for good, new talent leads, for example. So don’t wait for that one dream vacancy to come around – take your fate into your own hands instead. Fortune favours the bold! Work on your self-development and opportunities will definitely come your way.

Read more