Selling Yourself Internally

bennotciedYou are ready for your next career challenge and would prefer to advance within your current organisation. BUT…how do you survive and thrive in an organisation and outperform your external and internal competition? How do you prepare and present yourself as the applicant of choice?

Over the years I have worked with 100’s of individuals, supporting them to achieve their career goals and I have come to recognise that many internal applicants do not prepare for promotions and new job opportunities within their existing firm to the same level as they would for an external role.

Below, I have provided you with some Key Questions to ask yourself to help to understand the importance of ‘Selling Yourself Internally’.

Are you really prepared for that new challenge or promotion?

Many Internal applicants pay less attention to the content and presentation of their CV and fail to even update it on a regular basis, what they fail to realise is that this is their first opportunity to make a great first impression. Internal applicants can be known to hold back on information during interviews with regards to their skills and experience as they can often feel awkward when selling themselves to someone that they already know. Promote yourself in the same way that other applicants will be doing and provide the same amount of detail as you would for any external role.

Do you follow-up after your interviews?

Internal applicants forget to follow-up partly because they do not have a recruitment agency calling them for their feedback but also because they don’t feel it necessary, they are unaware of the importance of follow-up. Remember that this is an opportunity for you to show that you are interested in the role and also to assure the interviewer of your suitability and where you can add value. 

What value add do you bring to your employer?

Your existing and transferable skills are what make you marketable and they will provide you with an advantage over your competition. Your transferable skills are essential to your career success and will ease your transition into a new role. The more options you can offer in terms of skills, knowledge and experience, the higher the probability of being in demand.

What are you looking to achieve?

Working with individuals who know exactly what direction they want their career to take is far easier than someone who is flexible and unsure. We can sometimes assume that by being flexible we will be presented by a multitude of opportunities, in reality it’s those who are specific with regards to their requirements that stand out and remembered.

Do you ask the questions?

Many individual’s feel that the only option they have to progress and achieve their goals is to leave and join a new organisation. When moving externally individuals are often offered similar roles that utilise existing skills and experience, it’s rare to secure a completely new challenge. Find the confidence to approach and speak with your current managers about your goals and aspirations and you could well progress quicker without having to leave.

Do you have a mentor?

Seeking advice from others is a sign of confidence not weakness. Select a mentor, one or more individuals who are willing to pass on their knowledge, skills and wisdom and provide you with honest feedback and advice on your career. You will gain valuable views on your leadership skills in addition to developing useful networking contacts. Become a mentor yourself and seek out mentees who can benefit from your knowledge and experience.

How often do you ask for Feedback?

Asking for feedback for your work is vital for your career progression and in general people don’t do it, why? Because they are too scared, they fear what might be said…we can all learn from both positive and negative feedback.

Are you visible or invisible?

What you know and who you know can certainly help but I also believe that who knows you is also an important factor to career success. Being visible and available is critical to building your brand. It’s something you must do every day so that you can attract opportunities and progress in your career. In order to be successful it’s important for YOU to promote and sell yourself within the organisation.

Are you networking?

Building your network takes time and effort and means speaking with people who don’t even know that you exist within the organisation. It’s important for you to utilise your existing contacts to help you to build new relationships. After all, the larger the network you develop the greater the probability of progress in your career.

Do you have a succession plan?

The most productive approach to moving on within your career is to implement a succession plan.  Who can you mentor and train up to fill your shoes when you move on? In my experience the best leaders are those who feel no threat towards an individual who performs a job better than they do.

Do you invest in YOU?

In order to gain promotion or the recognition you deserve then embracing personal growth and showing an employer willingness to develop personally is essential. Do you need to build on a particular skill? Would you be more successful in your job if you had a professional qualification behind you? Identify what you want or need to learn to improve your worth. Get yourself in the habit of adapting to the situation so you can be ready to contribute.

“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

Tom Peters

A Corporate Mentor for the ‘Internal Job Market’ who offers employees an edge over their internal and/or external competition. With over 15 years’ experience, Nikki educates professional people to build on their personal brand, to sell themselves in the content of their CV and interview technique and to overcome personal barriers to fully recognise their strengths and achievements. Connect with Nikki on LinkedIn   or Twitter: @Nikkihutchuk


About the author

Nikki Hutchison, founder of Chilli Pepper Global advising you on every aspect of the job seeking process guiding you step by step whether you are looking to move internally or externally.

Related Posts