You’ve put in the work, you’re qualified, and you’ve proven your dedication. Now you’re ready to get that coveted promotion or title change.
Should be simple, right?
Not exactly. If you’re looking to land a new job within your current company — whether that’s a promotion or a lateral transfer — you may have to write a cover letter for an internal position to formally apply for the role.
Writing a cover letter that highlights your qualifications and convinces management that you’re the best person for the job isn’t easy — especially if you’re competing with external applicants.
We’re here outline how to write a stellar internal cover letter, so you can reel in that promotion you’ve been angling for.
Ready to learn more? Skip to 2:40 in the video below to see our resident career expert Eva explain how to write an effective internal cover letter:
Cover letter for internal position example
Here’s a sample cover letter for an internal position an employee successfully used to get transferred:
Cover letter for internal position example (text version)
Oct 14, 2019
Peabody Supplies Co.
Peabody Supplies Co.
Dear Mrs. Lasker,
As a loyal employee of Peabody, I’m excited to formally apply for the Digital Outreach Coordinator position in the Marketing Department. As you are aware, since starting as a Sales Representative at Peabody two years ago, I’ve quickly mastered the requisite skills for the role, and helped our department exceed annual sales goals. While I’m happy with my current position, working as a Digital Outreach Coordinator is more in line with my long-term career goals, and I feel that I would be an immediate asset to the team.
Since starting my career at Peabody as a Sales Representative, I have demonstrated my ability to learn quickly and exceed expectations. During my tenure, I have developed excellent sales skills, honed my communication skills working closely with a diverse range of customers, and subsequently helped my department generate a 6% increase in profits this quarter.
Additionally, this year I collaborated extensively with the Marketing Department to roll out a new line of kitchen products, giving me relevant hands-on experience with the day-to-day marketing operations.
I’ve read the requirements for the Digital Outreach Coordinator position thoroughly. Although I may have less experience than other candidates, I’m confident that the skills I’ve developed during my time at Peabody, as well as my passion for the work being done here, make me an ideal fit for the role.
I appreciate your time and consideration, and look forward to discussing this opportunity with you at your convenience. My supervisor is also happy to meet with you to elaborate on my performance in the Sales Department, and attest to my qualifications. Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide, and I’d be happy to send it your way.
This sample cover letter for an internal position is effective because it’s concise, positive, and direct.
Kevin expresses gratitude for his current job, highlights his excellent performance, and then addresses how the new job plays into his career goals.
His transfer cover letter also shows management that he’s loyal, and goal-oriented enough to advocate for himself — both attributes of strong employees.
Cover letter for promotion example
Although similar to a general cover letter for an internal position, a cover letter for a promotion differs in two key ways.
First, a cover letter for a promotion specifically emphasizes your higher level experience. For instance, if you’re looking to land a managerial role, provide examples of management experience you’ve acquired as an employee. If you’re aiming for a senior level title, illustrate why you deserve it in your cover letter.
It also must prove you’re prepared to handle more responsibilities in the company.
If you’re only transferring positions, you want to showcase your transferable skills and willingness to learn new things. If you’re going for a promotion, you need to emphasize your readiness for the role, because companies don’t give out better titles and/or money without justification.
Here’s an example cover letter for an internal promotion written by an applicant using a cover letter template:
Cover letter for internal promotion example (text version)
Oct 14, 2019
Peabody Supplies Co.
Peabody Supplies Co.
Dear Mrs. Lasker,
As a loyal employee of Peabody, I’m excited to formally apply for the Sales Manager position in the Marketing Department. As you are aware, since starting as a Sales Representative at Peabody two years ago, I’ve quickly mastered the requisite skills for the role, and helped our department exceed annual sales goals.
Since starting my career at Peabody as a Sales Representative, I have demonstrated my ability to learn quickly and exceed expectations. During my tenure, I developed excellent sales skills, honed my interpersonal abilities, and subsequently helped my department generate a 6% increase in profits this quarter. Additionally, this year has given me the opportunity to sharpen my leadership skills, having successfully onboarded 4 new employees, and assumed management over a small direct sales team.
I’ve read the requirements for the Sales Management position thoroughly, and I’m confident that the skills I’ve gained in my time at Peabody, as well as my passion for the work being done here make me an ideal fit.
I appreciate your consideration and look forward to discussing this opportunity for promotion with you at your convenience. My supervisor is also happy to meet with you to elaborate on my performance in the Sales Department, and will attest to my qualifications. Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide that will help you reach your final decision.
What makes Kevin’s cover letter for promotion stand out is the quick but convincing way he markets his strengths while asserting his qualifications for the target position.
Note that in the cover letter introduction, he immediately emphasizes his gratitude for the opportunities he’s been given, and quickly addresses his overall performance on the job. Then, Kevin details his specific successes, skills, and relevant management experience he’s developed.
These crucial details demonstrate to management that he has the experience necessary to keep up with the demands a promotion would bring, and that he has the drive to excel in the new position.
Our free-to-use cover letter builder can make you a cover letter in as little as 5 minutes. Just pick the template you want, and our software will format everything for you.
How to write a cover letter for an internal position
1. Create a convincing narrative
Your managers are already familiar with you, so skip the introductions and formalities expected in a general cover letter. If you’re unsure of how to properly address your managers in your cover letter, it’s common to use “Dear” followed by your manager’s first name.
Instead, use your internal cover letter as an opportunity to craft a narrative about your experience at the company, your commitment to your job, and how your target position fits into your long-term career goals.
Companies want to keep and reward their existing talent. Show management that not only is hiring you easier, but that you would also excel in the new position, and are excited to grow along with the company.
2. Tie in your previous experience
At the end of the day, an internal cover letter is still a cover letter.
Your goal is to convince an employer that you have the right qualifications not only to get the job done, but to also exceed expectations.
To show employers your full value, showcase specific successes you’ve contributed to while on the job, the soft skills and hard skills you’ve learned, and how you’ve adapted over time.
This can mean slightly different things depending on whether you’re writing a cover letter for an internal job transfer, or an internal promotion cover letter:
If you’re writing a cover letter for promotion
- Showcase experience that shows that you’re competentent, reliable, and have adept leadership skills. Your goal is to convince management that you’re the ideal candidate, and that the experience you’ve gained at your current position gives you the resources to thrive in one with more responsibility.
If you’re writing a cover letter for an internal job transfer
- Highlight any experience or technical skills you have that are relevant to the new position — especially any instances where you’ve collaborated or worked with your target department. Additionally, your experience should demonstrate that you’re adaptable, driven, and passionate about the work you’d be doing in the position you want to be transferred to.
Additionally, note any unique skills required of people in your desired position, and emphasize your competency in those areas.
3. Be specific
Management is already familiar with the work being done at the company. To impress them, be specific.
To communicate your experience to management, highlight your key relevant achievements, and back them up with hard numbers. Your goal is to quantify the contributions you’ve made to the company and its overall success.
Here’s how our sample applicant showcases their role in boosting sales:
Quantifying your achievements is one of the best ways to demonstrate your qualifications in a digestible, interesting way, while also highlighting the role you played in the success of a given task.
4. Show your gratitude
The last thing you want to do is give management the impression you’re only asking for a promotion or transfer because you want more money.
When writing a cover letter for an internal position, you must make it clear that — while you feel you’re suited to the new position — you’re also grateful for the opportunities you’ve had in your current role.
This is also a great opportunity to highlight how you’ve grown since starting at the company. Showcase the hard skills you’ve picked up along the way, and elaborate on how your current job has complemented your long-term career goals.
As an example, note these instances where our sample candidate Kevin emphasizes his gratitude to the company:
Ultimately, your goal should be to show management that not only are you qualified for the new role or promotion, but you’re a loyal employee regardless of whether you get the new position.
However, avoid coming off as groveling or subservient. You want to show management that you’re dedicated to the company, but still confident about your worth and qualifications.
You know how to write a cover letter for an internal position. Now what?
Now that you know how to write a convincing cover letter for an internal position or promotion, it’s time to get to work.
Before you start moving your career forward, be sure your internal cover letter looks as professional as possible with one of our expert-designed, free cover letter templates.
And if you want to make the application process even simpler, try our easy-to-use cover letter builder and AI-powered resume builder. Our state-of-the-art software helps you create an impressive cover letter and resume in minutes — ones that are guaranteed to impress hiring managers and land you that coveted promotion or job interview.