A lot of people will only bring their resume out when it’s time to dust it off and look for a new job with a new employer. 

That’s not the only reason to write a resume, though.

If you have your eye on an internal position that would result in a promotion, a winning resume will increase your odds of success. 

You will already have a few advantages over outside candidates. The first is that you are already there so the company won’t have to worry if you are a good fit for their culture. 

Hopefully, you will also have used time at your employer to network with others in different departments. There is the saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” for a reason. 

Even with those key advantages, you will still need to market yourself as the perfect candidate for the position. 

Before you get started updating your resume, there is some prep work.

What’s Next?

Now is the time to think about what’s next for you in your career. Take the time to define your target job. It will be really challenging to write an effective resume without a clear path. Here are some questions to help you think about short- and long-term goals:

  1. What credentials/education/skills/experience is standard for the position I want?
  2. What do I love most about my current job? What do I want to change most about my current position?
  3. What are my priorities for my next move? Will I put professional over personal wants? How important is salary now? Do I want to transition to a remote position?
  4. Where do I see myself in 5 years?
  5. What qualities do I want from the company I work for?

Informational Interview

Reach out to the person currently in the position you are hoping for if possible. If not, find people online who hold similar jobs you are targeting and request their time for an informational interview.

The purpose of this kind of interview is to ask questions to get a good feel for what the position entails, the day-to-day responsibilities you’d be expected to perform, and what kind of fit you’d be. 

This is also a great way to expand your professional network.

Spend their time, and yours, asking about the company, their career path that brought them to this position, and their role.

Target Your Resume

Browse through the job description for the internal position and at least 4-to 5 other similar positions. Look for words and skills that are common in each listing. Get those words and skills you find into your resume, if it accurately describes you.

A lot of times resumes are written reverse chronologically. When it comes time for a promotion, consider highlighting your skills and accomplishments that are directly related to the position you are aiming for. 

For example, let’s assume you are part of a team and trying to land the team lead position. In your current role, you cannot show that you’ve led or supervised a team before. A position you held 8 years ago, though, included leading a team of 4 people. If you bury that in your resume, it’s possible to be overlooked. It would be best to put that information toward the top!

Now that you’ve built a good foundation in your career planning, let’s look at what to take into consideration when writing a promotion-based resume.

Be Concise, Be Unique

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Were my last couple of positions similar and I’ve created a lot of redundancy?
  • Is my resume more than the standard 2-3 pages? Is it barely even 1 page?
  • Can I copy and paste my summary into anyone else’s resumes and no changes would need to be made?
  • Does my work experience read like a job description or is it results-oriented?
  • Do I have relevant skills or experiences that I’m not showing?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ve got a resume rewrite ahead of you.

The best chance you’ll have of climbing any ladder is to create a resume that is focused on the most relevant qualifications that will show you are ready for more responsibilities. 

The first area of your resume is where all this hyper-focused information needs highlighting. 

Skill Alignment

Write a list of any and all skills you have. Think outside of the box, too. Going back to our goal of becoming team lead, maybe you have no work history of leading, but you do have experience organizing a group of friends into a community softball team. That is a useful skill to list as you scheduled practices, managed equipment, and communicated with diverse members. 

Now take that long list and weed out any irrelevant skills to the position you are targeting. If you are aiming to be a team lead and one of the skills you listed is Adobe Photoshop, that’s a skill you can leave out. 

Describe Recent Training

There is a plethora of free educational resources available. Considering taking a short-term course to give you the skills and achievements you need for the promotion. If you need financial management in your new leadership position, complete a course or two on the subject and include it in your resume. 

Did you receive some on-the-job training that is outside your usual duties? If relevant, another achievement you can add!

Demonstrate Work Ethic

We’ve all gotten disenchanted with the idea of if you work hard, you’ll get noticed. I hope you are putting your best foot forward, but the hiring manager will likely only know mistakes you’ve made as an internal candidate.

Use your resume to show your “above and beyond” attitude. Show that you are a hard worker that embraces opportunities. 

Connect with Resume Assassin!

Reach out to learn how Resume Assassin can help you meet your career goals and write you a resume that sets you up for that promotion! Contact me today! www.resumeassassin.com or mary@resumeassassin.com

Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mary-southern