Internally Ever After - How do you Compare to Internal Candidates?

Posted by Amanda Wencel on Friday, April 22nd, 2016

I had a call from a recent resume client that was extremely frustrated after interviewing for two separate companies and finding out that both hired internally.  His question to me was "If they are just going to hire internally anyway, why put external candidates through the process only to be disappointed?"

Even though some companies post externally only to go through the motions, most companies are open to all possibilities.  Often, hiring managers actually look external because they know what they have internally, and are looking to find an even better match to their open position.  Being an external candidate definitely has challenges, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't still apply.  The goal is to be as prepared as you can, to prove that you have something to offer that internal candidates may not.


Internal candidates do have an edge with understanding current company culture, organizational procedures, hands on departmental experience, and personal relations within the organization.   You need to spend time researching the company in order to show:

  • keen interest in the company and desire to work there

  • skills that exactly match the job description making for a smooth and quick transition into the position

  • accomplishments that would bring a fresh perspective or make a positive impact to producing results

"Your appeal to employers relates directly to your understanding of the myriad factors affecting change, growth and advances in the world around you.  The better informed you are, the more you understand the changes taking place, the more able you'll be to position yourself to best advantage."[1]


Just like in advertising or marketing, you need to establish what sets you apart from your competition.  Why should they invest in you over someone else?  Being able to provide information about your abilities and experiences that can add value to the work culture, improve productivity or increase revenue is crucial.

Determining your unique selling points:

Talents -

  • Are you an expert at something that could provide benefit to the company?
  • Are you proficient with computer software that the company already uses?

Knowledge -

  • Are you current on your knowledge with regards to industry and market trends?
  • Have you learned new industry information (from conferences, workshops, networking, etc.) that you could share?

Experiences -

  • Have you experienced challenges that you were able to perservere and solve?
  • Have you been recognized or awarded for projects that you've been part of?

If a company is willing to invest the time and money to open the posting up to external candidates, there is a definite chance they would be looking for the type of skills that you can offer!

If you need assistance in defining your value proposition and unique selling points, contact me and I would be happy to help!

Amanda Wencel

Career Transition Consultant/Certified Resume Strategist


[1] Janis Foord Kirk, Survivability - Career Strategies for the New World of Work, (Kirkfoord Communications Inc.: 2002) p. 137.



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Blog Archive

Resume Writing Blog Series - Part One: Summary Statement by Amanda Wencel

Part One of Four

Internally Ever After - How do you Compare to Internal Candidates? by Amanda Wencel

Find your unique selling points...

Self-Assessment - the Starting Point by Amanda Wencel

Panic often hits when job/career changes happen!

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