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Internal vs External Candidates: Benefits to Both


Robby

If you’re looking to get a new job here in Central Indiana, you’re either applying for a position within your current employer, or looking at a different company entirely.

In either case, you need to sell the benefit of being an internal candidate versus being an external candidate, or vice-versa. Here’s how.

Office Building
© Flickr User Beau Considine

Focus on What You Know

If you’ve been with business for years, you’ve got lots of expertise with internal systems, past projects, and you have relationships with your fellow colleagues. Those are all a major plus when looking to make a move to a different department or even just a promotion.

If you’re applying for a job with a place where you have never worked, you have the advantage of a new perspective. You bring experiences in working in different ways that the company may not know about. You’ve got fresh ideas and most importantly, none of the baggage that currently exists.

Focus on What Others Don’t Know

As a current employee, you’re competing with people who don’t have your background. In addition to their ignorance of areas where you are an expert, the external candidates may have holes in their knowledge that would have been vetted had they been employed already. You’re already well-rounded; they may not be.

But if you want to become a current employee, you’re competing with people who may be behind on the latest technologies and techniques. You’ve been to industry conferences but haven’t seen their business represented. They may be out of date.

Focus on the Diversity

Here’s what’s almost always good: variation. Even if you’re keeping the same desk but getting a new title and new responsibilities, you’re going to mix things up at the new level. And if you’re brand new to the business, you are a diverse point of view.

Focus on the Value

Whether you are an internal or external candidate, what matters most is the value you’ll bring to the company. I’m not just talking about how great you’ll be, but the measurable, financial impact you can offer if you get the job.

Do what you need to do to stand apart. And—good luck!

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, March 17 2015 » Corporate Culture, Leadership

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