Many positions and new job opportunities are internal. According to Time Magazine, an increasing number of companies are looking internally first to fill their talent gaps. Organizations like to foster leadership from within where possible. It’s great for employee morale and also allows familiarity with the candidate as well as organizational knowledge. Here are three ways to win an internal job application:

Create buy-in

Talking first to your current and (potentially) future bosses is important. Not only is a frequently a requirement, but an early conversation with your (future) supervisor also allows you to gather intelligence about the role and collect feedback about how they see your fit within the organization. Plus it offers an opportunity to establish whether your candidacy would be well received or make everyone feel awkward; If this kind of ask wouldn’t be well-received in your organization then consider whether or not you want to be there. If that’s the case, see if you can identity another peer or colleague who’s familiar with the role and could give you an honest appraisal of the suitability of your application.

Align yourself

Sometimes it is tempting to apply for everything. Don’t be that person. Word gets around and it can quickly deflate your chances of serious consideration. Instead, take a hard look at the posting and match your transferable skills and specific experiences to the role. Is it a pretty good fit or a long shot? Lifehacker’s got some good advice for figuring that out. If it is a long shot, consider taking a more informal route to investigate whether it is really a good call to apply. Also consider mapping out where you have gaps and try to take on projects within your current role that’ll fill those holes. That way, even if the timing isn’t right on this job, you’re setting yourself up for success in the future.

Think like an outsider

Not sure what we mean? Read this. Then make sure you don’t get cocky. Sure, you likely have an advantage as the internal person, but keep in mind there could be other internal candidates also in the mix. Plus, you may be faced-off with some really stellar external folks for whom the new position is a lateral step or even a step down. Competing against someone who has already done a similar role can be challenging, even if you are a known and beloved quantity in your company or organization. Finally, instead of walking into the interview cold, come in prepared and thoughtful. Prepare with specific examples of your success and avoid getting too overly familiar. Be professional and ace that interview like a boss.

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