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How to Write a Letter of Interest for a Promotion

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If an opportunity for promotion opens up at your workplace -- or if you're aiming to propose your own promotion -- take your "letter of interest" as seriously as you would with any cover letter you might write for any other job. The process, then, involves researching the job and convincing your employer that you're qualified for the promotion.

Do Your Research

The first step: understanding what the job entails, or how you could serve in an advanced role in the company. As a current employee, you have a unique advantage in that you may even be able to talk to the person currently in the position you want -- or in a similar one -- about what to expect, what skills are absolutely necessary, and how to add value or growth in a new role. It's also helpful to talk to the human resources officer or hiring manager -- without bugging her too much -- who wrote any existing job posting to find out what skills are essential to the job and to glean any inside information you can about the position. And of course, read the job posting carefully to find out the procedures for applying and to whom to address the letter.

Introduce Yourself

The hiring manager might recognize your name on the letter, but don't skip the formalities here. Address the letter using "Dear Mr." or "Dear Ms.," and then state your intentions in the opening line. For example, write "I am writing to express my interest in X position in X department." If there isn't a current opening for which you're applying, change that up slightly and say "I am writing to express my interest in taking on more responsibility within the company." Then remind the addressee of who you are, stating your current title and how long you've worked with the company. For promotions that aren't listed, state the nature of the promotion you want.

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State Your Qualifications

The middle section of a cover letter is traditionally the one in which candidates talk about what makes them worthy of the position or promotion, and what's in it for the employer. Use the research you've done about the position -- or about more advanced roles within the company -- to do just that over the next several paragraphs. For example, being a company insider means you may already be aware of the company's upcoming change in branding -- which means you can talk about your ideas for making it even better, or how your background working in the company's marketing department will help you add even more value in the new position. If you've made significant contributions to the company, mention them. Even though you're already working for the company, don't assume the hiring managers will remember your successes.

Sign Off and Submit

At the end of the letter, state your intention to keep growing with the company and your enthusiasm for the opportunity to move up. Then sign the letter cordially -- and don't forget to include your full contact information either at the top or bottom of the letter. Send the letter via the channels indicated on the job posting, but also consider delivering a copy in person to the manager or human resources officer in charge of hiring for the position. If you haven't already made your presence known during the research phase, this special delivery can be your chance to leave a good impression. That said, don't bother that manager or HR person every time you see them, reminds Johnny Bravo of the Career Attraction website. Give her a chance to respond in her own time.

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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