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Transferring to another department can give you a change of pace or it can prepare you for future career advancement. Whatever the reason, you still need to convince the hiring manager and, possibly, the human resources leader that moving an internal candidate to the job is a better decision than hiring from the outside. If your company has a promotion-from-within policy, it's even better to justify why granting you a transfer is ideal and aligns with the company philosophy.
Review the job posting and compare it to your current job description and your resume. Determine how many of the job duties and tasks are identical or similar to the ones you currently perform. For example, if both jobs require written communication skills and computer proficiency, those are transferable skills that you can use to demonstrate that you're a suitable candidate for moving to another department. Likewise, if the job you want requires a background in accounting and the job you had before joining the company included accounting and bookkeeping duties, highlight work experience that correlates to the job requirements.
Review your workplace policy concerning transfers. In some organizations, you have to be in your current position for at least six months before you can seek a transfer. Ensure you meet the criteria, such as requisite skills and company policies. Ignoring the company's policy on transfers will work against you because it will look like you have little regard for your employer's practices or that you're asking for a favor by asking for consideration even though you don't meet the criteria.
Begin your request letter like you would a typical cover letter with an introduction that states who you are, what you do, the position you want and the materials and information on which you base your request. In this case, include your current position or title, department, how long you've been employed, the position to which you want to be transferred and documentation that supports your request. For example, you could say, "This is a written request to transfer to the Coordinator II position in the accounting department, Job Requisition no. 1010. I'm currently a Coordinator II in the human resources department and have been in this position for 18 months. My hire date at ABC Company was January 2010; I started as a Coordinator I and worked my way up to the level II position. For your review, I've attached my updated resume and transfer form."
Because you're looking to transfer, it's likely that you're seeking a lateral role. A lateral move means you aren't looking for a promotion -- you just want a comparable job in another department. Showcase the similarities between your current job and the job in another department and complement your statement with how you would bring value to the department. The manner in which you applied for your current job -- explaining how you would add value to the organization -- is appropriate for transferring to another department.
Describe your individual achievements as well as those you and your team accomplished; employers recognize employees who can work independently and as a team member. Show your versatility and ability to hit the ground running since you already know company policies and procedures. This is the way to differentiate yourself from external candidates. Conclude your letter with a promise to follow up on your request and your business and personal contact information.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.
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