Applying for promotion hypothetical question

Let’s say you were applying for promotion up to your immediate boss’s level and you know that your application is going to go directly to your boss & his boss & they will be interviewing candidates plus they are both people you know well/have worked with for a while
would you:

a) write your covering letter as if you were a random applicant
b) write your covering letter from the point of view of your existing professional relationship with your bosses/ your work within the department

or c) other (please state)

  • a)
  • b)
  • c)

0 voters

really struggling here

basically they’re creating a new team in our department and looking for a team manager to manage about 25 people doing the job I currently do but I don’t know what to write because it all seems so obvious to the people I’m writing it to - like I’m telling them stuff they already know as if they’re stupid/I’m patronising them


Approach it as if it’s an external job but obviously make sure you reference your current role/experience and how that positions you for this job, along with your skills etc. I’ve interviewed internal candidates and find it best when they treat it properly and a proper cover letter and CV makes it easier to tick the boxes


The second bit of this, with no reference to the first bit tbh (If I’ve understood what you meant)

Yeah I’ve ticked A bit it’s a bit of A and B. Mention your current role/work, but not about your relationship to your boss or anything. Even if not intended it could be seen as overfamiliar, and if really badly done, coercive


yeah, I meant professional relationship. It’s fundraising and quite a results driven job so the department head knows every last little statistic of my performance and methodology and so on, so it’s just really weird writing a letter in which there is basically nothing in it that he doesn’t already know

definitely hint that you know about your bosses affair


Major on how you could do your boss’s job way better.

A lot of your key selling points for this job will come from your experience in your present role, so no matter how obvious what you are writing may sound, you need to get it all down. Good luck!!!


indeed - this is another small problem area as to how to approach - there are currently two teams, they’re creating a third. The manager of my team, the manager of the other team and the manager of the new team (me) will therefore be required to integrate & share results/strategies and so I need to write something about how (let’s use pseudonyms) Johan, Pernilla and I already have an effective working relationship and how much I’ve learned from their guidance and how much Johan has already trusted me to steer the team in his absence and so on, without it sounding like arrogance or arse-kissing

it’s a nightmare

“In my spare time, I enjoy badminton, running, and those ridiculous frozen coffee things”

(Can’t remember the joke properly)

I hear you.

tbh i’ve no fucking idea what you’re on about here

I’ve found the reference (it was the first reply when @NoahVale stumbled upon one of his bosses having a snog with one of his colleagues in Starbucks)


Just like to point out that I don’t work in Starbucks

1 Like

oh shit you got sacked over it?? :cry:


Mostly this.

Depends on whether having strong relationships with other teams is part of the job spec (which it was for mine when I got the job internally). If not, write the letter formally and professionally, and rather than talking about relationships, talk about your knowledge of existing processes and structures, and frame it by talking about your ability to hit the ground running if you were eventually successful.


good advice

I wonder what the Swedish idiom for ‘hit the ground running’ is - must look that up


yeah, good advice. I had a little sit down with them each individually and did just that last week. It was very useful.
Still have to apply through the official HR channel though. The other team leader even said to me that they should have just asked me directly to head up the new team …which was a nice compliment…but it’s all very formal & bureaucratic so it has to be advertised externally etc.

So in a way it already feels like I’ve had my interview, which makes the contents of this letter seem even extra obvious in light of that.

I think I know how to balance it all now and I guess it will just be a question of who I’m up against if someone already in a similar role is applying from another org or if anyone else from the two existing teams is also looking for a promotion.

Think I’m in with a pretty good shout though


thanks fella

got my interview tomorrow