How to improve your chances as an internal hire at DePaul

Ben Craig
December 07, 2017

Perhaps you have decided to take the next step in your career and a new job listing at DePaul looks like it would be an ideal fit. Even though you haven't updated your resume, drafted a cover letter, or done a formal interview in a while, your position as a current DePaul employee is certain to help your chances, right? Internal applicants have some distinct advantages, but it's important not to take your candidacy for granted. You've got to do the preparation and learn everything you can about the new position just like the thousands of external applicants who also apply for DePaul jobs. 

As an internal candidate, you know the culture, mission and expectations of the university. HR's Talent Acquisition team makes sure that all internal job candidates are reviewed and considered for open positions and all qualified candidates are passed along to the hiring manager. The team prioritizes internal hires when presenting applicants to hiring managers.

Despite the positives of applying as an internal applicant, it's important to put effort into the process.  Current DePaul staff compete with a broad pool of talent beyond the university. Talent Acquisition receives more than 22,000 applications per year, making competition heavy for many open positions. It's vital to treat the interview like a brand new opportunity and prepare as if you were starting from scratch with DePaul.

In conjunction with Staff Council, the Talent Acquisition team also hosts Career Development Workshops to help current DePaul staff get ready for that next job interview or potential promotion. The one-day program is designed to help attendees prepare for the hiring process and provides them with knowledge, skills and coaching to empower them to achieve their career goals at DePaul. 

"The workshop was most beneficial because I got to meet one-on-one with an HR professional," explains Katie Schiller, the assistant director of advising in the College of Computing and Digital Media. "Janie Burrel was very helpful when reviewing my resume and cover letter."

HR strongly recommends attending one of the Career Development Workshops presented by Talent Acquisition. Watch your Outlook inbox for more information about the next workshop in the spring in the Loop. Space can be very limited. If you are unable to attend the one-day session HR has outlined some helpful tips for internal applicants below.

Tips from the Career Development Workshops

Resume and cover letter - Get assistance reviewing and updating your resume and cover letter.

Stay focused - Read the job specifications carefully. Apply only to the positions that best suit your unique qualifications.

Do research - Know what's happening with the department and that specific job. Research work of the hiring manager and potential co-workers. Keep up to date with current events within the department on their website. Research any grants that they may be working on. Research any professional material you can find. The more you know about the new job, the more engaged you will appear to a hiring manager. 

Give examples - Perhaps you can give yourself a homework assignment from the prospective position and do a little work. If the position requires writing, do some research and come in with an example of what you could do in that position.

Interview prep - Be ready for the tough questions, including typical situational and behavioral questions that are likely to come up. Have relevant examples ready of how you've performed in the past. Review the job description to determine what questions are likely to come up in the interview.