How do I gain the experience and become a serious candidate for a senior internal role?

It can be tough out there. Sometimes you know you have the knowledge and skills to be a huge asset to a company in a different role, but won’t be considered for the position, because you appear to lack the experience. So, how do you make yourself a serious applicant?

  • Make sure that you are doing your official job well, even if you are unhappy in your current position. If you are not putting in 100%, your manager and other teams likely won’t consider you for a new position. Even if you don’t like your current role, you have to put the effort in or others won’t trust the quality of your work.
  • Look for gaps in your experience and volunteer for related projects when possible. Look at the job description (and similar job descriptions) for the job you want. Check for holes in your experience that would prevent you from being considered. Then think of how you can get involved or volunteer for projects at work to gain that experience. If it isn’t an option to get that experience at work, look for volunteer opportunities to gain that experience.
  • If education and certifications are a minimum requirement, check your company’s policy for paying for relevant classes and certifications. If it is a larger company, they may even offer relevant classes on site that can build your skill set.
  • Connect with your manager, HR team or mentor with an honest conversation. Proceed with caution here as if you are working with a toxic person or in a toxic environment, this may not be a good approach.  Assuming you are working in a positive environment, let your manager know you want to build on your experience. Make sure to come with ideas, and projects you would like to volunteer for. Also, ask if there are any relevant projects you can take more of a leadership role in. Or, ask if you can get more involved in a cross-departmental project.


The big thing here is don’t just wish for a role, and think about “what if’s.” Take action! Take that first step, then take a second and a third. 

The Thank You Note

Recorded Interview Tips