Positioning Yourself for a Promotion: A Fresh Approach to Resume Updates

Positioning Yourself for a Promotion: A Fresh Approach to Resume Updates was originally published on Ivy Exec.

When the opportunity for an internal promotion arises, the path to success may seem familiar, yet it requires a unique approach.

Unlike crafting a resume for an external job hunt, where you present your achievements to an unfamiliar audience, an internal promotion involves showcasing your growth and accomplishments to an employer who’s already well-acquainted with your work history.

You hold a distinct advantage; your organization knows you and your alignment with its culture. Moreover, your commitment to staying within the company is evident. How can you effectively update your resume for this pivotal moment?

Your updated resume should serve as a compelling reminder of your journey since assuming your current role.

✅ Highlighting Your Journey

“Many individuals assume that their long tenure with an employer guarantees their accomplishments are well-known. They believe that streamlining processes, boosting sales, or reducing employee turnover speaks for itself. However, the only way to ensure recognition is to convey these achievements,” advises career coach Annette Richmond.

Here, we’ll provide valuable tips for updating your resume for an internal promotion.

✅ Tailor the Resume to the Promotion

As you tailor your resume for any external position, you should align it with the internal promotion you seek.

Highlight successes in your current role that are most relevant to the position you aspire to. If you’re eyeing a Vice President of Communications role, emphasize your significant achievements in that capacity.

Consider adding a “Communications Experience” section where you detail relevant positions, training, and education. This targeted approach reinforces your suitability for the role.

✅ Prioritize Your Current Role

While you can draw examples from your work history, focus primarily on your current position when aiming for an internal promotion. Your employer hired you based on your prior experience, so emphasize your accomplishments in your present role.

Highlight leadership roles, notable challenges you’ve conquered, and any recognition you’ve received. Internal promotions often attract numerous internal candidates, making it essential to distinguish yourself from external applicants, colleagues, and peers.

✅ Be Specific

Unlike an external-facing resume, your internal resume can contain specific information unavailable to external organizations. Use client names or accounts to illustrate your contributions to high-profile projects.

Consider instances where you built relationships, collaborated with cross-company teams, negotiated better terms with vendors, or worked with other departments to resolve company-wide issues. Be specific about how you improved company-specific processes or methods.

✅ Keep a Record of Your Accomplishments

A wise practice is to update your resume every six months, regardless of immediate promotional prospects or external job searches.

Successes accumulate over time, and what you achieved six months ago may no longer represent your most impressive feats.

Maintain a record of your accomplishments, including details about the client, challenges, and quantifiable achievements. Utilize the PAR (Problem, Action, Results) formula:

  • Describe the Problem or Challenge you tackled in your leadership or management capacity.
  • Outline the Action you took to address the issue, detailing your plan and its execution.
  • Present the Results of your actions, including measurable outcomes, wherever possible.


Updating your resume for an internal promotion may seem unusual, but securing your desired role is crucial. Treat this process much like you would if seeking an external opportunity.

Reiterate your most remarkable accomplishments, emphasizing the skills and competencies sought for the new position. Highlight what sets you apart from other applicants, whether internal or external. Remember, even with familiarity, the hiring committee may not recall the successes of your current role as vividly as you do. Your updated resume should serve as a potent reminder of your journey and achievements.

By following these guidelines, you can make a compelling case for your well-deserved promotion within the organization.

By Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec is your dedicated career development resource.