How To Write A Transfer Request Letter And Email (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Feb. 15, 2022
Articles In Life At Work Guide

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For those who are relocating, or just looking for new responsibilities in a new location, transferring is a great option to look into. If you love your current employer, or if you have put in a considerable time investment into this organization, internal transfers are a great way to keep your place at your company in a new location.

It is always a good idea to check with your employer about the possibility of a transfer if you are moving, as it can take the stress out of finding a new job in a new city. Discuss your options with your supervisor or with the human resources department to find out more about available roles at your location of choice. You may even be eligible for a relocation package.

It also helps to be communicative about this decision early on. You want to make sure that the company is informed about your plans so that, by the time you send your formal transfer request letter, they have been expecting it.

If you need help putting together a great formal transfer request letter, look no further. In this article, we will cover the basics of what goes into transfer request letters and emails. We will also provide a template and example letter at the end to aid in your writing process.

What Is a Transfer Request Letter?

A transfer request letter, or transferring letter, is an official document written by an organization’s employee requesting to be placed in a position at another office location within the same organization.

Employees typically address these letters to their supervisors or their human resources departments. The letters contain information on the employee’s request and reasons why the recipient should grant this request.

Employees write transfer request letters for varying reasons. They may be looking for new, more advanced roles, especially after company mergers and acquisitions. Or the employee may be relocating but still looking to work within the same organization. In some cases, you might be working for a company you love but with a boss or team you hate.

Many organizations are excited to do what they can to retain current employees, and transferring is a realistic option for many. Transfer request letters are often required as part of a formal process of requesting a transfer, and being able to effectively write one increases the chances of a successful transfer.

In a perfect scenario, your organization will have an open spot to fill in the location you are moving to. In these scenarios, there may even be a separate internal application process. Transferring to locations that do not have open positions within your qualifications is more difficult, but not impossible. Especially if you have a compelling letter.

Parts of a Transfer Request Letter

In your transfer request letter, you will need to include all of the following parts in roughly this order:

  • Header and greeting. If you are sending in a physical letter, the first thing that is going to appear on this letter will be your full contact information, as well as the name of your recipient and the address of your workplace.

    After this will be the word “Dear,” followed by either “Mr./Ms./Mx.” and the recipient’s last name, or the recipient’s first name if you have a friendlier relationship.

  • Why you are writing. After your greeting, you will begin your letter with a statement on your desire to transfer, and the position and/or location you would like to transfer to. You should also describe briefly why you are looking to transfer to a new position.

  • Supporting evidence. Similar to a cover letter but a bit less involved, you will want to use the body of the transfer letter to give supporting information on why your transfer is a good idea.

    Detail your experience with and dedication to this particular company, and present some compelling examples of what you would bring to the table along with your key accomplishments.

  • Conclusion. Be sure to close your letter with gratitude. You should thank the reader for their time, and you may also want to consider expressing gratitude for the great team you have worked with and the experiences you have had. Include a complimentary closing such as “sincerely,” or “regards,” to professionally end the letter.

  • Additional Documents. Mention any additional documents and be sure to attach them with the letter. This will include an up-to-date resume, and any other documents you would like to have considered in your transfer decision.

Tips for Writing a Transfer Request Letter

To increase your chances of success in writing your transfer letter, first consider the situation you are in from all sides. Do your research, and organize your planning. Think about why you are moving or wanting to transfer, and consider the timeline of this decision.

Also consider why your employer would want to agree to this transfer, what possible benefits it may bring to them. If there is no job currently open and available for you to transfer to, you may need to think extra hard about this. Getting these facts and details sorted out will help you compellingly build your letter.

Writing a great job transfer request letter is very similar to writing a great cover letter, considering that they are serving the same basic function. Now that you have been able to get your foot in the door with this company, consider the needs of this company and how you have been able to most effectively utilize your skills to meet these needs.

However, do not assume you have this in the bag simply because you have already had a chance to work with this company. Use your established rapport to your advantage, but keep in mind that you still need to be convincing and courteous.

Transfer Request Emails Formatting Differences

  1. Do not include a formal header. Emails have distinct formatting differences from physical letters. Though letters contain your contact information and the information of the receiver at the beginning, emails do not. Instead, just begin your email with a formal greeting.

  2. Use a relevant subject line. The subject line of your email should give a brief description of what the letter is, for ease of organization. So, in this case, your subject line should indicate that this is a transfer request letter. You may also want to include your full name in the subject line.

  3. Keep it professional. Even though you likely know the recipient of your letter well, you will still want to keep the email relatively formal. Remember that this is a statement of your desire to land a new job, and you need to present your best most professional self. Always use the correct formatting of greeting and closing, follow a clear objective, and proofread.

  4. Put contact information at the bottom. After your signature, include all relevant contact information so that any recipient will be able to easily reach out to you and respond to your request. Include email address, phone number, and any other way you would like to be contacted.

Transferring Letter Template

[Your full name]
[Your home address]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]

[Date the letter was sent]

[Full name of recipient]
[Recipient’s job title]
[Organization name]
[Organization address]

Dear [recipient’s name],

I am writing to formally request consideration for a transfer from my current role as [your current position] at [organization name] to [position you would like to transfer to] at the [city and state or just city of office you would like to transfer to] office of [organization name]. I am requesting this transfer because [reason you are wanting to transfer/reason you are moving].

I have greatly appreciated my time working for [organization name], and I have been able to grow my [skill type] skill set and make incredible connections at the [city of current work office] office. I am excited to see how I can use my [skill type] skills at the [city of office you would like to transfer to] office to help achieve [goals you would help achieve]. I also believe this new role would allow me to continue growing and advancing in [skill type].

I have enjoyed my time at the [city of current work office] office and would love to continue helping [organization name] achieve their goals. I have attached my updated resume and portfolio for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. Thank you for your time.

[your full name]

Transferring Letter Example

Melissa Cook
8127 Bevel Rd.
Carbondale, Pennsylvania 18407

April 11, 2021

Benjamin Snyder
Marketing Director
241 Cherry St.
Scranton, Pennsylvania 18447

Dear Mr. Snyder,

I am writing to formally request consideration for a transfer from my current role as digital marketing manager at UBX to marketing specialist at the Indianapolis, Indiana office of UBX. I am requesting this transfer because I am currently in the process of moving to Indianapolis to be closer to family.

I have greatly appreciated my time working for UBX, and I have been able to grow my digital marketing skillset and make incredible connections at the Scranton office. I am excited to see how I can use my verbal and visual communication skills at the Indianapolis office to help achieve marketing and growth goals. I also believe this new role would allow me to continue growing and advancing in strategic communications planning.

I have enjoyed my time at the Scranton UBX office and would love to continue helping UBX achieve its goals. I have attached my updated resume and portfolio for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. Thank you for your time.

Melissa Cook

Transfer Request Letter And Email FAQ

  1. How do I request a transfer?

    You request a transfer by writing a transfer request letter to your employer. To write a convincing and professional transfer request letter, you’ll need to do some research first.

    Look into the location or position you’re hoping to transfer to so that you know if it’s a viable option for you, because your company won’t appreciate going through the effort of transferring you only to have you change your mind and quit two weeks later.

    You can’t find out everything about the new position beforehand, but doing a little bit of research can help mitigate the element of surprise.

    Once you know what you’re asking for, think through why it would be in the company’s best interest to transfer you. You’ll need to put this in your letter, so write down a few examples of why you think it would be a good idea.

    After this, write a formal transfer request letter outlining why you want to transfer, what exactly you’re hoping to transfer to, and why the company would benefit from your transfer.

    Before you send your letter, make sure to give your manager a less formal heads up about your desire to as soon as possible about your desire to transfer.

    Your letter should be a formality; it shouldn’t be the first time anyone has heard of the idea of you transferring, and your openness about it will make it much more appealing to your manager and any other leaders involved in the decision.

  2. What are good reasons for a transfer request?

    Some good reasons for a transfer request are that you’re relocating but want to stay with the company, that you have a desire to move to a different role, or that you dislike your boss or team but want to stay with the company.

    If you’re moving but want to stay with the same company, you could move into a different role at the new location, keep the same role but in a different location, or simply work remotely from your new home.

    Your particular company and situation will dictate which of these is the best option (or if there’s another option entirely), but these are some of the most common that you should consider.

    Often when companies merge or when one acquires another there is some restructuring that goes on. As a result, many employees ask to transfer to a different work opportunity during this time. When you do this, it’s generally a good idea to have a specific role in mind that you want to transfer to rather than simply saying, “I’m looking for a better role.” That won’t go over well.

    If you dislike your boss or team but like the company as a whole, transferring to a different role might be a good option for you. More often than not, it’s a better idea to do this by applying for an open position internally, but sometimes a transfer is appropriate, especially if there is an opening for your same job in another department.

  3. How do I write a transfer letter due to family reasons?

    To write a transfer letter due to family reasons, you’ll want to be as open and honest as possible without going into too much detail, and you’ll need to make your case for why the transfer would benefit the company.

    The people you work for have loved ones as well, and they (usually) understand that things happen outside of your control. To show that you aren’t just making up an excuse, though, you’ll want to try to provide as many details as are appropriate about why you need to transfer.

    If your child is ill and you need to go to a certain city in order to get the best treatment, explain that. If your spouse has been offered their dream job in another location and you want to support them, explain that too. That’s about as much detail as you need to go into though: Enough to quell any major questions, but not so much that they get bogged down or feel uncomfortable.

    After you explain why you want to transfer, you should outline your qualifications and how your transfer would allow you to further the company’s goals, just like you did in your cover letter when you were first applying for your job.

    Your argument should be confident but polite, so consider having someone else read over it before you send it in to make sure that it comes across how you want it to.

  4. What are the types of employee transfers?

    The types of employee transfers are lateral transfers, voluntary transfers, and involuntary transfers. There are a plethora of other more specific types of transfers, but these are the major three.

    Lateral transfers are when you move from one position to another but don’t change your title – or at the least don’t change salaries. Usually, you’ll be doing a job similar to the one you had before you transferred, but you’ll just be doing it in a different location or department. Lateral transfers can be both voluntary or involuntary.

    Voluntary transfers are transfers initiated by you, the employee. They’re the ones that require a transfer request letter, as you’re the one asking your employer to transfer you.

    Involuntary transfers, on the other hand, are transfers that your employer initiates. Companies may do this to cover understaffed departments, to replace another employee that suddenly left, to restructure after an acquisition or merger, or to staff a new facility.

    These transfers could be lateral, but they also might be moved up or down the chain for you as well. Often they’re permanent, but many companies will temporarily transfer employees to help beef up manpower during a special project or to help a struggling department stay afloat until it can hire more workers.

  5. How do I accept a transfer letter?

    To accept a transfer letter, you’ll write a letter to your employee in return. This letter will explain that their request has been approved and the details of their transfer.

    In your letter, you’ll need to clearly state their new title or location and their start date. You should also include any pertinent information about changes in salary and relocation costs the company will cover, if applicable.

    This letter can be short and sweet, but be sure to include contact information the employee can use with any additional questions they may have. Adding a note of congratulations or welcome is also always a nice touch.

    It’s generally best practice to meet with the employee in person to tell them that their transfer request has been granted and then give them the letter as an official record. This way they can ask any immediate questions they have without having to try to track you down again and have an official record of their transfer.

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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