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Is it bad to apply for multiple positions within the same company? Will it hurt your chances of getting a job? This article will help you decide if it’s OK and how to increase your chances of getting hired.
It sounds like a best-case scenario: a company you’re interested in has posted multiple jobs that sound interesting. Should you apply to all of them? Although you might think applying to multiple jobs at the same company would increase your chances of getting hired, it’s actually considered a red flag for many companies. Figuring out which position would be the best fit for you will help you tailor your resume appropriately, and highlight the hard and soft skills you already have in order to stand out from the crowd. In this article, you’ll learn to
Identify the most appropriate position for your background
Customize your resume to highlight the company’s desired skills and experience
Know when to ask for help
Sometimes, things line up for your job search, and multiple positions open up at a company you’d like to work for. While it might be tempting to apply for every relevant position and see what “sticks,” that may not be in your best interests. Recruiters could think you’re desperate, or that you aren’t sure what you want to do. Either way, it would be better to narrow your list to your top choice and apply for that one job.
How do you do that? Use the 80% rule. If you meet at least 80% of the listed qualifications for the position, then it might be a good fit for you. But take a moment to think about it. Is it something you’re interested in? Are you looking to make a change? Is it something you can see yourself doing for at least the near future? Make sure it’s something you want before making your selection.
Once you’ve decided on the position that suits you best, you should tailor your resume. This will show a potential employer exactly how your skills, education, and experience line up with the job. This can be done in three steps:
Carefully read the job description. Be aware of any requirements for education, experience, and skills
Evaluate your current resume. Make note of any keywords in the job description and see if they line up with your resume. Make adjustments as necessary, looking for places where you can utilize the keywords. For example, if the job description emphasizes leadership skills, make sure your resume highlights instances when you’ve led a team to meet its goals.
Assess your hard and soft skills, and ensure that you’ve included references to anything the job posting mentions, such as computer experience or project management.
Make sure you don’t falsify information on your resume or exaggerate your experience. You just want to show the recruiter that your resume highlights the skills and experience you already have that align with the open position.
Remember, applying for one job with a company doesn’t eliminate your chances of being considered for others. Hiring managers may look at your resume and feel that you are a perfect fit for another role. Additionally, you won’t stay in that position for the remainder of your career. Many organizations offer opportunities for further training and advancement. Keep your options open!
Applying for one particular position doesn’t have to be limiting. Recruiters may see your resume and think you’re a good fit for another role. Keep an open mind, and be willing to learn about other opportunities.
What if a company has posted multiple positions, and you’re still considering applying for all of them because you don’t know what you want to do? First, take a breath. If you’ve reviewed your resume, aligned your skills and experience to the posting’s keywords, and emphasized your corresponding skills, it may be time to ask for outside assistance.
Sometimes having a fresh perspective can help you narrow your focus and allow you to choose the most appropriate position. There are several options for getting objective advice on your career:
Talk to former managers or supervisors, and ask for their input on your strengths and weaknesses
Utilize a professional network to request “Informational Interviews” at similar companies where you can get information on different positions and roles, keeping track of which ones pique your interest
Remember, you’re not locked into one position. It’s not “bad” to consider all the possibilities, but multiple applications within the same department can hinder your chances of getting the job.
There’s nothing wrong, however, with contacting Human Resources and letting them know you’re interested in being considered for more than one position. Here are two approaches you can use when speaking to a recruiter:
“I see you’re also looking for a <job title>. Do you have any thoughts on how that job compares to the one I’ve applied for, and which one might be a better fit?”
“I’ve applied for <job title> but I think <other job title> might also be a good fit. Your company has an excellent reputation in the business, and I wonder which position you think might be best suited to my skills and experience.”
However, make sure you do this before you’ve interviewed at the desired company, and take into consideration salary, career advancement opportunities, and even the hiring manager.
The average job posting gets more than 250 resumes per position, and only 2-3% are invited to interview, so this is not a case of “more is better.” Do everything you can to make sure your resume stands out and aligns with your desired position to stack the odds in your favor. Get more insight in our blog on resume keyword scanning.
If you don’t get an interview, don’t despair. You can reapply for a job, or another job, with a few caveats. First, wait at least a few months, unless you’ve recently gained additional credentials that would increase your qualifications for the job. (However, you should always check the company’s individual application policies.) Second, take the time to tweak your cover letter and resume, and make sure it aligns with the job description, highlighting any additional education, experience, awards, or accomplishments you’ve attained since you last applied. Stay positive, and be proactive.
Don’t use a scattershot approach to apply for jobs at the same company. Review the different positions and decide on the best one for you.
Tailor your resume. Identify keywords in the job posting and ensure your resume highlights the appropriate hard and soft skills, experience, and education.
Ask for assistance. Talk to past managers to identify your best career attributes to help narrow your choices or talk to HR about being considered for another possible role within the company.
Jennifer Inglis is a freelance writer and content creator. A former public school teacher, she has expertise with English literature, writing, and public speaking, as well as an extensive professional background in advertising and media analysis. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Theater and a master’s degree in Education, and is the author of two published novels.