Applying for more than one position at the same company: Ask Amber

By Amber Alarid, JVA Consulting

If you’re faced with two jobs you want to apply for within the same organization, is it ok to submit an application for both? The answer is not as black and white as you would think. Deciding whether or not to apply for multiple jobs requires some reflection on why you want both jobs and whether or not you are truly qualified for both.

Why applying for two jobs in one company is tricky

Alison Green, who recruits for a variety of positions, writes that applying for too many/very different positions within one organization is comparable to the guy in the bar that plays the odds by hitting on everyone—it’s not flattering and seems a bit desperate.

Be sure that you aren’t just sending out generic applications in mass; only apply for multiple positions if you are truly a good fit for both and have a strong interest in the company. In a very thoughtful LinkedIn post, one recruiter explains that, if done appropriately, responding to multiple job postings can be a sign of great interest in the company itself.

How to apply for two jobs in one company

You may face the situation in which you are sincerely interested in two jobs, and you meet the requirements for both. In this instance, be ready to prepare thoughtful, customized applications. Tailor your resume so it reflects the qualifications needed for each job, and write a well-thought-out, honest cover letter explaining the circumstances. State very clearly what makes you passionate about that organization and why you think you would be a great fit for both positions. Be prepared to articulate your reasoning in a phone or in-person interview as well.

If you are submitting applications to two different hiring managers, or are not sure if the same person/people are reviewing your applications, it’s best to acknowledge the fact that you are applying for two jobs in both cover letters, recommends The Career Doctor blog. This cover letter example gives an overview of the background knowledge and skills that have led the applicant to the two jobs, highlights interest in both, and very politely requests the opportunity to discuss how and where the applicant’s skills could be most useful.

As always, it’s great to exercise a detail-oriented approach when applying for jobs, going over each line of your resume and cover letter and successfully demonstrating that you meet all the criteria; however, when applying for two jobs, you’ll really need to focus on the details. If in doubt, ask a trusted friend or relative to review the job descriptions and your applications to see if they think you are truly a good match for both.

If you have ever applied for two jobs, or have advice as a recruiter, please share your experience in the comments section below.

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2 Responses to Applying for more than one position at the same company: Ask Amber

  1. Brandi says:

    I once applied for two positions in the same department. One was the supervisor of the other. I was qualified for both, and it was the same person doing the hiring. I applied for both, even though I really wanted the supervisor position. Turns out I didn’t get either job, but I thank you for this post becuase it was a tricky situation. I ended up asking some people who worked at the company to give me feedback on how to best handle the situation, and they suggested just one application and cover letter. I just listed both positions on the application and mentioned it in the cover letter. Since the positions were so similar, I just tailored my resume to the supervisor position, which encompassed all the same skills as the lower position.

    TRICKY! Thanks for the post!

    • jvaconsulting says:

      We are so glad the post was helpful Brandi. It is a tricky situation indeed but thank you for sharing your experience and adding to the conversation.

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