How To Apply To Multiple Jobs At The Same Company

By Chris Kolmar - Dec. 10, 2020

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Finding not one, but two positions that look interesting to you (and at the same company, no less) can feel like striking gold when you’re hunting for a job.

Whether your dream company finally has several job openings you could qualify for or you just desperately need employment, it’s tempting to fill out multiple applications for the same company.

This method can be an excellent way to make sure you get a foot in the door at the organization you want to work for, but it isn’t always the best way to go about it.

In this article, you’ll learn how to decide if you should apply to more than one position at a single company and what your other options are if you decide against this option.

How To Decide if You Should Apply to More Than One Job at the Same Company

As with anything in the world of finding jobs, the answer to whether or not you should submit more than one job application to the same company is, “It depends.”

To help you make the best decision for you and your situation, here are some steps you should follow as you think it through:

  1. Ask yourself if you’re actually interested in any of these positions. If you have a stack of job openings at a single company you’re considering applying for, the first step is to pause and ask yourself what you want to do.

    This is especially important if you’re at the beginning of your career or are looking for a career change and are getting to the point where you’re willing to work anywhere that will send you a paycheck.

    What do you enjoy? What do you think you’re good at? What do others say you’re good at? If you’re struggling to answer these questions, ask family members and friends you trust or even a teacher or current employer what they see in you.

    Learning these aspects about yourself is vital to making sure you’re applying for jobs that you’ll enjoy and thrive in. Even though you probably won’t end up in your dream job on your first try, getting on the right track early will make all the difference in the world.

  2. Look to see if you’re qualified for the positions. Once you figure out what you want to do, it’s time to make sure you meet the requirements for the job postings. After all, it does no good to apply if you don’t even qualify.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time
    Internship
    Temporary

    While you likely won’t be able to meet every requirement listed on the posting, you should at least be able to hit 80% of them.

    Keep in mind, though, that the ones you don’t meet should be correctable with a little extra work or training. If you have zero experience in the field or are missing a skill that takes years to learn, even having 80% of the other qualifications won’t land you that job.

  3. Narrow down the list of jobs. Now that you know what you want to do and what you’re qualified to do, it’s time to narrow down the job descriptions you want to apply for.

    If you’re looking at several similar positions, go over the description with a fine-tooth comb to see which one would fit you best. Aim to choose only one position.

    If the positions aren’t very similar, it can be more difficult to narrow them down. Work to do this as much as possible, though, and even consider talking to a professional you trust about which one they would recommend for you.

    You can also do some research into the different departments to see if you would enjoy the types of projects they would do or think the experience would be valuable to your future career goals. Picture yourself in the role and think about if you would like it six months in.

    If you hesitate on any of them, go ahead and strike them from your list.

  4. Ask yourself why you want to apply to more than one position. This question can help you determine if you really should apply to more than one job at any given company. Plus, if you do submit multiple applications, hiring managers will probably ask you this question at some point, so it’s best to know the answer now.

    If the answer is that you just really need a job and you figure the shotgun approach will be most effective to get one, it’s probably best that you stick to submitting only one application to a single company.

    Applying to more than one can make you look desperate, and if you are desperate, that’ll show through even more clearly. Instead, focus your energy on applying to as many different companies as you can.

    You’re more likely to get more than one job offer this way, and it’s always better to have to turn down a few offers and get the one you want than to have to take what you can get.

    If your reason is that you just really want to work at the company and you want to give yourself the best chance possible to do so, you should ask yourself this follow-up question: Do you truly fit in each of these positions?

    If you’ve narrowed down the job listings you’re interested in to two or three very different positions that you genuinely believe would fit your skills well, it might be worth applying to them all.

    Just make sure you follow the next steps to ensure you set yourself up for success when you do apply.

How To Apply To More Than One Job at the Same Company

  1. Tailor your resume, cover letter, and application to each position. One of the worst things you can do when you’re applying for more than one job at a single company is to submit the exact same application each time.

    Hiring managers will notice this and assume that you’re just spamming every company you come across with applications in hopes that one of them will hire you.

    Show that you’re truly invested in each position by rearranging and rewording your resume. This highlights the job posting qualifications and demonstrates that you’ve done your research on the company and the position in your cover letter.

  2. Call the company. Before you submit your applications, call the company’s recruiter or HR office to let them know that you will be applying for a few different positions. Explain that you would love to work for the company (and why) and believe that you would do well in either position.

    Taking this step is vital to let hiring managers see that you aren’t just desperate for a job and that you’re invested in both the company and the specific job opportunities.

  3. Reach out again if you don’t hear back after a week or so after applying. If you genuinely want to work for the company, follow up with them and ask for an informational interview to find out more about the organization and what they’re looking for in a candidate.

    Explain why you would love to work for the company and ask if they’d be willing to keep you in mind for any future positions that they believe would fit you better

    You can even ask them what they wanted to see from your applications and how you can grow your skills to make you a more viable candidate for the next time. Keep it positive, accept the feedback graciously, and then take steps to improve.

Alternatives To Applying for Multiple Jobs at One Company

If you decide that submitting more than one job application isn’t the best idea for you, here are some alternatives:

  1. Apply for one job and then ask for an informational meeting. If your end goal is to work for the company in any capacity, narrow your list of potential positions down to one that you think you’re most qualified for. Submit your application and then ask the recruiters or HR department for a meeting.

    During this meeting, you can ask more questions about the position and company and explain why you applied for the position you did. Tell them that you’re passionate about working for the organization (be sure to explain why) and that you’re open to other positions they think you’re qualified for as well.

  2. Ask for an informational meeting and then apply for a position. If you’re having trouble deciding which job to apply for, consider asking for an informational meeting with the hiring managers to ask for more details about the positions, even if it’s just a phone call.

    Explaining your conundrum and asking for more details to help you make your decision will show them that you really are invested in these jobs and just need some more information in order to know which one you’re best qualified for.

    They may even be able to tell you which one they’d recommend you apply for.

  3. Apply for one and make it your best application possible. This third alternative to applying to more than one position may sound overly simplified, but it really can be effective.

    Invest extra time in making sure your application truly highlights your abilities, accomplishments, and desire to be a part of the company. Doing this not only increases your chances of getting to the interview stage, but it also gives you a better chance of hiring managers seeing that you might be suited for more than one role.

    If they think this, they’re more likely to find a place for you, whether it’s in the position you applied for or not.

  4. Look for an open interview. Sometimes companies hold interviews where anyone can come and talk to a recruiter. You’ll probably be in a group of people, making this type of interview a little trickier than traditional ones, but the organization is often hiring for multiple positions at once.

    This means you can show your interest in the company, and they can decide where you’ll fit best, removing the responsibility to apply to multiple positions from your shoulders.

Three Reasons Not to Apply for Multiple Jobs at One Company

If you’re still on the fence about whether you should apply to more than one position at a company, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t. If you think you can avoid all of these, that’s a good sign that you should go ahead and submit multiple applications.

  1. It can make you look desperate. When hiring managers see that you’ve submitted more than one application at the same time, their first assumption is probably going to be that you just really need a job and don’t care what it is.

    This is why it’s essential to call ahead and explain why you’re submitting more than one application and to make sure you really do qualify for and care about the positions.

  2. It can cause hiring managers to doubt that you actually care about the positions. This is especially true if you don’t tailor each application to the job you’re applying for because it can make it look like you’re more interested in furthering your own career than in the position itself.

    Hiring managers are often looking for reasons to knock candidates off the list, so they aren’t going to give you the benefit of the doubt on this, especially if other applicants show that they’ve done their research and are invested in the position.

  3. It can make it look like you aren’t sure of your qualifications and expertise. If you don’t know what you want to do or what you’re good at, the chances are that recruiters will pick up on that when you submit multiple applications.

    While everyone goes through this at some point, companies don’t want to hire employees who haven’t taken the time to figure out what they’re good at or won’t commit to one idea long enough to see if it’s a good fit or not.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

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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