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Seeing an opening that fits your qualifications, even remotely, can be exciting if you’re job hunting. In the rush to send an application, you may miss that fact that the employer has posted other openings that fit your experience and qualifications even better.
There are two scenarios to this situation: either you send the resume for every opening that might be a good fit or you will stick with the one that you applied for and hope the employer will internally share the resume for the other openings too.
Each of these scenarios may have its drawbacks. The ideal situation is that you actually take a good look at all the openings posted by the employer and apply only for the best matches, explaining that you’re applying for more than one intentionally. Here’s why.
When applying for many openings, your customised resume loses credibility. It looks like you’re just saying and claiming the experience and knowledge that is required for the job. If dealing with one hiring manager, you may lose this person’s interest quickly.
You also may appear to be unclear about what direction to take for your career. That is a risk, especially if applying for jobs that are very different from each other. You may seem simply desperate for a job — any job.
If genuinely interested in more than one job with an employer, however, and you’d like to apply for them, make sure to explain why. This can be easily included in the cover letter.
This also will help the hiring manager coordinate your interviews better. It also shows you have put some thought into the process, and negate the impression you are just applying for every opening you stumble upon.
If applying for jobs that are not in the same hierarchical line, the hiring manager may think you are aspiring for a higher position. Although this is not a bad thing, it can backfire if your qualifications are far off from the offered position. Hiring managers may be unsure that you will be content with the lower title for as long as it takes to build your knowledge, qualifications and skills to be in a place where such a promotion is realistic.
So even though you may take a long shot on a position well above your qualification with some employers, you better stick to the right fit when applying for more than one position. That, again, shows an awareness of your position in the market, what you can offer, and that you have a realistic view of career advancement.
With that, you’re less likely to be perceived as a risk in terms of jumping into another position outside the company quickly.
If applying for more than one position and you are equally qualified for them, you may — or may not — be given a say in what you get. That is a great scenario if all positions are the same to you, but if they are not, then you will have to live with what you get.
Again, discuss your multiple applications with the hiring managers and clarify preferences. You will be walking a thin line in these conversations, however, because you don’t want to be perceived as not wanting a particular position. So make sure to show sufficient enthusiasm — if true — for all the open positions. But have a good argument about why one ranks over the others.
Listen to hiring managers clearly and try to figure out what they see as your best fit. This may give an insight into their thinking process, and where you’re perceived to fit best. If you go totally in the opposite direction, that may be risking the chances of getting any job with this employer.
Hiring managers probably will do the same. They will try to find if their plan matches what you’re looking for. So if all sounds good, go along and show your support and agreement. Give an impression that can help answer the question of where your interest really lies.
Applying for multiple positions
* Be clear on what you want.
* Explain why in your cover letter.
* Be cautious in applying for higher positions.
* Match your preferences with the employer’s.
Source: Rania Oteify, Special to Gulf News
The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor.