Is Applying for Multiple Jobs at the Same Company Bad?

Applying for Multiple Jobs at the Same Company

If you’re thinking of applying for multiple jobs at the same company, there are a few things you should know first.

As a former recruiter, I’m going to share:

  • When it’s okay (and not okay) to apply for multiple jobs at the same company
  • Potential benefits and drawbacks to applying for multiple positions at one firm
  • Mistakes to avoid if you do apply for multiple positions with a company

Applying for Multiple Positions at the Same Company: Good or Bad?

It’s not necessarily bad to apply for multiple positions at the same company.

Good employers want to hire great people and hire them for the best-fitting position. And if you saw two job openings that looked relevant, both with the same company, then it’s reasonable to apply.

Sometimes, even if you only apply to one job at a company, you’ll talk to a hiring manager or recruiter and they’ll say, “You know what, I think there’s a different position that’s a better fit.”

So it’s not necessarily bad to consider multiple roles at one company in your job search in general, and some employers will even encourage you to do so.

However, there’s a right and wrong way to go about applying for multiple jobs at an organization, and a couple of key mistakes to avoid if you want to get hired…

How to Apply to Multiple Positions at One Company

While it’s okay to apply for more than one job at a company, you should be reasonable about the total number of jobs you apply for.

At maximum, apply to two or three jobs at a company.

Carefully review each job description and only apply to jobs that truly fit your skills and career goals.

Also, if you’re already far along in the interview process for a position, and then you see other relevant job openings, consider talking to the hiring manager and asking which role they feel fits better.

You can say:

By the way, I also saw a <job title> position. Do you have any thoughts on the differences between that job and the one we’ve discussed, and which may fit better?

You don’t want a hiring manager to feel like you went behind their back to submit multiple applications, so always discuss this openly if you’ve already had an interview for one job posting.

However, if you haven’t yet interviewed for any jobs at a company, you can go ahead and apply for more than one job.

In the first interview you receive (likely with a recruiter or an HR person), the interviewer may bring up your multiple job applications, or you can mention it casually to them.

How to explain why you applied to multiple job openings at one company:

I applied to two different positions because both seemed relevant, and your company is one of the firms I hear recommended often in the industry. So I was eager to discuss one or both roles to determine which is a better fit.

Also, don’t ever send the exact same application, cover letter, etc. for multiple job postings.

If you are going to be submitting multiple applications to one company, make each unique.

Hiring managers may compare notes, and they aren’t going to be impressed if you send the same documents with multiple job applications (especially a cover letter, which should always be customized for the individual role).

From there, the company’s recruitment team and hiring managers for the positions you’re pursuing should be able to help you decide whether to pursue one role or multiple roles.

So the key to success when you apply to multiple jobs is to have clear communication, be open and upfront, and work with the company to determine which role fits best.

Applying for Multiple Jobs at a Company Doesn’t Always Help

While it’s okay to apply to more than one job at a company, you should only do so if all job descriptions are relevant.

Applying to extra positions at a single company won’t necessarily boost your odds of getting a job if the positions aren’t a good fit.

In that case, you’re better off applying for one position — the job for which you satisfy most or all of the job requirements — and then following up if you don’t hear back from the employer about that job listing.

If a company is your dream company, you can express this in a single job application… through a great cover letter, a well-tailored resume, and good follow-ups if you don’t hear back.

That will help you land a dream job much better than applying to one or two other positions at a company just because they have several job openings.

Employers are always looking for job candidates who have the skills and experience to step into their job and be successful, so they’re unlikely to hire job searchers who don’t bring any relevant experience.

Ask for Informational Interviews to Learn More About Each Job

One way to explore multiple opportunities at a single company is to ask for informational interviews.

Find the hiring manager or someone on the team, perhaps via LinkedIn, and ask if they’d be willing to do a quick Zoom call or get a coffee and share details about the opportunity.

You can explain you were looking at more than one position with the company and were hoping to gain clarity on the best path to pursue in your job search.

Also, look through your existing professional network to see if you have any connections to the company of interest.

LinkedIn is a good tool for this, too, since you can pull up a hiring manager’s or recruiter’s profile and then see if you have mutual connections with that person.

If so, ask your mutual connection for an introduction.

That’s almost always the fastest way to get noticed by a hiring manager or human resources department.

When you come recommended to a company, they’re a lot more likely to interview you quickly.

In general, here’s how to approach someone on LinkedIn about a job.

Deciding Between Two Positions at the Same Company

If you find yourself among the lucky job seekers who do get interviews for multiple jobs, you may have to make a tough decision.

Both the company and job seeker should have the same goal here: to determine which job is the best fit.

That doesn’t mean it’s always a clear-cut and easy decision, though.

So to make a final decision, job seekers should consider salary, job description, and even the individual hiring managers (assuming the jobs report to two different bosses).

Who you work for is often as important as the work you do. A great boss will help you succeed and grow; a bad boss can hold you back and hurt your confidence.

So if you apply for more than one position and these roles are not with the same hiring manager, put some thought into how well you mesh with the manager as well as the particular job you want.

Conclusion: How to Apply for More Than One Job at the Same Company

If you see more than one relevant job at the same company and you believe you’re a viable candidate for all positions, it’s okay to apply to more than one role.

Always limit yourself to two or three positions at a given company though, if you decide to apply to multiple jobs.

Also, when considering applying to multiple jobs, only do so if you haven’t begun interviewing for any specific position with the organization.

If you’re already speaking to one hiring manager in your job search and you spot another relevant role with their company, your best option is to ask them about it.

And realize that plenty of candidates get hired by applying to only one position at each company, by selecting the most relevant role.

So review the job descriptions carefully, and think critically about whether all positions are truly a good fit.

If one role is clearly best suited for your skills and level, don’t feel pressure to apply to more than one opportunity.

Instead, focus on sending the best possible job application and cover letter for the role you want most.

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About the Author Biron Clark

Biron Clark is a former executive recruiter who has worked individually with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.

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