Ask A Progeek – Sending Multiple Resumes?

Ah, that magic moment where you see multiple jobs at the same company.  Of course that leads to our next “ask a progeek question” . . .

Does it hurt one’s chances of being hired if they apply to more than one job at the same company?  If not, are there any special things to keep in mind when doing so?

We worry if we apply to multiple jobs at the same company, it’ll hurt our chances.  Of course the truth is a little more complicated than that . . .

In general, no it doesn’t seem to hurt to apply to multiple positions at the same company.  Recruiters kind of expect it, especially if the positions have notable differences, are in different departments, etc.  They want to know what you’re interested in, after all.

There are a few exceptions:

  • Some companies treat applying to any position as applying to similar positions.  It’s not usually a problem, but in automated application software you may get a note you already applied to something.  Don’t worry.
  • Some companies do take exception because . . . well, that’s the way they run.  I find they’re rare.

However, you will annoy people if you apply for a lot of radically different positions and/or otherwise look like you’re spamming.  If there are an absolute load of positions that you can do, then you may want to pace yourself.  You do not want to look like you’re sending them around willy-nilly.

If you’re concerned that you may be “overdoing it,” then use common sense – from the perspective of an HR person.  If you are qualified for multiple positions and appropriate, then they’d be interested.  If you look like you’re throwing resumes like crazy then don’t.  Put yourself in their shoes.

I’d note that in the “geeky” areas like tech, media, etc. there seems to be even less concern over people sending out a lot of resumes.  An odd flipside, however, is personal contact, networking, etc. seems to be even more valued as well.  Keep that dichotomy in mind – since there’s a time to network (which is always), and a time to slam out resumes like crazy.

Steven Savage