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Applying for multiple jobs with the same employer may not be a good idea

To apply to more than one position at a company, or apply to just one?

Of course, you’ll have to consider the factors that make your circumstances unique, but here’s why you should consider sticking to only sending in one application.

You might not look like the right fit for the company

Alison Green, author of the Ask a Manager blog, answered a reader’s questions in U.S. News & World Report about applying for two positions at the same company. The reader thinks they might not meet the qualifications for one job, even though that’s what they studied, and they have done work similar to the other position, but think they might be up against grueling “competition in this economy.”

Green writes that “you can apply for both, but you need to be careful about how you do it.”

“The danger in applying for multiple jobs at the same organization is that you can come across as unfocused or naive about what you’re well suited for. Here’s an example: I’m currently hiring for a wide range of positions — and I mean a wide range — everything from an executive assistant to the director of an entire state organization, with lots of variety in between, like a job working with celebrities, a job working with college kids, and so forth,” Green adds. “I’ve had applicants say they’re applying for the director job and the executive assistant job (hedging their bets, I guess), as well as applicants who just say, ‘Consider me for all your openings.’ ”

Green continues, writing that the positions require varying credentials and “responsibilities,” before delving into more reasons why this isn’t always the right approach.

Multiple resume submissions can be a turnoff

Alison Doyle, a career expert, author, founder and CEO of, writes tips about applying to more than one position at an employer — but also mentions the caveats — in The Balance.

After mentioning that you should apply only “if you are a strong candidate for all the positions” and how you have to consider the size of the employer, she writes that “most importantly, even if you’re applying for multiple positions at a company, try to limit yourself and be realistic. Applying to two or three positions you qualify for is acceptable, but submitting your resume for every single position listed can be a turnoff.

“Some people recommend applying to one job at a time and, if you don’t hear back and some time has passed, applying for another position later. However, there’s a chance that the jobs may be gone by the time you’re ready to apply again. You’ll have to weigh the risks,” Doyle writes.

Be sure you know what you want

Richard Moy, a Content Marketing Writer at Stack Overflow, writes in The Muse about why you shouldn’t apply to a bunch of jobs if “you’re still unsure of what you want.”

“There’s only so much that you can learn from constantly applying for every single thing you see posted online, especially when you’re doing so at the same company. The solution to this is relatively simple — even though it might not produce immediate results: Lean on your network for help.

Set up informational interviews with people in industries that you’re currently interested in. Ask your former bosses and colleagues what you excelled at and what kind of role they can see you excelling in,” Moy writes.

Jane Burnett

Jane Burnett is a reporter for Ladders. She is based in New York City and can be reached at