Your dream company is hiring. Better still, it has a ton of openings—actually, so many, that you could see yourself applying to a few of them. Should you send in multiple applications? After all, won’t the person reviewing them know which position you’re best suited for?
The answer is yes and no. Yes, the hiring manager might think one role seems more obvious based on your application— but no, this isn’t the best way to go. Because instead of coming off like someone who has so much love for the company that you’ll pitch in wherever you can to make the greatest difference—you risk making the impression that you just couldn’t make up your mind. Or worse, you might look kinda qualified for a few jobs, and yet, an obvious pick for no jobs.
I’ve been in this situation (twice!) and each time ended up applying for just one job—and landing the role that was right for me. Here’s how I did it and what I’d recommend to anyone in a similar situation:
1. Think About What You Really Want to Do
I’d just moved to a new town and was desperate to get back into the nonprofit sector. Well, the local contact I met through a mutual friend was leaving her job as a fellowship program manager. Not only that, but the development officer at her organization would be leaving soon too.
My background was in fundraising, so the development role would have been the obvious choice. But as this person described her job, it sounded so much better. Everything she was doing sounded like something I’d really love to do.
So, I applied for the fellowship program manager role—and made it clear that was role I was interested in. Sure, I listed my previous nonprofit experience, but tailored my resume in a way that highlighted transferable skills of communicating a mission, building relationships, and so forth.
Had I sent in multiple applications, I would have distracted the hiring manager from the role I really wanted. So, don’t go into it with the mindset that you’ll apply for the job you want—plus the one you look like a match for, as a backup. Put your best foot forward and keep the focus on why you’re a fit for the role you really want.