Don’t Apply for Every Job: How Over Applying Can Ruin Your Chances

An organization you’d love to work for has several openings. You jump at the chance to apply. But which position? Should you apply for all of them and see what sticks? Not so fast. A moment of over-eagerness could cost you a dream job. Spamming an HR department with five applications will decrease, rather than increase, the chance of a call back. Over-applying diminishes your credibility. You can appear desperate for any job rather than uniquely qualified for one job. It also appears sloppy and unfocused: do you even know what you want to do? By telling a hiring manager that you can imagine yourself in numerous different positions, you do not help your case that you are the perfect fit for one of them.

So what should you do if you find multiple openings at a dream company? There are two approaches we recommend. The first is to evaluate which position you are best qualified for. Just because you could do them all, does not mean that you are a strong candidate for each of them. Be mindful of your strength and experience and honest with yourself about your weaknesses. Tailor a cover letter and résumé that reflects your distinct qualifications for the job you select. What if you are qualified for more than one position? That may well be the case. Consider reaching out to the hiring manager to make an introduction, express your interest in the company, and request a meeting to discuss how you might be a good fit for the company. That is the appropriate way to find a good match when there are multiple openings.

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