Finding a job can be a lengthy process. Not only do you have to find an open position, but you also have to tailor your resume to that position, submit your resume, hope that you get a phone or preliminary interview, and then hope that you get an in-person interview. Even then, you might not get a job offer. This entire process can take weeks – sometimes longer.
As such, you might be wondering whether or not you should apply to multiple jobs at the same time. The following guide will help you decide whether or not you should apply to multiple jobs, and how to do so.
Why Jobseekers Apply For Multiple Jobs
Even if there’s only one job that you really want, there are some reasons why you might want to consider applying to other jobs at the same time.
The following are the two primary reasons why most job seekers will apply to several job positions at the same time:
- Need for employment
The most common reason job seekers apply to multiple jobs at once is the need for employment. When you’re unemployed, every day without a job becomes more and more stressful. How are you going to pay your bills? How will you pay rent? What if you never find a job?
When you’re desperate for a job, applying to multiple jobs at the same time can help you get employed quicker. The more positions you apply for, the more likely you are to receive at least one job offer. While you might not get your first choice, any job offer may be better than no job offer.
- Increase your chances of securing a job offer
If you’re only applying to one job, and you don’t get it, then you’re back to square one. However, if you’ve applied to multiple jobs at the same time, then you won’t experience this same setback if one of your applications is rejected since you’ve applied to multiple jobs.
Additionally, applying to multiple jobs at the same time can help you receive more than one job offer. This way, you can choose which job offer to accept instead of simply accepting the first job offer that you receive.
Why You Should Think Twice Before Submitting Multiple Applications
Although the benefits of applying to multiple jobs at once may make doing so a no-brainer, there are a few potential consequences to consider. The following are a few drawbacks to submitting multiple job applications:
- You may have to choose between multiple offers: While having multiple job offers may sound great, it can also be a bit stressful. If you receive multiple job offers, then you’ll have to choose which one to accept. This decision can be difficult since each job offer will likely have different pros and cons.
- You may be tempted to decline offers: You may have a job offer on the table but still have other interviews lined up. As a result, you may be tempted to decline an offer in hopes of receiving a better offer from another company. However, this is a risky move since you may be left without a job if you receive no other offers.
On the other hand, if you accept an offer and then a better offer comes along, you may regret your decision.
- You could damage relationships with potential future employers: If you receive an offer from one company but decline it in favor of another offer, then that original company may be less likely to offer you a position in the future.
Additionally, you risk seriously damaging any potential relationship with future employers if you accept their job offer but then back out at the last minute.
- Your interviews may clash: If you receive multiple interview requests, then you may have to schedule your interviews back-to-back. As a result, you may be rushed and miss the opportunity to properly prepare for each interview.
Additionally, if you’re interviewing for similar positions, then you may start to mix up your answers which can lead to confusion during the interview process.
- You could look desperate: If you are set on working for a particular company, and apply to multiple positions at the same company, then it may come across as desperate. The company may think you are just applying to anything that is open in the hopes that something will stick.
How To Apply To Multiple Jobs At Once Without The Mishaps
If you’ve decided that the best course of action for you is to submit several job applications at once, then it’s crucial to keep a few things in mind to avoid those mishap moments.
The following are a few tips to consider when applying to multiple jobs at once:
1. Determine What Interests You
First of all, avoid sending out resumes to every single open job that’s available, especially the ones that don’t interest you. There’s no point in submitting a resume to a job that you don’t actually want because it’s likely you won’t put as much effort in to get the job.
Your disinterest in the position will likely come across in the interview, and you’ll have wasted time and effort for no reason. You are more likely to get an offer for a job that you are interested in because your interest and enthusiasm for that position will shine through during the interview process.
As such, make sure that you figure out exactly what interests you before you begin applying for jobs.
2. Assess Your Qualifications
Applying for jobs that you don’t qualify for is a waste of everyone’s time. There’s little to no chance that you’ll even get a phone interview if your qualifications don’t match up with the requirements of the role.
Spending time applying for these positions negates the whole point of applying to multiple jobs in the first place. Ultimately, you’ll invest a lot of time and effort without any reward.
Instead, look for jobs that line up with the skills and experience that you have. By doing so, you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting an interview, and maybe even a job offer.
3. Identify How Many Jobs You Fit In
As you begin searching through job postings, identify the positions that suit both your interests and your qualifications. Doing so is the best way to find jobs that you’re suited for and have a chance of getting an offer from.
By eliminating positions that don’t match your needs and skill set, you’ll be able to focus your energy on applying to the jobs that you actually want and that you stand a chance of getting.
4. The 80% Rule
Once you’ve identified the jobs that you’re interested in and qualified for, it’s time to start submitting your resume. However, before you go ahead and submit an application to every single one of these positions, consider the 80% rule.
The 80% rule ensures that you’re applying to a job that you’re qualified for. You don’t always have to meet every requirement an employer is looking for as long as you meet most of them. As such, if you meet at least 80% of the role requirements, then you should apply.
However, if you meet less than 80% of the requirements, you may not be qualified for the job. If you’re not qualified, then there’s likely no point in applying.
For example, let’s say an employer lists five main requirements. You meet the first four, but you don’t meet the fifth. Maybe the fifth requirement is for ten years of experience, but you only have eight years of experience. In this case, you shouldn’t let that deter you from applying. You don’t always have to meet every single one of a job opening’s requirements to qualify for the job.
However, if you only meet half of the requirements listed, then you’re probably not qualified for the position. Not to mention that you’re going to be competing against applicants who meet more of the requirements and will have a better chance of getting the job than you. Applying for the job doesn’t make much sense in those cases.
5. Personalize Your Application
Don’t send out the same application for every position you apply to. This is a huge mistake that job seekers often make, and it will quickly get you eliminated from the applicant pool.
When you’re applying for multiple jobs, it can be tempting to copy and paste your information into each application to save time. However, it can come across as lazy and dispassionate as it is pretty obvious that you’re just sending out a mass of applications to anyone and everyone.
This is off-putting for employers, because they want employees that are interested in the job and truly want to work for the company.
Instead, take the time to personalize your application for each position you apply to. Include information that is specific to the job on your resume, cover letter, and any other documents you’re required to submit.
Doing so will make it clear that you’ve taken the time to read the job posting and research what the company is looking for. While this might take a bit more time, it’ll be worth it in the end when you start landing interviews, and eventually start getting job offers.
Stagger Your Submissions
Although you might be tempted to submit all of your applications at the same time, this isn’t always the best strategy. Instead of submitting everything at once, stagger your submissions.
Doing so will give you time to edit and fine-tune each application so that it’s the best it can be before you hit submit. This will make the process less overwhelming, which is important since applying for multiple jobs can quickly become stressful. After all, the last thing you want is to have to schedule half a dozen interviews within just a few days of each other.
6. Get In Touch With The Recruiter And Follow Up
If you plan to apply to several positions at the same company, then you should consider getting in touch with the recruiter at that company. Explain that you’re planning to submit your resume for several positions and why you are doing so. This way, they won’t come to their own conclusions about why you’ve applied to multiple job openings within the company.
They will also appreciate that you’re being upfront about your application status, as it shows you are trying to be open and honest with them.
How Many Jobs Should You Apply To At Once?
There is no set number for how many jobs you should apply to at once. However, applying for too many jobs can quickly become overwhelming and may cause you to miss important details in each application. Not to mention that things can get complicated if you start getting a large number of interview requests around the same time, or if you begin receiving multiple job offers.
With that in mind, it’s best to limit yourself to two to three applications a day, or around 10 to 15 a week.
Is It A Bad Idea To Apply For Multiple Positions At The Same Company?
The reason it’s a risk to apply for several jobs at the same company is that the hiring manager may notice and assume that you’re desperate for work. This is especially true if your application is the same for each job, despite applying for different roles.
If you contact the hiring manager and let them know ahead of time that you’re applying to several positions, you can explain your decision to them. After all, you might be applying for two positions because you are really keen to work for the company and are fully qualified for both roles.
If You Receive Job Offers From Two Companies, What Should You Do?
It can be tricky to decide what to do when you receive two job offers at the same time. If you’re in this situation, the first thing you should do is take some time to evaluate each offer. Consider the salary and benefits offered by each company, as well as the company culture and the commute.
Once you’ve had a chance to compare and contrast each offer, you can make a decision about which one is best for you. If you’re still undecided, you could always reach out to both companies and see if they’re open to negotiating the terms of their offer.
However, once you do accept one offer, be sure to decline the other in a professional manner. Thank them for their time and consideration, and let them know that you’ve decided to go with another company.
The last thing you want to do is to burn bridges, especially if you’d still like to work for that company at some point in the future. Doing so could affect your reputation and may damage any potential relationships you may have with that company in the future.
Submit Your Applications Wisely And Get Your Dream Job
In general, applying to multiple jobs at once is a good idea, especially if you’re unemployed and need work fast. However, there’s a right way to do it.
If you plan to submit your resume to multiple job openings, make sure that you’re doing so respectfully and in a way that won’t overwhelm you. By following these tips, you’ll increase your chances of getting hired and landing your dream job.
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