How to be considered for multiple, unrelated jobs at the same company?
August 30, 2012 5:29 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for advice on applying for multiple jobs at the same company.

I have managed a small academic library for a number of years. I am leaving my job due to some restructuring at the college, and I am looking outside of the library field for jobs.

There are a number of local colleges that have open positions that I know I would be good at, but those open positions require different skill sets. I normally send in targeted resumes that highlight the skills I have that fit a particular job, but I don't know how to approach that if I am applying for more than one job at the same college.

For example, one college has posted an office manager job, and I know that my experience as a library manager would translate well for this position. They have also posted a non-manager computer/printing lab position that I would also be a good fit for because part of managing a small library requires managing a computer lab and assisting students.

Can I send two completely different resumes for these jobs? One to highlight my management experience for the office manager job, and one to highlight my computer lab experience for the other job? Or will HR think this is completely strange and that I am desperate? I worry that if I send only one resume and down-play my management experience to fit the computer lab job, then I would not be considered for the office manager job, and I worry that if I highlight my management experience, they won't think I am seriously considering the computer lab job because I have much more career experience than the job requires.

There is also another college to which I applied for a library management position about a year ago. I did not get called for an interview. They have now posted a non-library position that requires knowledge of a particular course management software that I am extremely familiar with because I also create the online courses for the school at which I work. My previous resume made no mention of this, because it was not relevant. If I apply for this new position, do HR people compare old applications like that? Will they wonder how I suddenly became an expert in course management software when only a year ago I made no mention of it, even though in reality it is a huge part of my job?

I would appreciate any advice. It's been a long time since I have seriously looked for a job.
posted by foxinthesnow to Work & Money (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I used to coordinate hiring committees at a university and I saw people apply for multiple positions in my department all the time. Sometimes it was a positive thing because people recognized their names from previous applications and a few people came in for interviews for multiple positions. The people who did not get anywhere were the ones who wrote a generic cover letter and applied for every single position.

So I would say apply for each position the same way you would apply for any other job, but just make sure that if someone were to compare the two applications that they would see that you clearly made a separate effort on both. In my department I was the only one who saw all the applications for all the positions and I didn't have any say over who was interviewed or hired, so my opinion was fairly irrelevant - sometimes the hiring committees asked me what I thought of a candidate, but at that point the person had at least come for an in-person interview.
posted by fromageball at 6:06 PM on August 30, 2012

Hard to say with that first college, depends on if the hiring for both job postings are being handled by the same person/department, like an overall HR. If the applications are just being collected and forwarded directly to different people, you should apply for each separately. If you can find out (by calling them), that would be a good idea.

If it's one HR person handling the hiring, I'd take the approach that you write one brief and concise cover letter covering both jobs, and mentioning you've included a resume tailored for each (name each resume as "Your Name, for Job Title/number"). You may also want to find out whether a cover letter is wanted for each job application, beyond the cover letter to the HR person, but some places don't care about cover letters so much anymore - a quick glance at a well-done resume says a lot pretty quickly.

For the job at the other college, I don't think you need to mention you've applied there before, particularly since you were unsuccessful at getting an interview. I think the only time you would benefit from mentioning a prior application is if you have interviewed there before and it's gone well enough to suggest you should keep trying.
posted by lizbunny at 6:20 PM on August 30, 2012

Apply for the second job! I doubt they remember your previous application, and even if they do, it wasn't for the same type of position, and so it's totally understandable that you'd highlight different skills. If somehow they do remember, and call you in for an interview, you can explain that your software experience wasn't relevant to the other job and that'sw hy you didn't mention it; but I really doubt they'd do that. Good luck!
posted by mlle valentine at 8:06 PM on August 30, 2012

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