Timing a teaching application?
July 24, 2014 11:29 AM   Subscribe

I am a high school teacher with multiple certification areas. For a couple of reasons, I'd like to get a job at another school, and there are two positions open there, one in each of my certification areas. However, I significantly prefer one position over the other. The position I do not prefer closes today, and the position I prefer closes in a week. Both would be better than where I am now. I have two questions.

First, should I apply to both with the same resume and cover letter? The two subjects are so similar that it seems redundant to submit two applications, but I don't want to commit a faux pas.

Second, should I just apply for the position that I want more? Since it ends later, I'm envisioning a scenario where they would offer me the first position and not the second, whereas if I hadn't applied to both, they would offer me just the second. Upon typing this, it indeed sounds ridiculous, but that doesn't stop the internal debate. Thanks!
posted by marylucycraft to Work & Money (6 answers total)
I think you should apply for both, because there is some chance you might not get your preferred position, and if you only applied for one position, you'd have no new job.

They might actually interview for both positions at the same time, perhaps even interview people for both positions in a single interview (I've been part of such double-duty interviews, but for positions that were the same for all intents and purposes, and HR gave us two sets of candidates that only had a 30% overlap). If they don't and you get interviewed for the less preferred position first, you can say that you'd be happy to be given either position, but feel you would be better fit in the second position, though you also understand if another candidate is selected for that position and you instead received this one. In more blunt terms: you'd take either job, but you want the other one, but don't want to lose the first because you weren't given the second.

And I think you should modify the applications a bit, to show you know they are different positions, even if they are similar, and to show you spent some time and effort and aren't just sending out the same stock resume everywhere.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:40 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Apply for both.

I'm not sure anyone actually reads a cover letter, if the jobs are both for the same school just reference them both in the same letter. "I'm applying for the Foo and Bah positions."

Then wait to see what happens.

Good luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:41 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I just helped hire six teachers this spring.

Apply for both, because they may already have someone in mind for the position you want. In your cover letter and interview, you can mention your interest in both roles. At times, we've offered candidates two jobs and let them pick. But it's a risk to only apply for one.
posted by leitmotif at 11:45 AM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: If it matters, I used to work with one of the people who may be on the hiring committee. I did e-mail her with this question, but she hasn't answered yet and I don't want to miss the deadline.
posted by marylucycraft at 11:52 AM on July 24, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, leitmotif. I went ahead and sent it in mentioning both. Now to go find something distracting to do.
posted by marylucycraft at 12:03 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

To confirm leitmotif in case you want more reassuring: I am frequently on teacher hiring committees at both the school and district level. If we have two similar openings the applicant pool frequently overlaps, so we clarify in the interview which a person is more interested in and why, which sometimes affects our decision and sometimes does not. It sounds like you applied for both, which is exactly what you should have done.
posted by charmedimsure at 4:11 PM on July 24, 2014

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