Dear Matt: I interviewed for a job, and while I was waiting to hear back, two others I would be interested in applying for became available — with the same company. What does one do in this situation?
Matt says: It all depends on the size of the company, says Twin Cities human resources consultant Arlene Vernon (arlenevernon.com). If it’s a large company, applying online through the applicant tracking system is likely the only way to formally apply, but you can still follow up with the contacts you’ve met through the interview process.
Be cautious, though. If these new openings are in the same department as the job you first applied for you could look desperate, pushy or impatient with the decisionmaking process. So call or e-mail the manager you interviewed with (follow the guidelines on the best way to follow-up from interview) and tell her that you are also interested in the new openings. When you call the manager, state that you’re so excited about the opportunity to join the company that you plan to apply to the other positions to make sure you get your foot in the door. Emphasize that you are still interested in the first job, but you want to keep every opportunity available to you during your search.
This communication also has extra value, says Vernon. Getting in touch with the hiring manager one more time reinforces your interest in the company, reminds the hiring manager that you have a broad skill set and can fit in the organization in multiple ways, and shows respect for the manager by keeping her in the loop.
If this occurs at a smaller company with the same hiring manager, you’ll address your interest in the positions differently. “Try and speak with the manager in this case before sending an e-mail,” says Vernon. “It would be helpful to continue to develop your relationship with the manager, ask a few questions about which positions she thinks you’re most qualified for, and see if you can expand what you’re being considered for.”
If it’s a smaller company and a different hiring manager, start out the same way — by showing your loyalty to the first hiring manager and contacting her first. Then discuss the other opportunities and see whether you’re still in the running for the first job. If not, let them know that you’re applying for the other positions and ask for any direction on how to best apply for those jobs. If you’re still being considered for the first job, says Vernon, politely explain that you’ll be sending in your résumé to the other manager, but you’re hoping this first position will come through for you.
“Basically, it’s all relationship focused,” says Vernon. “Assess your relationship with the interviewers and see if there’s a way to maximize your opportunities by showing your respect for the people involved and the hiring processes they’ve set up.”
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