Applying to jobs is a frustrating and tedious process.
Wading through a sea of open positions and trying to determine which ones to apply to can be overwhelming and confusing. With every nitpicky applicant profile and arduous reference request submitted, that “Quick Apply” button on job boards becomes more and more enticing.
Applying to jobs is, after all, a numbers game. And prospective employers can’t consider you if they don’t know you’re interested. What’s the harm in casting a wide net? You can always decline a job if a company calls you back and it’s something you don’t want.
But what you may not realize about the “spray and pray” approach to job applications is that just like you, companies are trying to maximize their positions’ exposure. Often times, companies will post their open positions through several different outlets. Depending on the job board, it’s not always clear these are the same company or position.
What a lot of job seekers don’t realize is that applying to the same job multiple times is the fast track to sending your resume to the bottom of the pile.
There are a couple different ways this might happen, but the most common way is when businesses mask their name, location, or use a third party to supplement their hiring efforts. The reason for this confidentiality can vary, but here are a few ways double submissions can happen and why it’s important to keep an eye out for sister job postings:
- You applied to a position with a company directly through their website, and a few days later, you apply through a recruiter for the same position because you didn’t hear anything back.
- You went through the recruiter first, and as part of your research on the company and the open position, you decide to apply to the position yourself and instruct the recruiter to submit your information as well.
- You use multiple staffing agencies to submit your resume for the same position.
In any one of these scenarios, you can greatly hurt your odds of being considered for the role.
At best, multiple applications to the same job send the message you are disorganized or don’t have an eye for detail. At worst, your integrity comes into question.
On top of that, if you were instructed not to reapply and you do anyway, that is a huge red flag to prospective employers that you are not able to follow directions, or you have poor listening skills.
Over the years, we have seen candidates who applied multiple times to a job be removed from the hiring process. And the reasons above were the justifications used to move forward with other applicants.
You may think applying to a position multiple times gives you a leg-up in your job hunt, but in reality, it puts you at a disadvantage.
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Our best advice is to be honest, communicate, and don’t lower your job standards! If you are working with a recruiter, tell them about the jobs you have already applied to. If it is one of their clients, they may be able to find out if your application is still being considered or if you have been passed on. Depending on the relationship between recruiter and hiring manager, your recruiter could possibly even get your application bumped to the top of the shortlist.
It’s perfectly fine to supplement your job search with multiple staffing agencies. If you choose this route, make sure you are working with firms you trust. If you tell a staffing agency you’ve applied to a position through other means, be sure you can trust they won’t submit you to the position again so they can hit their personal submission quotas for the week.
Similarly, if you have multiple recruiters approaching you about the same position, you will have to choose which one to apply through. Don’t be afraid to quiz your recruiter on their relationship with the company/hiring manager, as well as how much they know about the position. Having someone on your side who can successfully advocate for you can go a long way in getting your application noticed.
Alternatively, if this is your first time working with a recruiter, and they approach you about a position, trust the process! Reputable recruiting firms have been working with their clients for a long time, and wouldn’t have been able to sustain that relationship if they weren’t presenting applicants’ information in the best way possible.
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