How to Use the Cover Letter to Apply to Multiple Jobs at the Same Company
It makes perfect sense that you would come across multiple jobs that could be a good fit when you are interested in a company and what they do. The challenge for most job seekers is to tailor their message to each one of those openings without coming across as indecisive or unqualified for all of them. This is where a cover letter can be a smart way to address the issue. Here is what you need to know to use the cover letter strategically when applying to multiple jobs at the same company.
Why and When the Interest in Multiple Jobs Goes in the Cover Letter
A cover letter serves to tell the story to the person skimming your application about why you are applying and why you think that you are a good fit for the role at this company. So, including information about which jobs you are applying to is a logical part of this process. This includes the interest in multiple jobs.
At the same time, it is not a good idea to apply to multiple jobs at the same company if they are in totally different areas or require totally different skills. This can make you look indecisive, totally unqualified for both jobs, or worse. However, there are lots of times where the positions may overlap or it may be unclear which is the appropriate level for your qualifications. These are exactly the times when you should apply to multiple jobs at the same company and address your skills for each in the cover letter. The following covers exactly how to use that cover letter to position yourself effectively for multiple jobs at the same company.
Acknowledge the Interest
There are a few strategies to take when building the cover letter. But, the easiest one is to use the same cover letter for both jobs and to include clear interest in each. If you choose the one letter route, you will need to include the job titles and requisition numbers that you are applying to on the letter. You can easily do this by adding a "Re:" line right after the contact details in the letter. For example:
Attention: Sarah James, HR Representative
Fort Worth, Texas
Re: Business Development Director (Job ID 1234)
Business Development Manager (Job ID 1235)
Dear Ms. James:
The above example makes it easy for the person skimming the letter to see that you are applying to both roles. And, it makes it easier for you to apply to the positions because you are simply submitting a single letter to both jobs. You can also track these jobs more effectively because you have a letter that includes both job id numbers on it.
Alternatively, you could opt to create separate letters for each job. The advantage of doing this is that you can reframe the skills and details that are particularly relevant to the specific job you are submitting the letter to. However, you will still want to acknowledge the other application if the same recruiter may be working on both positions. Failing to do so may result in the recruiter making their own assumptions about your lack of focus, qualifications, etc. Thus, you are almost always better off controlling the narrative.
Include Details About Both
Regardless of whether you are using single or multiple cover letters, you will need to include details about your experience that show you are qualified for the jobs that you are applying to. In doing so, you will probably need to pick themes or concepts that show your value as a candidate and qualifications for the jobs. This is easiest when you are applying to basically the same job at different levels. However, it also works well when you are focused on your skills and how that could fit into either role.
Keep the cover letters focused on telling the story about why you are a good candidate and how that fits into their organization. The HR person and hiring manager will understand that you don't know everything about their organization and will appreciate your honesty in what you want and your strengths. Keeping the focus on what you do well and what you want to do next will make it easy to build a compelling cover letter. Good talent moves quickly in the current market and articulating what you want in the cover letter can make it easier for the hiring manager to find you the right fit in their organization.
As explained above, every cover letter needs to tell your story about why you want this job and why you are a good fit. You can do this when applying to multiple jobs if you are clear in the message about what you want and why you think these jobs may be a good match. This part should be the heart of your letter. You should connect what you want with your skills and tie it back to the requirements in the job posting. You can also take that one step further by tying it to the company's culture and what they do.
Make sure that your message is clear however you choose to tell your story. The person skimming your cover letter will be looking quickly. They don't want a complete life story or repetition of facts they already know. Instead, they simply want to know why did you apply to the multiple jobs and why is it that you think you are qualified for them. Make sure that you address this basic question clearly and strongly in the cover letter as that will help to set the stage for your interview.
Focus on Fit
The answer to the question of why should also address your fit for the roles and the company. What you want, your strengths, and the type of working environment that you are looking for is just as important as your qualifications for the role. Remember, people hire people for a job. You will have to get through the applicant tracking systems, but you will ultimately need to build a message starting with your cover letter that sets the tone for your fit with the company. This will make it easy for the people skimming the letter to understand the appropriate level for you in their organization and to make sure that you are a strong addition to their team.
You can address all of these items in a single cover letter for multiple jobs or adjust your message accordingly if using different cover letters for each job. The key is to make sure that you do clearly address how and where you think that you fit in the organization and to provide deference to the people at the organization to put you wherever they think is best.
Put the Letter to Use
Finally, and most importantly, make sure that you actually put the cover letter to work for you. Apply to the jobs! Don't hesitate to apply to multiple jobs at the same company if you are qualified for the roles and are interested in working at the organization. This doesn't mean that you should apply to countless jobs at the same company at the same time or to apply to the same company over the course of months. Instead, you should focus on what is the best fit for you and your qualifications.
Taking the time to build a strong cover letter that shows your skills for multiple positions can be the key to landing the interview. It can also make the interview process a lot easier if you set a strong tone in the cover letter and resume. So, take the time to craft that cover letter and start applying!
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