It’s a gamble unless you know the other party
A good job seeker is an aggressive job seeker. Right? Usually. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the employer in question. Just when you think that the employer holds all the cards, the job seeker can be the real winner when the cards are played correctly.
Take the case of the job seeker who applies for two different jobs with the same employer. Sounds appropriately aggressive, doesn’t it? But what if it’s a very large company where two jobs may be posted in two different departments, or divisions where neither knows about each other’s posting?
The problem arises when one or the other doesn’t know about the job seeker having applied for both. Some companies look negatively upon this as being representative of a scattershot job seeker who applies any and all jobs available. That can be viewed as a black mark, or worse, a disqualifier.
On the other hand, some companies may look upon the two applications as a sign of someone who is aggressive – and sufficiently aggressive to never stop looking, and someone who is very interested in the company, so much so that they will apply for more than one position.
It becomes incumbent upon the job seeker to know which company you’re dealing with.
As is typically the case, the best approach for the job seeker is honesty. (If you haven’t heard, it’s invariably the best policy.) “I’ve already applied for the XXX position in addition to your YYY. I think I’m qualified to do either position and am quite interested in your company.”
If the company frowns upon that sort of thing, you’ll learn that very quickly and be able to move on without wasting any more of yours or their time.
However, if they welcome it, you’re viewed as someone who is genuinely interested in them. And you will receive high marks for your honesty and straightforwardness.
It can be OK to apply for more than one job with a given employer, but you will improve your odds of landing either position, if you are up front about it.