Picture the situation: you're looking for a move and you see a role at an organization you'd love to work at. It's pretty high level, a definite stretch for you, but these roles don't come up often so you put in your best application, get a phone interview and then have to wait (doing your professional follow up, of course).

Suddenly, you see a second opportunity at the same organization (but a different office). This one is slightly BELOW your experience (but not much) and you're itching to apply for it too. But it could conceivably report into the first role (the reporting line isn't completely clear in the job description).

So, can you apply for the second role? Or rather, can I apply for the second role? Without damaging my chances in the first? As a hiring manager or, more pertinently, the recruitment professional handling the first role, how would you view this?

Advice, tips and comments gratefully received.

Thank you.

afmoffa's picture

It makes the case that you like the company so much that the rank/salary of the position isn't the main draw for you. Something like:

"Yes, I met with Susan a few weeks back about the Marketing Manager position. I was tremendously impressed by her and by all the people I've bet here at Acme Industries. So far as I know, I'm still a candidate for Marketing Manager, but in my research for that position I learned about this position here in public affairs, which plays to my experience as an image consultant back when I was with Zenith. Acme is a great company, and one of the reasons I know I'd be a good match here is that I'm just as intrigued by this position as by the one I discussed with Susan."

jbezem's picture

Let me put it like this:
Applying for the first position looks like a definite career move. You call it a 'definite stretch', so in the eyes of the recruiter your offering to put in a high level of energy to become successful.
Applying for the second position as well suggests a move out of personal interest, otherwise you wouldn't go slightly below your level. With that, you indicate that career advancement may not be your only top priority, if at all.

If I were the recruiter, in that case you would disqualify for the first position almost immediately (assuming that all undiscussed issues are irrelevant to my decision...). And honestly, I'd also ask myself if you were the best for the second position.

Don't misunderstand me: I don't know you or the person you're describing. But to me it gives the impression of someone not quite sure of the direction he/she wants to go. And since recruiters are always looking for a reason to say 'No', that's not a good thing.

But then again, it's just my opinion ;-)


Johan Bezem

Interim Manager
Embedded Systems Consultant

wendii's picture

Can you give me some more information?

How big is the company?
Do you have a relationship with anyone other than the person you had phone screen with?
Is that person a hiring manager or a recruiter/HR?


mkirk's picture

First, thanks for the advice, I appreciate you all taking the time to respond.

To answer Wendii: 

The organisation is a big multinational.

I do have a contact, who is not a recruiter/HR. He's not involved in this area, but I am sure he has hired people there, in his field.