Applying to a second job at the same company? Bad form?

I am in the process of looking for jobs in Montréal, and a few weeks ago (June 27th, actually) I submitted my c.v. through a human resources email address for a job as a Stability Analyst (in a pharmaceutical company). I just returned to this company’s website, and discovered that a few days later, a posting for Method Development Analyst had been put up. I am much more interested in the latter job than in the first, although the two have similar skill sets.

My email for the initial job did reference the Stability job title and code specifically. That was a very old posting, but their website does say that if an add is still up, that means the position is still open, but I think this is one of those permanent postings.

Is it bad form to submit a second application to this company for the new position? The email address would be the same, so it might be read by the same person, although the job itself is, I think, at a differnt facility. I assume I’d have to somehow re-write my entire cover letter, or can I use the exact same one, with modifications to those extra skills that are specific to the second position?

Or should I just assume that everything goes into a database, and there’s a good chance that HR or the hiring manager will come across my c.v. anyways? Should I call the company and request that they consider me for the new position?

Should I just leave things alone?


As long as you are upfront about what you are doing, there should be no problem with this. Ideally your resume should be circulated to anyone who has a matching job, but there is no guarantee of that. Bell Labs used to have a policy of deciding internally which group made an offer - it was expected that candidates would interview with several groups.

Our system allows resumes to be directed to several openings. When I know of a good candidate, I often get several bites. If several groups express interest, then it’s time to say which you’d prefer. It doesn’t sound like you’re that far along. It is to the benefit of the company to put you in the job with the best match.

I’d send another resume in, mention that you’ve applied for the other job in your cover letter, and change it otherwise only to the extent of highlighting skills that are relevant. Just don’t do anything that would look odd if someone looked at both letters together!

Go for it, and good luck.

I wouldn’ bother to mention it at all, myself. I think that anything you write extraneous to the exact matter at hand could give people the idea that you may have a mind that may tend to irrelevancies. One group may be interviewing a set number of people, even though they already have the job slotted for somebody else, due to HR pressures. Another group in the same company may have specifications that would only fit…you.
Plus, you owe them nothing other than to take a bath before the interview, and believe me, they don’t believe that they owe you anything, form-wise.
best wishes,

HR person. I agree you should apply for both. As long as you don’t do anything absurd (apply under a false name…), I think either referencing the previous application or not would be OK. Definitely do not assume “oh, I’m already in the database, no need to apply again.” From a tactical perspective, people who express interest in a specific job get more direct consideration than database-dwelling resumes, which may not even be searched if enough people apply directly for the position.

A guy at work applied for a position in another department. He was accepted. But! The current department would not let him go for five months, so the other department cancelled their offer. He’s pretty miffed about it.

I don’t currently work there, so that’s not really a concern. I have seen stuff like that in the past though - I think that’s why I really want to be clear that I’m interested in the second job. I just don’t want to appear desperate! I am equally skilled in both jobs (my previous job didn’t distinguish between the two roles), and this company interests me a lot. The second is just a more challenging job.

I think tomorrow I’ll adapt my cover letter (although frankly, it will be mostly the same - it’s hard to rewrite something like that, but I’ll try!) and send off a new application. I’m still not sure if I’ll mention that I’ve applied to the other one… I’ll see if I can manage to do it without it sounding terrible! I assume my first application ended up in a database, but it WAS for a specific posting too. This isn’t a case of unsolicited applications.

If anyone else has input, please, go ahead and post it! Thanks to those of you who have!

Why not kill two birds with one stone? Write to them with reference to the first job (reminding them of who you are) and saying that should they have already filled the position (or somesuch), would they please consider you for the other position?

I would send a new set of materials for the new job, with a targeted letter. Hell, I’ve sent in multiple letter/resume sets at the same time to the same company, treating each listing as unique, even in the case where more than one went to HR. That way you are addressing that particular job and your interest in it. Who knows, depending on how materials are filed, the first set went to the hiring person for the first job and is now decentralized. Certainly make it easy on them by providing new materials.

Not that uncommon, depending on politics. You need to know the relative clout of the two managers. This happened to me - the receiving department wanted me, but my boss didn’t want to let me go (not that he even liked me.) This went against explicit company rules, but the way the balance of power was, there was nothing I could do - except find a new job. Which I did. When I turned in my letter of resignation, then my boss said I could move. :rolleyes: But, nothing to do with the OP.

As for the OP, I’m sure that it wouldn’t hurt not to mention the other application. I’d just be worried that someone seeing both, perhaps after a sort, wouldn’t automatically toss what they might think is a duplicate.