Can You Apply for Multiple Jobs at the Same Organization? Work in Sports Podcast

The Big Question today, can you apply for multiple jobs at the same organization at the same time? Let's dig in.

Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

For all of the professors in the audience – and I know you are out there - I’m going to be at NASSM conference in New Orleans for a few days this year. First time at NASSM, so connect with me if you’d like to connect.Brian Clapp Host of the Work in Sports Podcast

For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about – NASSM is the North American Society for Sports Management – which sounds so official. The Society for Sports Management. Well, they have a yearly conference and I’m going.

Why am I going – a couple of reasons:

1: I speak in a lot of college classrooms about getting hired in the sports industry, and I’d like to meet some of the professors face-to-face.

2: Our product is an incredible tool for students, not just to find sports jobs, although we are the absolute best at that, but also as a research tool into the industry, so again talking to professors on that.

And finally #3:  We are creating an online curriculum on the strategies and tactics students and aspiring sports workers need to employ to getting hired in the sports industry. Colleges often do a great job of teaching you the theories and skills… but they don’t focus on 'the how to get hired' stuff. That is where we come in, and I’m telling you, after spending months and months on this… it’s balling.

Videos, written word, assignments, podcasts, downloadable worksheets, and checklists… it is so ridiculously thorough and is your key to getting hired.

We’ll be doing group sales direct with colleges, and individual sales for anyone via…  as you can tell I’m super excited about it and if I’ve piqued your interest…connect with me and we can talk more.

As for today's sports career focused question… it comes in from Kavolshia Howse – I met Kavolshia at our Sports Career Accelerator event in Atlanta back in September… and she had a question about her job hunt, now she mentions some specific companies in this email, and I’m taking them out but you’ll still get the gist of her question

Hi Brian,

I hope you are well. I'm reaching out because I need some job-hunting advice. 

I have an interview coming up for an associate producer role with [a certain network]. However, another network under the same umbrella of companies recently posted an associate producer opening as well. 

I would like to be considered for both positions but I don't want to jeopardize a potential relationship with the larger company.

Do you have any advice for me? 

Kavo – good question and I’m going to go two angles with this.

1: Your example is with a huge organization with many separate business units/branches/bureaus --

But 2: Another similar question I get all the time is can I apply to two jobs at the same company at the same time.

Let’s start with #2… No, you can’t. If it is the same organization, same building, same HR department, same, same… applying to multiple jobs is a red flag.

Applying to two different jobs at the same company at the same time sends the wrong message. It tells the employer, I want any job with your organization, not this particular job, just any job.

That is not the message employers want to hear.

For example, if the Savannah Bananas have an opening for a Director of Fan Engagement and a Director of Ticket Sales – pick the job you want and are the best fit for, and apply.

If during the process it becomes clear you aren’t going to get the job you originally intended – then you can pivot - but only after the message that you aren’t getting this job is clear.

Let’s say you are on an interview for the job in Fan Engagement, and after a few rounds they say – hey you’ve done a wonderful job here, but we’re going to move forward with another candidate.

Don’t lose that moment!

Most people in hiring, unless you’ve been kind of a jerk to them, feel a little guilty and hate the process of telling someone, you aren’t the one. Leverage this moment.

Tell them you know I also have a background in sales and I see you have another opportunity at the Bananas as Director of Ticket Sales, is there an opportunity for me to be considered for that role? I respect this organization so much and would love to be a part of the team.

This can work. And I am all for taking advantage of the moment you have. You have a hiring manager at this organization getting to know you and possibly even like you. They’ve said nice things about you, but you didn’t get the job you were originally aiming for.

I think you take advantage of that moment.

Now what you don’t want to do is say “hey, so, what other openings do you have?”

That looks sloppy and desperate, but if you say, in your well researched professional voice, you know I noticed you have an opening in ticket sales and while this job was my first hope, I wanted to know if I could be considered for that position?”

That’s a good move.

In fact, if they think you may be a match for the role they may bring it up themselves… but don’t rely on that.

I’ve told this story before, but I’ll reiterate it again… I was at CNN/Sports Illustrated and started interviewing with Fox Sports in LA for a coordinating producer role at The Best Damn Sports Show Period. I think at one point they asked me if I preferred Tom Arnold or Jay Mohr on the show… and I said Jay Mohr…looking back they hired Tom Arnold so maybe that was my mistake… or theirs! OK, getting back on track, the reason I bring this up is because when it became clear I wasn’t getting that role, they said “you know what, we have this opening at Fox Sports Northwest we think you could be a great match for”

Badda Bing Badda boom next thing you know I’m in Seattle.

So, if you are a good candidate, use a moment of disappointment to pivot to another opportunity- they might do it for you, but don’t wait on that, be prepared and pivot.

But let’s get back to Kavo’s situation – which is unique.

If you are applying to a job at a large organization with multiple branches, or bureaus, or business units in different locations….it is fair game to apply to multiple openings that are similar roles.

It makes no sense to apply for an associate producer role and a role in engineering – then you just look scatterbrained, but if you apply for an AP role at one network, and an AP role at another network in a different location – totally cool.

The message that sends is – I want to work as an associate producer in your organization. It is still focused, you are just keeping your name in the running for multiple similar options.

And the keyword there is similar. Don’t just scatter your resume everywhere --- stay focused, remember the message you are sending.

Every move you make has a message associated with it. By applying to the same type of job in the organization, you aren’t saying “I’ll take anything!” you are saying “I want to be an associate producer!”

That’s OK!

Companies that use a unified applicant tracking system will see that you have applied for multiple jobs in their organization, and I get why people will advise you that this is a bad thing. But they are being superficial. If the hiring manager looks down and sees you applied for two jobs of similar skill sets, then that isn’t confusing at all.

Give these people in HR credit!

When I talked recently with Mailynh Vu Assistant Director of Talent Acquisition for the Cleveland Indians she made it clear, we want people that want to work in our organization AND are qualified for the role….not one or the other… BOTH!

So again, it is your job to show off that you want to work for this organization, AND you have the qualifying skills for it.

Applying to two similar jobs within a large organization and multiple locations will not hurt you!

BUT, applying to any job within one organization will.

Make sense? Now go for it!

See you all on Wednesday…my guest this week is Colbe Herr Director of Baseball at IMG Academy – really cool organization and Cole is a very interesting guy – make sure to tune in!

Now get back to work!

By Brian Clapp | April 22, 2019
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