Responding to Multiple and Confidential Job Listings


When searching for jobs, I often find that I qualify for more than one opening at a company. Is sending the same resume for each position OK? Also, sometimes employers don’t identify themselves in ads, so I can’t do research on the company. Why are they being so secretive?

Often job seekers notice a company is advertising more than one job opening that fits their qualifications. They send only one resume, assuming recruiters will pass it around to decide which position is the best fit. In fact, this doesn’t generally happen. . If you’re applying for three jobs at the same company, send three resumes, but tailor each resume to each specific job.

The Blind Ad Rationale

Companies sometimes choose to run an anonymous job ad using a P.O. Box for responses because:

  1. A search firm or corporation is testing to survey available candidates for positions similar to the one described – meaning this is a bogus ad.

The Solution

If the P.O. Box is privately-owned by a newspaper or online career center, you’re out of luck. You’ll just have to tailor your resume and cover letter to the job, and hope for a reply.

If it’s a federal P.O. Box, however, you can sometimes get the name of the company using it if you approach a postal employee and ask nicely. Once you know the company, you can usually identify the head of HR. And while that person might not be the one recruiting for your particular job, your perseverance and ingenuity may earn you a recommendation to the appropriate individual. At least you’ll stand out from the crowdin a positive, proactive way.

The Ultimate Solution

Any career planner will tell you that responding to employment adsis only one way to use valuable job search time. If you want to maximize your job seeking effort, it’s important to spend much of your day networking with professionals, colleagues and friends, too. Networking can be a great resourcefor finding out about positions and landing offers, and it has the added advantage of giving you greater control over your job search. Rather than just waiting for a response from employersand recruiters, initiating and following up on personal contacts will help you take charge of your job search, as well as cut your wondering time to a minimum.

Having said that, online job ads still can be a great resource, but only IF you . That way you can research the organization and tailor your resume and the first paragraph of your cover letter to showcase your specific interest in the company.

Why should you push to learn as much as possible about a company before answering their job ad? Because using an individual’s name gets your cover letter off to a much better start than, “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” And, you’re able to call or email this person to check in on what’s happening with your resume, instead of sitting around hoping for a call from Mr. or Ms. Anonymous.

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