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Recently I've noticed many large employers have in their career portal the possibility to apply to a "General applicant pool" when postings may not be relevant for a candidate, but where the candidate can assume the employer may have use of them. Say it is an engineering firm, they are looking for juniors, but you are a senior, and you know there is a good chance they will look for seniors two months from now.

My professional profile is quite hybrid; I have a non typical professional path (like returned to school in a field unrelated to the first, both are useful in my industry, just that fields are usually exclusive from one another). Thus I rarely find a job posting requiring both - and consequently I apply to the general applicant pool with the hope that HR will see larger than the boxes (job posting) they create, or that they will just put me in a box somehow. I prepare a targeted cover letter explaining how my hybrid profile may be of interest for this particular firm and join my CV. But I never had a callback for applying in the general candidate pools.

Are general candidate pools used at all? Should one bother with this?

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  • @JoeStrazzere this is my philosophy kinda. Just that it takes time anyways and returns are none, wondering if there are any positive experiences from others in the community
    – marsisalie
    Jul 29 at 17:32

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I have a friend who applied for many well-defined positions and general positions several times (for about 1 year) at a company. Eventually, he was interviewed for both the well-defined position and general position by 2 different teams.

You may get an interview when the time is right. It's hard to know how serious the hiring managers look at this kind of general positions. If they interview you for this general position, usually it means that your skills already closely match with their other well-defined positions.

I guess the key is to be patient, and you should also apply for other well-defined positions at the same time. This way, the company sees that you really like them, and are very interested in working for them.

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Anything is worth trying when you need a job.

Since you ask for personal experience, I have done it a few times but never gotten anywhere with it in the IT industry. But I have seen many low level workers get jobs this way in multiple industries.

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It’s a long shot but it doesn’t harm either.

HR will search the pool against the specific requirements of the job they are currently working to fill. If there is enough of a match your resume may get sourced to the next level.

That doesn’t happen very often but it’s also not a lot of work to apply. So it’s low effort and low probability of success

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