I am looking to apply for a trainee position at a big European space company. There are around 60 positions available, of which 2 are interesting for me. Unfortunately the company has the policy that only one application can be sent per person. This means that I have to estimate the chance on success for each position I'm interested in and apply for the position with the highest chance.

My question is about estimating this chance.

For one position I fit the requirements well based on my academic background (aerospace engineering).

The other position is in a different field (architecture and civil engineering) However, I've acquired some experience in this field in my graduation project. Additionally I'm more motivated as the described project interests me more than the one for which I'm trained.

My question:
Is my chance to get hired as a trainee higher on the position that fits my academic background or on the one where I can provide a better motivation (in the cover letter) and show experience?

Or is this something that is impossible to say as there's no general guideline in hiring trainees?

  • you should apply for what you are more interested in, not what you think you will get. after all, you can almost definitely get a job at the local mcdonald's - should you though? – bharal Dec 7 '14 at 1:25
  • Voting to close because the answer will be based on knowledge of this employer's internal policies and priorities, which we have to way to know because this employer is certainly not telling us. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 7 '14 at 1:32
  • @bharal, in an ideal world, that advice works for everyone. But not everyone is in a financial situation where they can prioritize happiness over money. Besides, for all we know, the OP may already be working at McD's and be trying to better themself. – atk Dec 7 '14 at 2:15

What matters most depends upon what the hiring manager is looking for. One position might require experience while the other might require education. There's really no way for anyone but the hiring manager (or someone who asks them) to know.

But, you can look at the job description and see if there are any hints. What skills do the job descriptions stress? What do they mark as required and what do they indicate as nice to have?

You can also research the company. Are you on linkedin? Are they? What does the manager's profile look like? Can you infer who they manage/work with based on their connections? What does the team seem to look like. What about glassdoor reviews? What do they indicate the company culture typically wants? Keep in mind that these are only hints, not authoritative answers, and are less useful if the company or team is larger.

If you happen to know a recruiter at the company, you can ask them. Recruiters' jobs are to pair people with positions, so there is some incentive to help you. Or you could just cold call their HR department and ask

  • Thanks for the answer. While it didn't answer my (bad) question it did remind me of the glass door website. I found a few useful pointers there. – Saaru Lindestøkke Dec 8 '14 at 18:02

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