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I'm a graduate student applying for summer internships, and some companies have several internships that interest me. If I apply to multiple internships, I don't know if any of the applications will be seen by the same people, or if the reviewers for one position might pass my application to the reviewers for another position that they think is a better fit. There is no HR contact information available other than the online search and application pages, which require separate applications for each position.

Is there any standard or best practice for applying for multiple positions at the same company? Should I mention in my cover letters that I'm interested in or applying for multiple positions?

  • I don't believe this is a duplicate of this question, because the accepted answer of "Talk to their HR person" is not an option here. – ShadSterling Jan 10 '15 at 1:45
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As others have answered there is no problem in applying for multiple, appropriate, positions but I would suggest including a note that you are applying for multiple positions because a) they all fit your skill set, b) they all match your interests and/or course profile and c) you have heard what a good company it is. That way it looks less of a shotgun approach.

You can also mention which other internships you are applying for and that in the event of you being invited for interview it could be convenient for everybody to attempt to coordinate the interviews.

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A lot of companies consider interns for multiple positions regardless of what they apply for, since they often don't have much to fill out a resume or to determine skills and aptitudes. Regardless, I think it's relatively safe to apply for multiple internships if they all interest you, the company will sort out where best to place you of they like you as a candidate.

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Apply to each internship position that interests you.

You have actually answered your own question, perhaps without realizing it. You have no way of telling how the company would process your application internally, that is, who gets to look at it, how they shortlist candidates, and whether they will consider "rejected" candidates for other positions. It is in your best interests to apply to each position separately.

Be aware that big companies typically develop a silo mentality, so knocking at as many doors as you can increases your chances of entering. It certainly won't cause you any harm, except for a minor "inconvenience" of potentially getting invitations to multiple interviews with the same company.

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