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I'm a young graduate with 1 year and some months of experience (IT). The company I'm currently with is not working well and for other reasons that I shouldn't describe here, I'm looking for another job.

I saw an ad for a big company that interests me and matched my skills. The hiccup is that the application domain is not what I'm doing right now; but all skills related to this application domain are written as a "plus" for the position and are not strictly "required". There is no experience requirement in the ad.

While browsing through the same company ads, I saw a job position for recent grads, with 0~2 years of experience. The recent grads ad is for everything from IT to chemistry through HR. I'm now considering applying to this position for the IT part.

I was thinking of applying for both the first position and the entry-level one with the same resume/cover letter (as there are no specifics for the entry level graduate position) and adding in the non-entry level application that I'm open to starting as a fresher.

Do you think this is counter productive as I am kind of diminishing my experience? Or that they probably will understand it as an acknowledgement that I have not much experience in their application domain but very interested in it and in their company?

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    Applying never hurts, the easiest way to fail is to not try at all. – FiringSquadWitness Feb 27 '17 at 6:20
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    Apply to the position you want. It sounds like you want the first one that interests you, so apply to that one with this company. Save your additional applications for other openings elsewhere. – Brandin Feb 27 '17 at 7:12
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  • As written this question is off-topic under career advice and the fact that we lack the ability to predict the future. I think you can edit this to focus more on "Will it look bad to apply for both a junior and entry-level position?" which should be sufficiently different from the two linked questions which this is otherwise a duplicate of. – Lilienthal Feb 27 '17 at 7:59
  • @Brandin thanks for the links. Maybe it was not clear in my question, but the thing is that I believe both positions are really similar (the junior one includes the entry level one) - except that applying as entry level might open more doors and be easier, and applying as junior might lead to a better pay and position. So my case is a tad more peculiar. – noneppp Feb 27 '17 at 8:11
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What you're considering doing is advertising the same product (yourself) with different degrees of quality. You're going to submit the product as being premium, and budget brand, to the same potential customer. Pick which one you are and market based on that. If I saw this, I'd immediately assume that you yourself don't feel confident enough to obtain the better position.

Not as career advice, but as general advice when interacting with a potential new employer under these circumstances, I'd submit that you should go after the better position.

If you get a decent HR person and everything goes well, but they identify that you fall slightly short of their expectations for this particular role, you shouldn't even have to ask if you could be considered for the lesser role, it would be offered to you. Hiring personnel worth half their salt would notice if they had a better fit for you, and wouldn't let a candidate walk out the door without at least exploring this.

  • Thanks. That's a nice way of thinking about it. The junior position seems to be too specific to application domain and I'm afraid that the hiring manager will just dismiss my application on the ground that I don't have experiences in this field. I guess I'll apply for the entry level one (which I don't mind), and insisting on skills for the junior one. That should maximise my outcomes of getting an interview and showing my motivation. – noneppp Feb 28 '17 at 3:56
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    @noneppp I can't tell you the right decision here, but I can say that nobody ever got anywhere without taking a risk. I'd personally aim for the almost-out-of-reach position if I felt confident enough in my ability to learn quickly and perform well. All the best. – user60813 Feb 28 '17 at 5:11
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Having spent 30 years in corporate America, in many different positions, I want to give you a different perspective.

I agree with the marketing analogy. However, I believe wondering about which position to apply for is inconsequential to marketing, the hiring process, and your likelihood of getting an interview. Put the one best match for you in the cover letter if you like (aim high!!), but the subtext is that you are so interested in the company and so want to be part of what they do, that you want an interview. Focusing on explaining how you'll basically take any role to work there is not a compelling story.

The goal of the application (resume & cover letter) is to compel the hiring manager to interview you. Research the company so that, in your letter (and hopefully the subsequent interview), you can speak directly to what interests and inspires you about the company, and how you can add value to that. Also, through your research, identify at least one "pain" point they have and how your skills can help alleviate it. Maybe they're experiencing very fast growth and cannot keep up? Maybe they're needing innovation to reach a new sector of the market?... etc.

You might find the work of Liz Ryan, Founder and CEO, Human Workplace, to be particularly helpful and insightful. She posts free resources all of the time about how to contact and communicate with prospective employers.

I hope this helps. Very best of luck to you!

  • Right. Because providing actual experience of what the resume and cover letter are meant to do along with an excellent resource for more information about compelling people to interview someone isn't good information. The original question begs the question. It assumes one should even focus on asking for specific positions. I am offering a sound, proven, alternative to the old-style typical cover letter (along with the reference for this model). So sorry if that upset someone out there. – Hilltop House Mar 3 '17 at 19:38

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