Sometimes the old adage of “don’t take no for an answer” can pay off, especially when it comes to your job search. For many job seekers, they may think erroneously that you only receive one attempt to get hired by a company. They believe that once you have been rejected then you are prevented forever from trying again. The reality is, however, that sometimes the initial rejection actually sets you up for the next potential opportunity with a prospective employer.

There are a few initial keys for a job seeker thinking about reapplying to a company. Here are 3 items to consider:

• How Did Your First Attempt Go: If you felt that you aligned well with the company and that your interview went well, then perhaps it makes sense to reapply. The difference between finalists for a position is often very small. Sometimes you can be a very strong candidate, but just miss out to someone else for the position by the slightest margin.

• Did You Like What You Saw and Heard: It does not make much sense to reapply for a company that you did not have a pleasant experience with the first time. It is unlikely that the second attempt will result in a different and better situation for you. If, however, you felt that the company would provide you with what you are seeking in an employer, then reapplying is definitely something to think about.

• What Was Your Reaction To The Rejection: If you are able to connect with the recruiter or hiring manager and are personally told that you were not selected, then how you responded is critical to whether you will be considered again. If you are fortunate enough to receive feedback, then be sure to listen intently and thank the communicator for the information. You can even ask if you are welcome to reapply and, perhaps, even reference the hiring manager when applying again. This will potentially provide you with an inside advantage when trying again the next time.

There are several items to consider when determining if and when to reapply to a company. Some strategy is involved in optimizing your opportunity to succeed the second time around. 

• Review The Feedback: If you did get some feedback from the hiring manager last time, you should review that information for what you can do differently. Perhaps, since you last applied you picked up a skill or some experience that you did not previously possess. If so, highlight in your resume what has positively changed for you in order to convince the company to give you another look.

• Is It A Good Time To Reapply: You may want to allow some time to pass before you reapply, so that the rejection is not fresh in the mind of the hiring manager. This also could give you the time needed to improve your candidacy based on the feedback provided. You also don’t want to give off the impression that you are desperate or that you apply for everything by submitting another resume so soon.

• Do Some Networking: If you really were impressed with this prospective employer and are genuinely interested in working with them, then take some time to network. You can easily reach out to current employees via social media or at an industry event, in order to make some potential new inroads. These people can give you inside information on the company, allowing you to potentially confirm your initial impressions. They can also give you a heads-up on new opportunities within the company and, perhaps, even be a referral for you.

• Consider Reaching Out Ahead Of Applying: If you still have the contact information of the recruiter or hiring manager, then you may want to reach out to them prior to submitting your new resume. You can give them a heads up that you are reapplying and look for it amongst the other applicants.

There are many directions that you can go in during your job search. Sometimes, the best direction is to go back and revisit a company that you have already applied to and perhaps spoken with for a position. This familiarity may assist both you and the prospective employer to make the decision that the second time is the charm and this time you should join them. A savvy job seeker keeps all potential doors open and does not ignore an interesting job opportunity because they applied there before.

As always, best of luck in your job search!

The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein


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