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Career Advice

4 Signs You Should Apply Again After Being Rejected

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated May 8, 2018
|5 min read

Applying for jobs can be a strenuous mental challenge that can wear even the best of us down. Throw in some rejections to the process and our egos can be left feeling bruised and prevent us from taking advantage of new opportunities. This may hold true for that dream job you once applied to, but never heard back or got rejected from. What might not have been right then, could certainly be the right fit now, but only under certain circumstances.

Here are a few instances when you should definitely push yourself to re-apply for a job if you see it reposted after a few months have passed:

Scenario #1 You’ve done a deep dive into all your professional documents and rebranded yourself for the position (Think: LinkedIn, cover letter, and resume).

If you’ve given your professional documents a facelift and feel you’ve done a better job at articulating your career highlights, then you might increase the chances of your resume getting through the initial screening phase. Perhaps you forgot to attach a cover letter on the last round of applications or never completed the application form. In this situation, you should definitely re-apply.

Best practice: When applying for a job, make sure your cover letter, resume, and LinkedIn are up to date and tailored as much as possible. These documents should tell a cohesive story about who you are and easily showcase what you’re about, as a recruiter will spend 6 seconds on average viewing your resume. If you’re not getting traction with your current set of professional documents, consider hiring professional help!

Scenario #2 When you initially applied, the job had already been posted for 1-2 weeks.

Job applications for large organization receive on average 200-300 resumes per position and can often see up to 600 applicants. If your resume was number 200 in the pile, chances are a recruiter never laid eyes on it.

Best practice: When re-applying for the job, try connecting with someone in the organization who can help flag your resume in the system or connect directly with a recruiter. Don’t leave it up to the fate of the applicant tracking system! Career expert and Talent Acquisition Manager, Amanda Fulginiti, says that “Job hunting is a volume game. Don’t submit and pray.” Look for the backdoor into an organization, make meaningful connections, and get your resume into the hands of the right people.

Scenario #3 You’ve gained new experiences and growth within your current role.

You may have made it past a few rounds of interviews. The hiring managers loved you, unfortunately, they also loved another candidate who had more experience. Fast forward to the future where you’ve seen significant growth in your role, expanded your responsibilities, and added new skills to your toolbox. If you see the same job posted and it still piques your interest, you should definitely re-apply!     

Best practice: Take initiative by speaking to individuals in your roles of interest and get insight into the skills you should be developing to strengthen your profile. This shows that you are resourceful and willing to put yourself out there.

Scenario #4 A job was posted, you applied, were denied, but a more junior role like the first was posted.

If you’ve been rejected from a position, but a similar job shows up at a more junior level, you could definitely still apply depending on why you were initially rejected. As long as the job is a logical step forward professionally, it could still be a great opportunity. Given that you know there is a more senior role in that department, there is a clear opportunity for growth.

Best practice: Make sure to always keep a professional and transparent relationship with the recruiters you are working with, even if they are delivering bad news. By remaining professional, you keep the lines of communication open for future opportunities.

There are of course times that you will get rejected because you are not a fit, this is not something to be offended by. You might be a great person with a great set of chops, but for any reason the hiring managers didn’t feel that you would elevate their team. In this situation, there is not much you can do! However, career growth involves getting out there, showing your grit, and knocking on the right doors, rather than waiting for that dream job to appear.

Though our fear of rejection might hold us back, we could benefit from checking our ego at the door when it comes to re-applying for a job. In the worst of situations, you’ve lost an hour of your life filling out an application. In the best-case scenario, a new recruiter may come across your profile and think you're a great fit. Job hunting takes tenacity, and a whole lot of mental power. Remember, it's a marathon, not a race!

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