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Take two: Successfully reapplying to a company after rejection

CareerBuilder | October 10, 2022

Reapplying after rejection

Are you wondering if you can reapply for a job after being rejected? The answer is yes! Learn how to stand out the second time around.

So you've been rejected. Though it's disappointing to get the no-go for a job you're coveting, a rejection doesn't always signal the end of the road. Hiring managers are usually more than happy to reconsider a previous candidate under the right circumstances. Understanding when and how to reapply for a job after being rejected is key. Taking a thoughtful approach to this situation will help you position yourself well for success on your second go. Here's how to reapply for a job after being rejected.

Evaluate your last attempt

Carefully consider why you didn't get the job. If you had an interview, you may find some clues in that conversation. Think about whether the hiring manager inquired about particular skills or expertise that you were lacking. Review the job posting and compare it to your resume to look for areas where you may need to bolster your skill set.

If the company features employee profiles on its website, you may even have the opportunity to evaluate the individual that they hired. Check out their online profiles and see how their skill set and work history compares to your own. Take an honest approach to the areas where you're lacking so you'll know how to shore up your resume for the next attempt.

Know when to try again

If you didn't get an interview, you can continue to apply with the company as soon as another appropriate position becomes available. It's possible that your resume didn't even make it through the applicant tracking system and you got an automated rejection without ever reaching the hiring manager. If this is the case, it's especially important to adjust your resume and work on keyword use so you'll get an interview on your next attempt.

If you interviewed for the position, it's best to wait three to six months before you apply again. This gives you adequate time to build your skill set, gain new expertise, and make a solid case for why you're better equipped for the job now than you were before. If there's a significant change to your credentials, such as a newly completed degree, you may consider reapplying sooner.

Reach out to other employees

If possible, make connections with other employees at the company. Established employees may have valuable insights into why you didn't get the job. If you're well qualified for the position, you may want to consider the company culture. Speaking to someone within the company can yield great insights into things like dress code, beliefs, values, and behavior. Understanding an organization's culture may help you tailor your resume to better suit the company's vision and mission. This type of information will also prove invaluable in the interview, where hiring managers assess your cultural fit with the company in person.

Reconnect with the hiring manager


It's always a favorable position when an applicant is on the mind of an HR professional involved with recruiting because they constantly have visibility and support requests to fill roles.


If you previously interviewed with the company, it's a good idea to reconnect with the hiring manager before you reapply. When you see that a new position is available within the company, contact the hiring manager directly to remind them that your resume is on file and you're still interested in working with the organization. Mention any progress that you've made since the last time you interviewed with the company. If there are significant changes to your resume, you can offer an updated document that provides a more accurate overview of your skills and experience.

Joshua Siva, co-author of "BOLD: Get Noticed, Get Hired," notes that "It's always a favorable position when an applicant is on the mind of an HR professional involved with recruiting because they constantly have visibility and support requests to fill roles." Checking in periodically with this individual is a great way to stay at the top of the pile when new opportunities arise.

Adjust your approach

Upload a new resume and cover letter before you reapply for a job after being rejected. It's important for potential employers to see that you've not been idle between applications. Your updated resume should highlight new skills or experiences that you've gained since you last reached out.

When you take a mindful approach and make the appropriate changes, you can successfully reapply for a job after being rejected and make a great impression on the company. Emphasize your passion for working within this particular company and focus on how you've built your skill set since your last interview. Your dedication may finally earn you a place in that coveted office.


More tips for landing the job on your second time around

Make sure your resume is customized to stand out from the other candidates so you don't get lost in the mix.

Catch the hiring manager's eye with carefully crafted words and phrases designed to impress.

Review your skills section and fill it with some of the top abilities that companies are looking for.

Clean up your social media profile so it makes a great impression on employers who look you up.

Follow the proper steps to follow up on your application.