How to Reapply for a Job After a Rejection (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 21, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies usually hire or reject candidates after intensive hiring processes. If you get rejected for a position, it may be beneficial to apply again once you develop your skills or update your application documents. Learning possible reasons for reapplying and how to apply again for a role can help you determine appropriate situations and increase your chances of getting the job. In this article, we discuss why you might reapply for a job, describe how to complete the process, offer tips to help you succeed with your second application, and answer FAQs about applying again.

Why consider reapplying for a job?

You can reapply for a role and get it the second time. Since various factors may affect the results of your previous application, consider applying for a role again as you can learn from the first experience and perform better the next time. If an employer posts an open position again, it means they're searching for their ideal candidates. You can recognize any changes in the job description and your professional development and highlight them on your application to get positive results on your next attempt.

Related: 14 Signs Your Job Interview Went Well

Reasons to apply for a job again

Here are a few significant reasons you may choose to apply again for a position:

Resume compatibility issues

Many organizations often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen applications and select the top candidates for the role. If your resume doesn't contain specific skills and keywords essential for the job you're seeking, the ATS software may exclude it in its screening process. Resume incompatibility issues may affect your application outcome, so you can apply again with a resume designed to pass ATS software and reach the hiring manager for a comprehensive review.

Related: What Is an Applicant Tracking System? (With Benefits)

Varying candidate pool or job description

The candidate pool may change significantly compared to the first application period, especially if the employer defines the profile of their ideal employee. You can apply again if you believe the new job description fits your current abilities and career objectives at the moment. With a different batch of candidates, your application may seem more effective and fit the employer's description than others, helping to increase your chances of success in this hiring round. You may also consider applying again with an edited resume copy if you notice specific mistakes in your original one.

Enhanced credentials

You might apply again for the job if you've earned relevant certifications, awards, or additional degrees that can make you more qualified for the position. You might choose to do this if you didn't have the qualifications the potential employer wanted in an ideal candidate at the time of your first application. Consider applying again once you're sure you meet the employer's requirements for the role.

How to apply for a role again after a rejection

If you get rejected on your first attempt, you can follow these steps to apply again for the role:

1. Understand your reasons and motivations for applying

Before applying again, consider why you got an initial rejection and what's different with this second attempt. Reevaluate how the position can help you achieve your career goals and the skills you acquired after the previous hiring process. For example, you can ask yourself whether the position or the company interests you more. Your answer can help you determine whether to apply again for the job in the same company or another organization that aligns with your skill sets and career development goals better.

2. Write a better resume and cover letter

Hiring managers can quickly recognize resumes or cover letters they reviewed and rejected in the past. This is why writing a new and improved resume and cover letter highlighting your enhanced credentials and abilities is essential. Creating more effective application documents can help hiring managers understand how you're a more desirable candidate compared to your previous application. Highlight the new skills developed on your resume, and describe your recent experiences and accomplishments in your cover letter.

Related: Resume Tailoring: Definition, Benefits, and How-to

3. Prepare for an interview

Applying for a position again after receiving a rejection once can demonstrate a genuine interest in the role and company. It can also emphasize that you're a motivated and committed professional who can successfully overcome challenges at work. Present yourself as an effective candidate by preparing extensively before your interview. Consider researching potential questions about your role that interviewers may ask and prepare effective answers.

You can also prepare to explain why you're applying again for that specific role and how you're a better fit for the role with your enhanced skill and qualifications. Use your experiences to show potential employers you understand the role's requirements and can become a valuable asset to the company.

Tips for succeeding on your second application

Consider adopting the following valuable tips to help you succeed on your next application:

Search for referrals within the company

You may have a higher chance of reaching the interview stage a second time if you have a referral with the organization. Consider using professional social media platforms to find the company profile and check whether any of your existing connections work there. If you have connections at the company, you can speak to them about the open position and inquire whether they can deliver your resume directly to the hiring manager. You can also ask them questions about the company to make more informed decisions throughout the hiring process.

Related: Defining Employee Referral Programs

Customize your resume to the job description

Customizing your resume to the job description of the specific role you're seeking is essential. Consider the job requirements and skills listed in the posting, and let your resume reflect those capabilities. Ensure you demonstrate how your qualifications fit the employer's requirements. You can note all keywords in the job description and feature them in different sections of your resume.

This can help you ensure your resume is ATS-compatible and can pass the screening process successfully. If you're logging in to the ATS software to submit your application, ensure your documents are in the required format, such as .doc, .docx, or .pdf, to get positive results.

Related: Submitting Your Resume as a PDF or Word Document

Update your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments

Your first rejection may be due to various reasons the hiring manager considered. Consider asking for feedback on why you didn't get the job after the hiring process to identify areas you can improve. You can take actionable steps to improve the skills or credentials they highlighted and apply again for greater chances of success. When writing your new resume, ensure you update it so that it contains all the recent skills and qualifications you earned. You may also write a professional cover letter that can compel hiring managers to reconsider and potentially offer you the job.

Proofread your application documents

Before making final submissions, you can proofread your cover letter and resume to find any spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors. Correct all mistakes you notice and ensure you're submitting error-free application documents. You can also ask a mentor or trusted colleague to go you review your new resume draft and offer constructive criticism or feedback. Use the feedback to make necessary adjustments or modifications to improve your resume and cover letter quality.

FAQs about applying for a position again

Review the following answers to frequently asked questions about applying again to make more informed decisions during your next application process:

When can you apply again after a rejection?

Applying again a few months after your first application can be advisable. Unless you gained new credentials almost immediately that make you an excellent fit for the role, consider applying again after about three months. It can be reasonable to apply sooner if you have recently acquired skills or qualifications. Some companies may also have policies requiring rejected candidates to wait for a specific period before applying again for a role, so you can research the company's policies before deciding.

How can you refer to your prior application in your cover letter?

In your cover letter, it can be helpful to mention that you're applying for the same job a second time. Emphasize your research on the company and describe what specifically drives your desire to be a part of the organization. Acknowledge that you once applied and are unsure why the job is available again, but you consider it an opportunity for you.

Consider explaining how you developed as a professional in your field since your last encounter. You can also express your enthusiasm and desire to work in that role for the company as a valid reason to reconsider your application.

How do you apply for multiple positions at the same company?

It's usually advisable to apply for more than one job at a company if the job descriptions are similar and relevant. While this is fine, consider limiting it to two or three jobs within a company at maximum. First, determine your career goals and identify the qualifications and strengths that can help you achieve them. Next, you can use your experience and education information to establish the positions you can apply to in the company.

Adapt your application documents, like your resume and cover letter, to each specific position. According to their analysis, hiring managers can offer you the role that best suits your skill set.

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