How to Re-Apply for a Job That Rejected You

By Kaitlin Hurtado on February 2, 2019

Getting rejected for a position you really wanted is never easy. It is frustrating to see your efforts go “wasted” when you leave the job application process with a rejection instead of a new position, but it is not a waste when you still have the opportunity to learn and possible in the future, re-apply for the job that rejected you. It may sound strange – if they rejected you the first time around, what is going to make them want to hire you this time around? It happens more often than you think and if you are lucky, it may happen to you and give you the opportunity to re-apply for a job that previously rejected you.

Re-applying for a job that has previously rejected you can be even more daunting than going into the application process. There was something that didn’t make you the perfect fit the first time around, but if you go about re-applying for a job that rejected you the first time in the right way, you may come out with the job you were after, to begin with. If the opportunity for you to re-apply for a job that rejected you in the past comes up, take it and consider the following information when you try to re-apply for a job that rejected you.

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Try to clear your slate

The emotions of frustration and sadness may still be lingering from the first time you applied for a job and were rejected, and that is perfectly okay. It is okay to feel upset at a missed opportunity, but now that the same exact opportunity is offered up to you for the taking, it is time to let those emotions go and spend your energy on something that is even more important – securing the job you need.

You do not want to go into the job application process once more with ill feelings toward anyone in the company. For example, if you were working with a specific hiring manager while applying previously, do not hold them accountable for you not getting the job the first time. Remain professional and treat them just as you would the first time around. You do not want to sound accusatory and make them feel like it was their fault you did not get hired.

Look at this opportunity to re-apply for a job as a brand new opportunity, as if you had not previously applied for the job and were rejected. Do not fixate on the idea that you were rejected the first time around, because it may just hold you back from doing your best during the re-application process.

Learn from your past mistakes

Yes, you will want to erase the negative emotions associated with your initial rejection to the job you are re-applying for, but it does not mean that you have to forget the whole experience entirely. Just as you would for any job application process that you have gone through in the past, you will want to remember the experience as a learning experience. Reflect on the experience and think about what you can take away from it. Where do you think you really did well and appealed to a hiring manager? What question did you fumble on during a job interview, and how you would answer it now that you have had some time to think back on it?

You definitely cannot change the past, but you can learn from it and improve. Think back to when you initially applied for the job. Where do you think it went “wrong”? Was it is a clerical mistake, like not submitting paperwork on time or failing to provide a portfolio? Or did you fumble through the interview after being caught off-guard from a specific question?

Make note of your “mistakes” and try to apply what you learned for the re-application process. If you had time to think about certain interview questions, you will now be plenty more prepared to answer them.

Rewrite your resume, if you can 

Before re-applying for a job that you were previously hired for, take time to revise your resume. You do not want to go into the re-application process with the same exact resume, job interview answers, etc as last time you were applied. Truthfully, you were rejected for the position for a reason, and it may have been that your resume appeared lacking in comparison to other applicants, or that your resume did not accurately describe your skillset and experience.

If you are lost as to where you should start when revising your resume for your job re-application, start by reflecting back on what experiences or skills were emphasized during a job interview. For example, if they were asking for details on a skill that you did not explicitly have written out on your resume, you may want to consider incorporating it ou your revised resume.

If you were fortunate enough to get feedback from your job interviewer or hiring manager on why you were not hired, like lacking a specific skill or experience, you should also incorporate it into your rewritten resume, if you can.

Getting rejected for a position is not the end of the world, and if you do get an opportunity to re-apply for a job that you thought you were qualified for, do not be afraid to take advantage of it.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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