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This must be a hot topic these days, as I’ve received the same question three times this week.

A position I applied for is reposted. Should I apply for it again?

Before I answer the $64,000 question, let’s breakdown the reasons why a position has been reposted.

  1. They were unable to secure their first choice candidate during the first round of interviews and they didn’t want to “settle” for the second choice.
  2. They weren’t able to find any qualified candidates during the first search and need to expand their candidate pool.
  3. Funding for the position was lost and then reallocated.
  4. The position details have been updated to more accurately reflect the current opening.
  5. The hiring manager is indecisive and cannot choose someone to fill the opening.
  6. Because they felt like it. 😉 Just making sure you’re still with me here…

Missing from the list that always comes up is that it has something to do with you, personally. It doesn’t – you aren’t in their sphere of influence (yet).

Obviously the position isn’t going to post with their reasoning, so it’s hard to tell why a position is reposted. But the reason itself is irrelevant (unless you know for sure that the manager is indecisive – if that’s the case, RUN).

When to Reapply for a Position

You have not yet gone through the interview process.

In other words, when you applied the first time, you did not receive an interview request. If you participated in the interview process in any way at all, you will not be reconsidered for the position. So don’t waste your time reapplying. You were determined to not be a fit, so it’s time to move on.

Yep, that’s when you can reapply. There is only ONE restriction of when it’s inappropriate to reapply. For the majority of reposted positions, this means you should reapply!

But before you do…

You weren’t chosen the first time around, so if you do the same thing again with your application process, you will be overlooked again. It makes absolutely no sense to send along the same resume and cover letter and not follow-up, if that method/process didn’t work for you before.

Change it up! When you reapply, update and tweak your resume to be a better match the position’s posting and follow-up. Here’s some guidance on how. Either way, don’t simply repeat the same thing that didn’t work for you the first time around – make an impact and deliver a better package.

But won’t they laugh/scoff at me for applying again?

Nope, they don’t really care or “keep track” of those things. Let me clarify – they may or may not recognize your name if you apply again, but they aren’t judging you for “being silly enough to apply again.”

If you are applying via an online application software program (think: most big companies), then they would have a record of you applying twice. But the recruiter won’t typically count you out because of it. And you increase those odds of being considered by making a personal connection.

Overall Lesson

It’s extremely difficult for recruiters or hiring managers to individually go through every single application and resume – although they try their best, they are human. Which means that it provides you with another opportunity to make an impression on them when the position is reposted.

One strike does not mean you’re out!