applying for a job where you've been previously rejected

Down but not out

If you’re applying for a job at a company where you’ve previously applied and missed the mark, first things first: be up-front about your application history and rejection. Some candidates may try to wipe the slate clean by acting as if it’s their first time applying. That’s a mistake. They will likely figure out that you’ve applied in the past, and the news of your earlier rejection is certainly better coming (strategically packaged) from you, rather than from the company’s HR department or the hiring manager who did the rejecting.

Before you write your cover letter and before you interview, reflect thoughtfully (and realistically; don’t succumb to any paranoid notions that you are the victim of a world snickering at the idea of you being unemployed) on why you were rejected the first time around, and what you’ve done since then to better yourself: to expand or sharpen your skill set; to get more and more relevant experience under your belt; etc.

Note these considerations in your resume and cover letter (particularly in the latter), but do not be apologetic for your past shortcomings; instead, be positive about what you have to offer now. Think of yourself as Job Candidate 2.0. Better. Smarter. Wiser.

And keep in mind that you have two things that first-time applicants don’t:

  • An understanding of the company from the inside (having stepped through the interview process before)
  • A proven dedication to wanting to work for the company!


Which reminds me: Do…Not…Give…Up

I have a client who, over the course of nearly two years, applied not once, not twice, but three times to Google before landing a gig there. She’s been at Google for six years now. And she loves it. And they love her.

The moral of the story? If at first you don’t succeed…