It’s a conundrum that confronts every job seeker at some point in his or her career. You applied for what sounded like a pretty cool job and never heard back; weeks or months later, as you scan through the listings, you see that the position is still open. Do you risk applying again?
The answer is yes—with a pretty big catch. Larger companies use automated software in order to screen cover letters and resumes, and there’s a good chance that your first application was rejected by the system before human eyes could see your qualifications. Revising your materials could boost your chances of getting though the screening software the second time around.
That being said, applying a second time carries more risk with smaller firms, which often boast HR operations exclusively run by human beings. In such cases, you need to evaluate whether it’s worth annoying those humans a second time, especially if they rejected you initially. If something’s changed in your career—you’ve learned a new skill, achieved a relevant certification or degree, or completed a huge project that shows your increased competency—it might be worth taking another shot at the position, provided you update your cover letter and resume accordingly.
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