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The scenario:

  • You apply for a position at a company through their job portal
  • You never hear back
  • Several months later you come across another position at said company that you'd like to apply for.

What should one do? There was no personal relationship set up prior, nor during the first application. No response could mean almost anything from I suck and am not worthy to, they had 500 applicants and simply didn't bother reading resumes after the first 10.

Is it a faux pax to apply for a position at a company that you've already sent a resume to previously?

  • @JoeStrazzere is there any downside to re-applying for the same position (other than potentially wasting my time)? – DA. Apr 11 '14 at 17:52
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    If my quals changed in that time interval of several months, I'd reapply - but with updated resume and updated cover letter. It's most probably useless to reapply with the same resume and cover letter that you used the last time and that they used to screen you out, because both (and the decision not to go forward and the rationale for the decision not to go forward) are probably in HR's database. – Vietnhi Phuvan Apr 11 '14 at 17:58
  • @JoeStrazzere I agree with you. And that sounds plausible. That said (just griping here) how can I take a hint when none was ever given to me? (I just do not like companies that can't even say "thanks for your resume, we'll take a look") – DA. Apr 11 '14 at 18:34
  • Objectively, I think it would be a good idea to apply, especially if it is a different position or if your resume was updated since then. Subjectively, I probably wouldn't care about applying, but of course it's a matter of personal preferences. – Jake Feb 21 at 23:44
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If you never heard back, you really don't know the reason: you looked terrible; it got overlooked for a technical or human reason; you looked really good, but enough others looked better that you didn't quite make the cut; or something else.

Because you don't know if you were close or far away then, and you've now got more experience, it won't hurt at all to try again. You're not sending an application every 3 days, you're not applying to all sorts of different jobs at the same place. You're sending one more targeted application after some length of time. That is fine.

As Vietnhi Phuvan said in the comments, it is quite appropriate to update your resume and cover letter so they have your current experience and are targeted to this job. (For more information on making a great resume and cover letter, browse Ask A Manager.)

They may be rude and not reply in this process, like many companies, but that is true of a lot of companies that turn out to be good to work for. So once you apply, move on and keep looking for other good openings.

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