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I know similar questions have been asked before, but I am asking this question again based on my very specific circumstances, and am hoping for answers tailored to my situation.

I applied for this position nearly three months ago. I was rejected without any interviews. It appears that I was "desk-rejected".

I do not know for certain why, but I strongly suspect that it was because for the mandatory Yes/No question asking if I was authorized to work in the US (it is a job in the US and I am not a US citizen), I put "No". I did explain elsewhere that I was going to apply for such authorization.

(What I've heard is that hiring managers are typically so overwhelmed by applications that they are just looking for the slightest excuse to toss out applications and narrow the field down. So the lack of US work authorization would seem a convenient weeding mechanism. I am of course just speculating, in this particular instance.)

The exact same position is still available. (I think it was first put up in April or May of this year and it seems that they haven't found anyone.) I am still very interested in it. And I genuinely, if somewhat immodestly, believe that I am the best-suited person for the job and that I can prove it, if only they would give me a chance at even a preliminary interview.

The main change in my circumstances is that I have now been given authorization to work in the US, so I can honestly answer "Yes" to that question. Another possibly relevant but less important change is that I have actually graduated and received my degree (previously it was merely stated in my resume as being "expected").

A further consideration is that I feel that I sorta screwed up my application 3 months ago. So I would prefer to apply afresh and make a better impression this time round, hoping (and it is perhaps a realistic hope) that I've been forgotten.

So, what should I do? Apply again afresh? Send the hiring manager an email? Don't bother?

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Send in a fresh application with your updated status. If you were indeed desk rejected the first time (as you strongly suspect) and this position receives more than a handful number of applications, it is very unlikely they would remember you. If I were the hiring manager, and a candidate sends in an email saying, "My application was rejected 6 months ago", my reaction would likely be, "Yeah, so what?"

Pointing out your previous rejected application has no benefits, and might do some harm. It is possible that you were rejected for other reasons in addition to/instead of the reason you suspect. Why would you want them to go through your previous application again, and try to remember why you were rejected at the time? Sadly, candidates get rejected on somebody's whim over trivial issues. Making them go over the previous application might "trigger" the whim again, which may not occur if you start from a clean slate.

Note, however, that if you were rejected previously after a few rounds of interview or indeed any "human contact" with them, then it might be beneficial to talk about your previous interview experience, how you are better suited for the role now, etc.

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So, what should I do? Apply again afresh? Send the hiring manager an email? Don't bother?

You should apply afresh.

  • You probably don't know for sure if this is actually the same position, or if this is an additional position similar to the one that was filled back in April
  • Some major attributes about you have changed. You are now eligible to work in the US, and you are now a college graduate with a degree. Both of those could easily be requirements that you couldn't fulfill before, but can now
  • You most likely don't know if the person who read your resume (and rejected it) before is even involved now

Treat this like a new job. And be a new applicant. You have nothing to lose.

(BTW, the lack of US work authorization was an extremely significant issue - far more than "a convenient weeding mechanism". If you aren't authorized, you cannot work. And if you hadn't even applied yet, very few would even bother to consider your candidacy. In many cases, the fact that you hadn't yet graduated yet would have a similar affect. Fortunately, that is all behind you now.)

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