Here's how to tell if a second application is worth it

Should I reapply for a job that was reposted?

Why did the vacancy I applied to three weeks ago get reposted? Is it worthwhile to reapply for the same job again? – Russell P.

The short answer is, "maybe." Without knowing your exact situation, I can't give you a cut-and-dried answer as to whether you should reapply for a job you want. However, I can provide you with a list of instances when it makes sense to re-submit your CV, and another set of instances when it's not worth your – or the employer's – time to reapply. 

Before we delve into those details, let's first discuss why some vacancies are reposted in the first place.

Why vacancies get reposted

There are various reasons why an organisation may decide to publish a job listing for a second time.

The original applicant pool was deemed inadequate

The most common reason a vacancy gets reposted is because the hiring manager did not receive enough CVs from qualified candidates the first time round. Sadly, qualified applicants are often removed from the candidate pool early on either because their CV performed badly when scanned by an ATS or because their CV was riddled with mistakes.

The job position's description or requirements have changed

As an employer begins to screen potential candidates, they may realise that the advert needs to be adjusted to more accurately reflect the job requirements and the manager's expectations for the person who accepts the position. Before you decide if you should apply for the job reposting, take a closer look at the advert to determine if anything from the original job listing has been added, removed, or altered. 

The job offer was declined by a candidate

It's not a common occurrence, but it does happen. Sometimes an employer extends a job offer to someone, only to have the candidate reject the offer or change their mind at the last moment. If there wasn't a strong runner-up from the final interview rounds, or if a job offer fell through, then the vacancy will likely get reposted and the quest for the right candidate will begin again.

When you should not reapply for the job

There are a few circumstances when reapplying for a job is not a worthwhile endeavor:

The advert says "previous applicants need not apply"

If the new job advert explicitly states that prior applicants should not reapply, then there is no need to submit a second application. You can assume that your candidacy is still in contention for the position. Your time is better spent following up with any of your contacts who are connected to the organisation and pursuing other vacancies.

Your CV has not changed

Of course, some applications in the original job listing get overlooked. However, if the job vacancy has been reposted, you can be fairly certain that the recruiter has already reviewed the existing pool of applicants and is looking for new ones. If you haven't edited your CV, it's foolish to reapply and expect a different outcome.

You aren't qualified for the position

There is no point in reapplying for a job if you don't meet most of its minimum requirements. If that's the case, you shouldn't have applied for the position in the first place. So take another look to identify what the employer considers to be the core requirements for a qualified candidate. If you don't meet these requirements, it's time to seek opportunities that are a better fit.

When you should reapply for a job that was reposted

While there are a few instances when it's not worthwhile to reapply for a job vacancy that's been reposted, there are some situations when it is:

You've had your CV professionally rewritten

If you used a professional CV writing service to rewrite your CV, apply for the vacancy a second time. Writing a compelling CV is both an art and a science; if you haven't been trained to write a CV, it's unfair to expect your CV to fare well in the competitive job market. Chances are, your original job application failed the six-second CV test. Give your new CV a crack at this job opportunity!

Your original CV wasn't customised

Even a well-written CV will be rejected if its content wasn't tailored for the specific vacancy. Take a closer look at the job requirements to ensure your CV clearly highlights your qualifications – especially within the top third of your CV's first page. For instance, you might alter your CV's headline to the title of the vacancy you're interested in, swap in and out some of your specialties, or reword some of your experience to mirror the language found in the job description. 

Your qualifications have changed since your first application

If you've earned a new certification or degree, received a promotion, taken on new responsibilities or developed a new skill that's desired for the job, update your resume to reflect these new qualifications and reapply for the job. 

Related: Does your CV pass the 6-second test?

CV advice for reapplying for a job vacancy

If you decide it's worthwhile to reapply for the job, follow the expert career advice and tips below to improve your application's chances of success:

Customise your CV and cover letter

If you're going to take the time to apply for the job a second time, be certain to tailor your application to the specific role by highlighting your relevant qualifications and mirroring some of the language found in the job advert. This is your opportunity to spell out your qualifications for the employer – make it count! 

Reapply with the ATS in mind

If the organisation uses an applicant tracking system to manage its online job applications, see if it provides you with the option to replace your old CV file with your new one. If it doesn't, you may want to use a different email than the one you used for your initial application, to avoid creating a duplicate record in the system.

Search for employee referrals

You're 10 times more likely to land the job when your CV is accompanied by an employee referral. Search your LinkedIn network to figure out if you know anyone who currently or previously worked at the company. If you find someone you know, reach out and see if they can provide you with insider tips on the company's hiring processes. Better yet, find out if they're willing to pass your CV along to the HR manager, or if they'll allow you to include their name in your application. 

Follow the steps above when reapplying for a job that's been reposted and your chances of getting a call back are certain to improve!

Is your CV ready for your next job application (or reapplication)? Check with a free CV review today! 

Amanda Augustine is a certified professional career coach (CPCC) and resume writer (CPRW) and the resident career expert for Talent Inc.'s suite of brands: TopCV, TopResume and TopInterview. On a regular basis, she answers user questions like the one above. Have a question? Take a look at her career advice or ask a question on her Quora page.

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