If you find yourself in the unusual position of applying for the same job twice, you’re, in effect, hoping for a second chance to make a first impression. Take advantage of the opportunity. Examine your first interaction with the employer. Did you have a well-crafted cover letter? Did your resume focus on the position requirements?
Revisit your resume
- Study the job description. Take notes if you have to, but highlight the most important skills required by the company.
- Rewrite your job experience section to honestly, but more clearly, show that you have those specific skills.
- Check your finished resume for appearance. Is it packed with too much narrative? A hiring manager wants to be able to scan for details. The use of bullet points will better emphasize your accomplishments, and white space between sections will make the resume more reader friendly.
The cover letter should be short and sweet
- Mention that you’re applying for the same job twice.
- Emphasize that you’ve done your research on the company and have wanted to be a part of their organization for some time. Be specific about what you like about the company.
- Acknowledge that you don’t know why the job is again on the market, but that you see it as a second opportunity.
- Mirror their requirements so you’re viewed as the perfect candidate.
- Express your desire to work for them as a valid reason to reconsider you.
- Don’t assume that the hiring manager made a bad hire that didn’t work out. It’s insulting to the manager’s skills and needlessly critical of an unknown person’s performance.
- Don’t say that even though you’ve just been hired elsewhere, you’d give notice if an offer was made. For all you know, that could be why the opening is available again.
Proofread, then proofread again
You have the rare opportunity to apply for the same job twice. Don’t send a carefully written cover letter and resume with typos. If you really want this position, your communication skills should shine and your grammar should be perfect. While spell check is a wonderful thing, it isn’t perfect.
You have a second chance to land this job, so try to get the potential employer’s attention in a positive fashion. Let LiveCareer’s samples of cover letters and resumes provide inspiration, and when you’re ready to write, visit our Resume Builder and Cover Letter Builder to get started.
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I'm going to disagree with the the masses here and suggest trying your luck directly with HR.
I once applied for a position and after two phone screens was told I was unsuccessful. I took their feedback on board (I knew where I had gone wrong), and polished up on my skills. Three weeks later I saw the same position was still open. I sent the following email directly to their HR person:
I am writing to re-apply for your position of Systems Engineer.
If you’re having déjà vu right now, that’s because about three weeks ago you invited me to apply for this position. I spoke to [person1] and [person2] and my initial contact with [person1] was very positive; however my performance with [person2] demonstrating my scripting skills was poor.
I agree that [person2] made the right decision regarding my scripting skills. So what’s changed?
Since then I have applied dozens of hours of my own time over the past few weeks getting stuck into my PowerShell skills. They were virtually non-existent when I first spoke to [person2] (I was only capable of doing basic tasks like copying TechNet instructions for doing stuff in Exchange). Although my programming skills are certainly not in the league of what you would expect from one of your world-class developers, I have applied Power Shell daily in real-world situations since then at my day job. Everything that can be done in PowerShell shall be done in PowerShell has been my mantra.
I realise that PowerShell is just one of many scripting languages I could have chosen; I chose it based on the fact that your network is mainly Windows Server (albeit some of them 2003, which does not ship with PowerShell by default). I hope that the choice of language isn’t particularly relevant, but rather the fact that I’m hoping to demonstrate that I’m a very fast learner who can go from 0 to fluent in a small period of time.
As I mentioned in the first round, I’m actually quite happy in my current job, so I don’t take rejection hard, but I respect [your company] so much as to leave my current job, and I truly believe that I would be an asset to your company.
So with that cringe-worth last paragraph, I ask that you please re-consider my application for the position. A formal CV is attached.
I had substantially more success - they said it highlighted the fact that I saw a personal flaw and fixed it, and that I came back showed I had the kind of guts that they wanted from a person at their company.