Remember that internship you wanted last summer but didn't get? What about that job you aced the interview for … only to learn they chose someone else. Yup, we've all been there.
If you missed that perfect career opportunity, relax—you may get another chance. Internships are seasonal. People don't stay in jobs forever. But if that position comes open, should you reapply—and risk additional rejection?
Anytime you apply for a job, you run the risk of not getting it. Not getting the same job multiple times could sting especially—but you shouldn't let that stop you from reapplying. Instead, do the following to improve your chances.
Make A Good Impression The First Time
Whenever you apply for a job or interview, address the process so that you never "burn a bridge." By treating each situation as though you will be coming back again, you may find great success in reapplying for a job you did not get the first time.
The steps you take in your initial interactions or application process can set the stage for a successful return engagement. Here are some ways to make sure your first impression is a good one:
- Treat each application/interview process with the utmost respect. Prepare and present your best face in your résumé, cover letter, interview, and follow-ups.
- Show lots of enthusiasm and a positive attitude in all interactions. If you're negative or act like you don't care, it's not likely you'll be considered for another position.
- Always leave the employer with a great impression. Giving good answers to their questions, preparing well for the interview, and showing gratitude for their time will demonstrate that you are a good candidate, even if you're not the right fit just yet.
Improve Your Chances By Improving Yourself
If you don't get the job, follow up with the employer to gain more insight on what you can do better in the future. Doing so shows maturity and a desire to improve, which will stand out in the employer's mind the next time they are hiring. Here's how to figure out what you need to improve:
- If you are passed over for another applicant the first time around, ask for feedback on how you can improve. Was your interview or résumé not strong enough, or are you missing qualifications needed for the job?
- Jot down notes and take to heart any feedback or constructive criticism an employer might provide. You may want to challenge what they say, but don't get defensive. Instead, ask good questions to understand what they feel would make you a stronger candidate, like, "What advice do you have for me as I continue my job search?" or "Did you find any necessary qualities or skills for this job that I didn't have?"
- Work on any of the items that an employer might raise that are reasonably possible to address. Ask someone to look at your résumé or do a practice interview with you. Take a class to improve your knowledge or add a skill set. Make sure to include these new skills on your résumé.
Don't Be Afraid To Try Again
If you follow these steps, chances are that a potential employer will remember you in a very positive light. If you apply again, they will recognize your initiative. The employer may even think of you the next time a new opportunity is available and give you a call.
Even if that doesn't happen, you can feel good about reapplying for any opportunity they offer because they will remember you as someone who wants to improve.