The job I want is still open after six months. Should I reapply?

Posted in Careers, Mentor Minute

The job I want is still open after six months. Should I reapply?

The Globe and Mail, May. 16 2013

The Question:

I applied for a job six months ago, and never heard back. Presumably, I didn’t meet their criteria. All this time, the job posting has stayed on the company’s website. How long do I have to wait before I reapply? Or is that frowned upon?

The Answer:

Whenever you don’t hear back from a prospective employer, it’s easy to assume that you simply didn’t meet the hiring criteria. And maybe you didn’t. But in this digital age, with the volume of work that crosses people’s desks, there is always the chance that your résumé was missed or overlooked. And if this is a job you really want, by all means, knock twice. Take Howard Schultz, the owner of Starbucks, who, the story goes, knocked on countless doors to get his idea financed. Look where he is today. To get what you want, you need to be relentless in your pursuit.

If this is a company you are really passionate about joining, the best place to start is to pick up the phone and speak directly to someone at the hiring company about the position. Is it still available? Have the parameters changed? What exactly are they looking for? You say that “presumably” you did not meet the hiring criteria. Ideally, find out the answer.

Then ask yourself, “Is this really a job I want and feel that I could excel at?” If the answer is yes, what could you do this time to be considered? Does your résumé present you in the best way for this position, or does it need to be revised? Ask trusted friends and colleagues to look at your résumé to see whether you are presenting yourself in the best possible light. Have you done anything in the past six months that you now wish to highlight that may encourage the company to reconsider you?

You also want to tap into your network of contacts. Do you know anyone who currently works at the company, or who knows someone who does, who can find out more about the position and what is expected? If you know someone, can they help open a door for you?

The message is to be as proactive as possible in your job hunt. And never stop at the first “no.”

Katie Bennett is an executive coach and speaker, and the president of Double Black Diamond Coaching in Vancouver.