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If at First You Don't Succeed, Dust Yourself Off and Apply Again!

Posted by Elaine Varelas  October 3, 2012 10:00 AM

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Q. I applied at a company three years ago for a position and never heard anything. Is it appropriate to apply again for another position they are advertising now?

A. Absolutely. Three years ago or even three months, if you havenít heard back
from a company, and they have opportunities which interest you, and for which you are qualified, apply! Just because you didn't hear back before, doesn't mean it will happen again.

There are many reasons applicants donít get responses from companies but there are things you can do to market yourself and help you stand out against other applicants. For instance, If you applied online, you may not have made it through the initial screening tool. Make sure you have plenty of key words which show just how qualified you are for the position and reflect the breadth of your skill sets.

Perhaps you responded to an ad, and were just one of many cover letters in the pile. If your letter was addressed ďTo whom it may concern, Dear Sir or Madam or Attn: Hiring ManagerĒ, chances are you didnít make the cut. Do the research and determine the name of the hiring manager and adress your cover letter accordingly. If you can't find the hiring managers name, get the name of someone who may know that person, and include that persons name in the letter and the subject line of the email as a 'referred by' reference.

You can also leap frog the whole pile by having an employee you know or someone familiar to a person in your nerwork who can hand carry or email your resume or even make a call to the person running the process. You may think you donít know anyone, but invariably someone you know is likely to have a connection.

Get on LinkedIn, carry your target list of companies with you, and ask everyone you meet if they know anyone.

Finally, if by some chance, you are not qualified for the role, and that is why you didnít hear back, do everything possible to get noticed by the hiring decision makers. You can do this by connecting with them on LinkedIn and writing thank you notes for considering you application. If they hadn't seen your resume, a personal note may prompt them to take a look. You never know when an oppportunity more appropriate for you will open and leaving a lasting impression puts you in a better position to have them contact you the next time. Good luck!

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.

Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.

Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.

Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.

Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.

Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.

Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.