Reapplying to Companies: Unlock Your Career Potential

As a career advisor, I often look for common questions I hear from students that could inspire my blog posts. This past spring, several rising seniors asked me, “Is it okay to apply to companies I’ve applied to in the past and either never heard back from or have been rejected?” Unless a company has specifically asked you not to reapply (which rarely happens), the answer is, “Yes!” As you embark on your post-graduation job search, reaching out to recruiters at companies where you’ve previously applied could be an excellent opportunity to get noticed. Whether you progressed far in the interview process or just didn’t receive a response at all, this proactive approach may help you connect with employers who would be happy to consider your application, or, at the very least, appreciate your loyal, undeterred interest in their opportunities.

If you’re interested in applying this strategy, here’s a quick and straightforward guide on how to proceed:

  1. Reflect & Refine: Take a moment to reflect on your previous applications. What insights can you glean from your past interactions with these companies? Did they offer feedback on why you didn’t move on with the process? (Don’t worry if the answer is “no” because few employers will give detailed feedback. From an HR standpoint, there are too many landmines where they could appear to be discriminatory.) Use this reflection on your experience with your previous applications to refine your strategy in how you reconnect.
  2. Craft a Professional Message: When reaching out to recruiters, keep your communication concise and professional. (Re)Introduce yourself, mention your previous application, express ongoing interest, and inquire about potential full-time openings. If you need assistance drafting your message, a career advisor in the Career Services office will be happy to help. It’s never too early to reach out, either. Touching base this summer will get you back in contact so that whether roles will be posting in July or next April, you’ll be “in the know” and ready to apply.
  3. Leverage Networking Platforms & Engage: Platforms like LinkedIn offer valuable opportunities to connect with recruiters and industry professionals. Join relevant groups (insider tip: if you’re in the same LinkedIn group as someone, you can send them a private, direct message without being a Premium member or already connected to that person – join lots of groups, especially the Penn Alumni Group to increase your LinkedIn engagement), participate in discussions, and send personalized connection requests. Cultivating these relationships now can pave the way for future opportunities. (Also utilize MyPenn and CareerShift to find contact information for targeted outreach.)
  4. Follow Up Strategically: If you don’t receive a response initially, don’t lose hope. A polite follow-up email after a week or two can serve as a gentle reminder of your interest. Persistence, coupled with patience, is often key in the job search process.
  5. Tap into Resources: Remember that Career Services is here to support you every step of the way. From resume assistance to interview preparation to offer negotiation, take advantage of the resources available to you. Visit our website at to explore the full range of services offered.

Approaching recruiters demonstrates your initiative and continued interest in their organization. Even if they don’t have immediate openings, establishing a connection now (this summer!) can position you favorably for future opportunities.

One last note that I mention to all students, especially seniors: when you receive an offer it may feel exciting (and relieving) and you could have the impulse to accept on the spot or without considering all of the details. Is the pay negotiable? What are the benefits, if available, and do you understand how they work? Do you get paid time off and, if so, how much? Do you want to negotiate a particular start date before officially accepting? Perhaps most importantly, do you have other applications floating out there where you either haven’t heard back or you are early in the process? If the answer is yes, you may want to follow up with those companies to see about their timelines (feel free to meet with a career advisor to learn how to do this tactfully and appropriately). These are just a few things to consider when you get to the offer portion of the search process, and you can read a bit more detail on a recent blog post I wrote on this very topic.

In conclusion, don’t hesitate to take proactive steps in your job search by reaching out to recruiters at companies where you’ve applied in the past. With a focused approach and a polished message, you’ll be well-positioned to pursue full-time opportunities effectively.

Best of luck as you navigate this exciting chapter of your career journey. We’re here to support you along the way.

By Anne Dickinson
Anne Dickinson Senior Associate Director, The College