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Elizabeth Harman

You should apply for all the jobs you want for which you are (at least mostly) an appropriate for given the job ad. You should *definitely* apply for a job you want that is being advertised again after you were once seriously considered. I’ve seen people get such jobs the second time around.


What could you have to lose by applying?


I did this and got the job!

The search had failed the year before because of departmental divisions.

Anonymous Reapplyer


The last two hires in my department, including my own, were hired after a previously failed search. I almost didn't apply the second time. I thought: there are tons of great candidates; even if they liked me, they'd want to try someone else instead. In fact, I later found out I was a front runner. The search failed for idiosyncratic administrative reasons.

Our next search also failed, again, for weird idiosyncratic reasons. We *hoped* some of our top choices would reapply. One did, and ended up getting the job.

Just as the OP says: from the outside, you have no idea why a search failed. There's no harm at all, and of course a significant potential upside to reapplying.

More generally: being interviewed and failing to ultimately get the job gives you next to no information about whether a department would hire you. So even if a search doesn't fail, but you advanced and didn't get the job, applying to the department in the future is a good idea. Some people we have interviewed really didn't stand a chance -- after the interview -- of being hired by us. But some who we don't hire, we wish we could have. In one case, we even *tried* to hire our second choice as well. But admin shut that down. Again, the point is you don't know why you didn't get the job or how close you were to getting it. As one of the comments says above: just apply for all jobs for which you are qualified (and that you would want).


Just apply again!

I've been on a search committee once where the candidate we hired got a better job elsewhere soon after we hired them. We had to readvertise the position and ended up interviewing almost half of the people we had interviewed in the first round.

cecil burrow

If you are irrational enough to not reapply, then you didn't deserve that job anyway.

Tenured now

Absolutely reapply for all of the reasons given! (And FWIW, I know of at least one job advertised this year following a failed search in the area the year before - and the make-up of the search committee is VERY different.)


Yes. Just to add to the anecdata--I had a first round interview at a place that didn't materialize and apparently had a failed search. The following year, I applied again and got an offer (which I turned down).



I can now count three places where I've interviewed twice and two places where I made it to campus the first time, applied again, and did not get a screening interview the second time. It did not happen for me, but I know actual people in real life that reapplied and got the job.

One never knows what the department really wants, whether the search committee will be the same, or - in a failed search - what went on with budgets, deans, cranky faculty, or anything else.

The worst that can happen is that your file gets tossed early on. This is what happens to most files, even files of our friends. It is not a big deal.

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