Hired! Second Time's a Charm

By Jessica Dickler, CNNMoney.com staff writer

Jobs: Shawn Oreschnick

NEW YORK -- "We'll keep your resume on file."

That's what many job seekers are told after they've been turned down for a position. And few ever get a second look -- unless they decide to be proactive and apply again.

That's exactly what happened to Shawn Oreschnick.

Hoping for a better position in advertising, Oreschnick, 39, started his search last April, while he was still gainfully employed with the same Minneapolis firm he had been with for six years.

Despite working with a recruiter, he only scored one interview for a director of planning position at Colle+McVoy, a midsized marketing agency also in Minneapolis.

As a director overseeing a team,the job was a step up from what Oreschnick had been doing, and after a full day interview with five members of the firm, he was turned down for the position because he lacked the experience necessary.

"It all could have ended right there," he said. But it didn't.

Oreschnick went back to business as usual at his old job, until January when he was laid off. Then, the unemployed father of one had to restart his search - this time without that safety net to fall back on.

Oreschnick worked with a recruiter again, networked and scoured job boards for openings, but, with few positions at his level and limited leads, he immediately felt discouraged. "It's no secret to any of us what's going on," he said of the dismal job market.

In February, Oreschnick heard about another opening at Colle+McVoy, this time for a senior account planner, which would be a lateral move. Despite being turned down in the past, "it would have been foolish for me to not look into it," he said.

Oreschnick first met with hiring manager David Denham for coffee to get reacquainted and then had two full-day follow up interviews where he met many of the people at the firm, including a few familiar faces from the first go round.

By March, Oreschnick had the job. He started on Monday.

"This was a right opportunity for Shawn based on what we were looking for," Denham said on Oreschnick's first day.

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The director of planning position has yet to be filled.

If at first you don't succeed...

Our career experts agree that job seekers shouldn't be so quick to cross an employer off the list just because they got rejected there in the past.

"You may not necessarily be right for that need but that doesn't mean they don't like you," said Dan King, principal of Career Planning and Management Inc. in Boston.

Not only did Oreschnick's previous interview at Colle+McVoy not count as a strike against him, but it became an advantage once he was familiar with a few members of the firm.

"Having those familiar faces made it a little easier for him and made him a little more than a known entity for the people who did the hiring," King said.

Gerry Crispin, co-owner of Careerxroads, a consulting firm based in New Jersey, encourages other job seekers to revisit the firms they have interviewed with before. "If you do see an opening you have a higher probability of getting up to bat the second time but in the interim you have to make an effort to increase your experience so you're more viable when you go back," he said.

Crispin says it is important to maintain contacts at the company starting immediately after your first interview. "Typically, every three to six months you might want to touch base with one of the folks you were engaged with," he suggested. "Just tell them where you are and what you are up to."

That way, "You become part of their pipeline for the future."

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