A year ago I submitted my CV to an institution of higher learning and they indicated that they would contact me if any openings for instructors became available. At that time all positions in my field were filled.

I just discovered that as of November 1, new positions were posted on their jobs page, including one for which I am qualified. They haven't contacted me. They have posted an applications deadline of the first of next month for the position.

Should I feel that they have essentially rejected me already? Has it been too long since I filed my information with them? Is it likely to have been simply an oversight?

I would appreciate advice, especially from those who may have been in a similar situation before. What should I do at this point?

CLARIFICATION: The "year ago" was a round figure; it was more than ten months, and so far as I am aware, no position in my field had been available during those months, making this the first opening since my CV submission. From comments received so far, this may not matter, as the CV could have conceivably been forgotten almost as soon as it had been received.

  • 102
    You apply for the job Nov 15, 2021 at 0:16
  • 19
    Apply! Even if it is in the same department, it doesn't mean that the same people are dealing with it. Just apply for it.
    – masher
    Nov 15, 2021 at 6:52
  • 15
    within the same organization, different individuals may be recruiting or the recruiter may have changed or the same recruiter you talked to just forgot.
    – PatrickT
    Nov 15, 2021 at 7:09
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    Your CV hasn't moved from the filing cabinet someone put it in a year ago. It's probably not even been looked at. It may have simply gone into the bin. Unless you have a signed agreement with them to notify you when positions become available, always just assume first that nobody else cares about your jobsearch but you. This will most of the time be the case.
    – J...
    Nov 15, 2021 at 12:43
  • 1
    "they would contact me if any openings for instructors became available." They lied. Dec 7, 2021 at 17:04

6 Answers 6



“We will save your CV in case of new openings” is mostly meaningless HR phraseology meant to reduce the sting of rejection, not only at universities but across industries. In general, employers don’t assume that a job seeker who applied a year ago is still interested, since much more often than not they will have accepted a different job by now.

  • To be fair, HR might pass those CVs on to some internal recruiter (who may or may not even exist depending on a variety of factors), and that recruiter might then go on to contact some subset of the CVs they get. So it's theoretically possible that your CV really will result in a contact of some sort. But this is not terribly useful in practice because at best, it gets you into exactly the same pile of applications as everyone else.
    – Kevin
    Nov 16, 2021 at 1:46
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    I have been contacted about openings becoming available. It means they have no new applicants and are so desperate to fill a position that they are encouraging past applicants to re-apply. They are not desperate enough to increase the salary or benefits though. Also the situation that causes them to be this desperate would also tend to put the past applicants in better jobs - so it is worthless.
    – emory
    Nov 16, 2021 at 14:36
  • 1
    As a manager who has hired occasionally over the years, never had I paid any attention to HR's offer to pass their stack of collected applicants to me. The work in vetting them would be high, and chance of a good-fit candidate still being available so low, it doesn't make sense. So yes: Apply!
    – CCTO
    Nov 16, 2021 at 16:26
  • Despite the fact that another very good answer has nearly three times the votes, I am choosing this answer as the best answer because it actually answers the question asked.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 18, 2021 at 21:02

You are assuming a degree of organization that most institutions just do not have. You lose nothing by formally applying to the new position.

  • 33
    One year is an eternity in term of uni. organization. Most of the time we can’t organize anything more than a couple of weeks in advance. Nov 14, 2021 at 16:25
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    @Polyhat It is highly unlikely if they didn't contact you to see if you are still interested. And at least in the US, you are typically required to apply for the specific job in order to be hired.
    – Kimball
    Nov 15, 2021 at 3:24
  • 2
    You don't say what kind of position it is, but at institutions I have been at all searches for permanent faculty lines start fresh. There are rules around advertising and opening and closing dates, rubrics and interview procedures..
    – Elin
    Nov 15, 2021 at 3:51
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    @ZeroTheHero In advance? That would be extraordinary! The typical time the HR department acts is three months late. ;-) Nov 15, 2021 at 4:22
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    Even if they mean the sentence it translates into "if someone drops out within the next 3 weeks " or similar. After a year, we would assume all applicants from a previous round have found other jobs by now. Nov 15, 2021 at 8:23

Long answer: I'm not as familiar with the hiring process within academia, but in industry at least most organizations use an Applicant Tracking System. If you never actually filled out an online application at any point, you are most likely not in the system.

Also, in many Applicant Tracking Systems, a system which would allow them to contact candidates that they want to "save for future consideration" requires a separate subscription and configuration, so there's no guarantee that there's an easy way for them to identify and reach out to previous candidates.

Short answer: apply.

  • 2
    In my institutions hiring process, I'm not allowed to consider past applicants - they must apply to a specific job posting themselves.
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 15, 2021 at 23:37
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    @JonCuster That's the kind of comment that would be helpful as an answer with a few added details (e.g. what kind of institution, is this a standard practice in the industry, etc.). I'd never even considered this possibility. How would an applicant become aware of this policy? It would seem to unnecessarily limit your pool of candidates.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 16, 2021 at 1:12

No, they haven't rejected you. They probably receive dozens of applications every day, and it's likely they haven't even seen yours. It's nothing personal. I know a manager who had to literally choose a random double-fistful of applications out of an entire 2-foot stack, and the rest got shredded. he says he knows that the shredder ate the applications of some great candidates, but he literally did not have time to even glance at the vast majority. Not fair, ideal, moral, efficient, or maybe even legal, but that's what happens.

Apply through the usual channels, and make no mention of the previous unsolicited application.

  • 1
    "it's likely they haven't even seen yours" except that OP specified they got back to him when he applied a year ago. They definitely saw it, probably either forgot about it or simply don't contact old applicants.
    – Aubreal
    Nov 16, 2021 at 15:06


I think after few years of intensive cynicism course for others known as life you will build your own HRspeak-english dictionary.

  • We will contact you when new position opens = We will forget about you as soon as "reject" button is pressed in our hiring system.
  • We will inform you about the hiring process... = We will ask you for more details only if you are among the hot candidates, or the one we want to hire. Otherwise you will get, at best, the auto-formatted rejection e-mail.

These are just two that came in my mind roght now...

Really, one year is really long even for extraordinarily helpful recruiter. The "we will keep your records" stack decays much faster. Within days it is very limitted, within a month it is extict already.

On the other way, the only thing you lose by applying again is the time for writing the application. Nothing more.

It is worth the opportunity.

  • Interesting response. Perhaps I should have been a little more precise as to the passage of time in my question: it's been nearly 11 months, not quite, i.e. 10+ months. During that entire time I am quite certain that no positions in this field have been available. Even though they have set the application deadline as the first of next month, the position will not be available until middle of next year. In other words, this opening is planned to be filled well in advance of actual vacancy.
    – Polyhat
    Nov 17, 2021 at 14:45
  • The field you are applying in is not The Field the HR is looking after; they are looking for all the fields the company is interested in. Your application got burried below all 11-month worth of applications they are dealing with.
    – Crowley
    Nov 17, 2021 at 15:00

Recruiter here :)

Re-apply! As it was mentioned before, organizations don't have the muscle to properly build talent pools of candidates that could potentially be interested in the future. It's sad but it's true...

Do you still have the contact (email, phone number, etc.) of the person you spoke with a year ago? I would advise going directly to them instead of following the standard application. In case that person is no longer part of the organization, reach out to a member of the recruitment/ leadership team mentioning that you were already in process a year ago for a role that was no longer available. You can also elaborate on how the experience you gained in the past year, would bring more value to the role.

Go for it!! :) Best of luck!

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    – Community Bot
    Dec 7, 2021 at 17:09
  • I did reapply....and got a standard type of response basically saying if they decide they need me, they'll be in touch. No word yet, but perhaps they haven't yet met to consider their list of eligible candidates. Still, I am beginning to think I should just have taken a hint from the fact that they never contacted me in the first place. I'm certainly not feeling very wanted at the moment.
    – Polyhat
    Dec 7, 2021 at 20:45
  • That may not be necessarily true :) Try to reach out in the unconventional way - contact someone from the team directly, it might give you an extra push in the process :)
    – Carol Rose
    Dec 8, 2021 at 15:10

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