Career Center Blog

July 29, 2013

8 tips for getting rehired by a former employer

8 tips for getting rehired by a former employer

(Photo: Microsoft Free Clip Art)

The unemployment rate in the Seattle area continues to drop -- 4.7 percent in June, down from 7.2 percent a year ago. And many people who had lost their jobs because of corporate downsizing are turning to their former employers for job opportunities.

While it may not be possible to get your old job back, if you enjoyed working at a certain company (and left on a positive note), then getting rehired is definitely an option. Before you apply for any positions, here are eight tips:

Find job opportunities of interest. On your previous employer's website, search for open positions that are of interest and download those job descriptions. Carefully read each one, highlighting key requirements.

Update and customize your resume. Tailor your resume to those jobs in a way that showcases your skills, education and accomplishments that are most relevant to the requirements.

Define your network. Make a list of everyone with whom you worked or knew at your previous company so you can see your network. LinkedIn is a helpful tool to accomplish this task.

Re-establish relationships. Using whatever means you're comfortable with (LinkedIn, telephone, in person, email, Facebook, etc.), connect with key people to re-establish relationships. Focus on making contact with co-workers who saw your work firsthand and could be your "inside coach" to help you get back into the company. Also, find out what has happened or changed since you left.

Spread the word. Let your network know you're interested in getting rehired. Offer to email them your updated resume and ask them to submit it to hiring managers for positions of interest. Need references? This is also a good time to ask key people within your network to be included on your list of references.

Connect with HR. Did you work with or know any people in HR at your previous employer, specifically in the area of recruiting? Contact them to let them know you're interested in open positions that fit your background.

Stay current. Regularly review the company's website for its job postings, and contact hiring managers for those positions of interest.

Prepare your answers. If you weren't part of corporate downsizing due to the recession, have an answer ready for why you left and where you worked after leaving. Be able to explain why you want to come back and the value you would bring to the company if you were rehired.

Lisa Quast is the founder of Career Woman, Inc., a career-coaching and business-consulting company. Email her at

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Karen Burns Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.

Kristen Fife Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.

Lisa Quast Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.

Randy Woods Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.

Former contributors

Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.

Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.

Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."


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