Dear Matt: I left a company for what I thought was a better job. It wasn't. Now a new position at my previous employer has opened up and I'd like to pursue that job. What's the best way to get hired back at a company I once worked for and how can I convince them I won't leave for the next best opportunity?
Matt: This type of situation shows how important it is to not burn bridges when leaving an employer. It also shows the value of networking and maintaining relationships with your previous/existing co-workers and supervisors.
"If you did indeed leave in good standing, then they would likely want to rehire you because you have previously proven that you are an asset to the organization," said Elizabeth Laukka, a Twin Cities career advisor and recruiter.
Chances are you left the company because you thought the new opportunity was a better one. Maybe it paid more money, or you thought it would provide an opportunity to make more money. Maybe it was a shorter commute or perhaps you were stagnant, frustrated or burnt out in your previous role.
Whatever the reason is, be sure to prove to the employer why you would be the best hire for the job opening they currently have and leverage your past history with the company. Discuss your past experience and how you know the company services, market and competitors. You know what it takes to succeed - use examples of how you did that in the past and can do that in the future.
When reconnecting with your contacts or HR at your previous employer be open and honest, said Laukka. Say something such as "I chose to make a change and took a risk in doing so; my current position is not right for me and I realize that X is really where I would like to be, so please consider my application for the role."
Be prepared though - the employer will likely dig deep to find out why you left and will want to make sure you won't leave as soon as the next best opportunity comes up.
"An employer wants someone who wants to move to them, not just from somewhere else, so you have to evaluate that very carefully," said Laukka. "You have to know that you are not just running away from a bad situation, but really having the desire to move back to your previous company for the right reasons."
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- Matt Krumrie
Twin Cities freelance writer specializing in career advice