When it comes to job seeking, it’s always natural to think ahead. Normally, we tend to think of new beginnings and finding a new company that fits our needs as a professional. However, have you ever thought about stopping and taking a step back? Maybe it’s time to consider looking at some job postings from an old employer if they have some job openings that are right for you. Missing out an entire employer just because you’ve already worked for them or interviewed with them before, isn’t always the smartest idea. They could have opportunities that are perfect for you and as long as you left the company on good terms, why not re-apply?
Think about why you left
Many people change jobs more frequently than they did 20-25 years ago, some crave change and the ability to progress faster in their career. So, if you left simply because there was a better opportunity elsewhere that you just couldn’t refuse, then why not go back to an old company if they are now offering you what you want.
However, you might want to think about what it was like to work there when you did. Yes, companies can change but if you had a bad experience, is it worth going through this again? Some people leave their employers because of factors such as; bad managerial staff, bad work-life balance and sometimes you just don’t seem to fit the company culture. Take all of these things into consideration before applying to an old company. They might have a role you really want now, but is it worth having to deal with the rest of it?
Times have changed
Going back to an employer doesn’t have the same negative connotations attached to it as it used to. Things really have changed. As much as employers admire loyalty, stepping away from a job to better yourself and then come back if there is a better opening available shows determination and quite honestly, courage. It’s also quite flattering to the employer, for you to want to come back and work with them again.
You shouldn’t feel ashamed about applying for a job with an old employer. It’s not seen as ‘crawling back’ and the job market really is changing. It just means that when you left, they had nothing else to offer you and now they do.
Work on re-introducing yourself
You should treat a job application with a previous employer as if they’ve never spoken to you before. Of course, you should include your work experience with them on your CV if it’s still relevant to the role you are applying for but make sure you are keeping it as professional as possible. You should still tailor your CV, your cover letter and make sure you are completely prepared for the interview. You should never go into an interview thinking you have it in the bag just because you have worked there before. There could still be someone applying for the role that is more qualified than you. Introduce yourself appropriately and keep it as professional as possible, even if you know the interviewer.
Reach out to your contacts
If there is one thing that I always make sure you know, it’s using your network appropriately. Your network is such an important tool when job seeking and if you are applying to a past employer, you can definitely use the connections you made there last time to help you! (If they still work there that is)
They have the inside scoop. They can help you find out more about what projects they’re working on, what your team might be like if you get the role and other company related questions you might have. (If they are allowed to tell you) Research is key to a job interview and your contacts can be used as another resource to get you ahead of the game. Don’t forget about them.
Sometimes, especially if you feel a little bit lost in your job search, there is nothing wrong with looking back. Taking a step back to review what an old employer can offer you, can end up with you getting the job you’ve been looking for all along.