How to Ask For Your Old Job Back Using Email (With Sample)
Updated 20 March 2023
There may be times when you want your old job back after leaving to pursue a different career opportunity. When this situation occurs, you can craft a professional email to your previous employer to share your interest in returning. Understanding how to write an email to ask for your old job back may help you secure your old job successfully. In this article, we share how you can ask for your old job back using email and provide a template and sample email for you to review.
Why might you use email to ask for your job back?
If you want to return to a previous position, you can consider using email to inquire about the position's availability. You might ask for your old job back if you prefer your previous position or if you become unemployed. Using email is an effective method to ask for your old position so that you can contact several people at once, including your previous supervisor, hiring manager or human resources manager. You can also include an attached copy of your cover letter, resume or credentials in your email.
How to ask for your old job back using email
When learning how to ask for your old job back using email, it's important to understand the proper content and formatting to include in the message. Here are the steps you can take to create a professional email to ask about your previous position:
1. Create a subject line
The subject line provides the recipient with an idea of the email's content. When creating your subject line, consider including your full name and state your purpose for the email. Including a clear subject line allows your previous manager to prioritise the email correctly and ensure they can find your email easily. Here are some examples of subject lines when requesting your previous position:
Joe Kennedy, request for previous role
Samantha Simpson, inquiring about previous job
Ed Jones, requesting to re-enter previous role
2. Address your former employer
To start your email, address your former employer by adding a professional greeting. Be sure to address your previous employer by their title and last name. You may research the organisation to see if your previous employer is still employed there. This is to ensure that you're addressing the correct person. If you can't contact your previous manager, try addressing the hiring manager or human resources manager in your email's opening.
3. Write the introduction
After addressing the recipient, create an introduction. This is a brief statement to introduce yourself so that you can remind your previous employer who you are. State your first and last name, your previous position, the department you worked in, your immediate supervisor and the start date and end date of your time at the company.
4. Explain why you left the position
In the next paragraph, include a brief explanation of why you left the position. Include honest details while avoiding any negative language about the organisation. For example, you can tell them the circumstances that prompted you to leave the job, but try to omit details that may portray the organisation or certain employees negatively.
This may also be a good place to highlight your passion for learning about your industry. For example, you might state that you left your previous position to expand your skill set and learn about other industries. You can also briefly explain why you're leaving your current position, but keep this concise to direct the focus of your email on re-entering your old job. After stating your reasons for leaving, you can share what you miss about your previous position or organisation.
5. Ask for your old job back
In this section, ask your employer for your previous position. When doing so, be direct and courteous. Your aim is to ask for your job back and to convince your previous employer why they should rehire you. Showcase what abilities you can provide for the organisation and why you're qualified to re-enter the workplace. For example, write about the experiences you gained and the new skills that you learned since working there.
6. Craft the conclusion
Your conclusion is a brief paragraph thanking your previous employer for their time and for considering rehiring you. Consider listing your phone number and your times of availability if your previous employer wants to contact you for an interview. To end the letter, include a professional closing, such as sincerely or warm regards.
Tips for creating an email to ask for your old job back
Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you create an effective email when inquiring about your previous role:
Before sending your email, be sure to proofread it to find any errors. By submitting an error-free email, you can show your previous employer your commitment to gaining back your previous job. Consider having a friend read your email to ensure it's free from error and has a professional format and tone. You can also read the email aloud to find any spelling or grammar mistakes.
Prior to writing your email, check for any job openings at your previous employer. If the hiring manager filled your role, they may be unable to offer you your previous job. If there are similar job openings, you can consider applying for those roles instead. Here are some examples of how you might apply for other roles:
I understand that you filled my previous role, but I am seeking the opportunity to work in another available role.
While my previous position isn't available, I hope to fill a different role, if possible.
Attach a resume and cover letter
Attach a copy of your resume and cover letter to your email. Doing so can allow your previous manager to review your updated qualifications. At the end of your message, you can state that you attached your application documents.
Template email when asking for your old job back
Here is a template to guide you when creating an email to ask for your previous job:
Subject: [Your full name and information about the email's content]
Dear [Name of previous manager],
My name is [Your full name] and I previously worked at [Organisation name] as a [Job title] from [Start date] to [End date]. I worked in the [type of department] for [Name of supervisor].
I left this role so that I could pursue [information about why you left the role]. My goal was to [further information about why you left the role]. I am looking to leave my current position because of [brief details about why you're leaving your current position]. While I valued this opportunity, I do miss [reasons that you want to pursue your previous role].
I am writing today so that I can formally request to re-enter my previous position as [job title]. I believe that my time working as [current job title] allowed me to grow my [type of skill] and expand on my [description of experience]. I plan to use these skills and experience while working as a [previous job title].
Thank you for your time and consideration in rehiring me. I attached a copy of my resume and cover letter. Please contact me to set up an interview or further discuss the position.
[Your full name]
Sample email when asking for your old job back
Here is a sample email of a marketing professional asking for their job back:
Subject: Corey Smith, request for rehiring in my previous role
Dear Ms. Matthews,
My name is Corey Smith and I previously worked at Landmark Marketing Associates as a marketing assistant from 10 January to 22 December. I worked in the advertisement and social media team for team lead Eric Sanders.
I left this role so that I could pursue a career in technology sales. My goal was to gain information about sales techniques and strategies so that I could expand my skill set. I am looking to leave my current position because I feel that my skills and interests are a better fit for a marketing role. While I valued this opportunity, I do miss Landmark Marketing Associate's friendly atmosphere and commitment to producing high-quality promotional content.
I am writing today so that I can formally request to re-enter my previous position as a marketing assistant. My time working as a sales representative allowed me to grow my verbal and written communication skills and expand on my consumer engagement experience. I plan to use these skills and experience while working in my marketing role.
Thank you for your time and consideration in rehiring me. I attach a copy of my resume and cover letter. Please contact me to set up an interview or further discuss the position.
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