When leaving your current job for a new one, always try to leave on good terms without "burning any bridges." That's because you never know what the future holds. A time might come when you want to work for the same company again. If you left on bad terms, it will be on your record -- and the company might not welcome you back with open arms. However, there are ways to go about getting you old job back regardless of the circumstances of your departure.
Speak with your last supervisor at your former company and ask for his recommendation in writing. Having a letter recommendation from your previous supervisor stating that you were a good employee, who left on good terms gives the company a solid reason to hire you back. Companies often benefit from hiring previous employees because it saves them both time and money, as they don't have to put you through the entire training process again.
Ensure that you still have the skills for your old position. This is important because job descriptions often change over time. If you no longer meet the entire job description, explain to the hiring manager what actions you're taking to meet them. If the job requires new certifications, try to get those certifications prior to your interview with management. Showing management that you're motivated in meeting the job description improves your chances of being re-hired -- even when you don't have all of the required skills.
Add new experience to your resume as it relates to your old job. This shows your old company that you were gainfully employed when you left the company and that you're bringing new skills and experience to your previous position. For example, if you worked on the waiting staff at a small restaurant and left for a job in a larger, busier restaurant, you can add that experience to your resume and share what you learned with at the larger restaurant that might improve service at the smaller one.
Prepare yourself for the interview by having answers prepared as to why you left the company the first time around. If you didn't leave on the best of terms, prepare extra carefully to answer calmly and smoothly, turning the negatives into positives. Don't reply with any negative answers, explain your regrets for leaving and take responsibility for your decision. For example, if you left because you didn't get along with a supervisor and are asked about the issue, simply explain that you had a personality conflict but that it did not affect your job performance or relationship with the supervisor. Remaining humble shows managers that you're willing to admit your mistakes and move forward.
Avoid speaking negatively about your current employer. Explain the reason you are leaving -- and keep it professional. For example, you might want to say that the new job is a bad fit, or that you're looking to grow your career and that you realized the company doesn't have a lot of growth opportunities.
Michael Laws is college educated with a major in business management. His professional experience includes the military, government contracting and information technology, and his areas of expertise include careers, technology, certification programs, computers and business.