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What are the best conditions and best steps one can take to successfully apply again for a role in a company that previously laid you off or let you go (for whatever reason)?

I am asking because it might be possible that one got terminated because of specific reasons that may have improved in the meantime (e.g. gained new skills, more experience and achievements at other companies) - or maybe there is even a new manager?

I used to think this was not very easily possible, but recently an employee who was laid off two years ago returned to work as a contractor. I guess it is possible if not all bridges were burned during the original termination process?

closed as too broad by Jim G., jcmeloni, Rhys, ChrisF, bethlakshmi Feb 24 '14 at 19:46

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Attach a cover letter saying you were previously employed with the company and detail the experiences that you have improved since you were fired ? Although I doubt a company would ever rehire someone with a really bad past (sexual/racial harassment) – happybuddha Feb 19 '14 at 23:13
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    Was the laid off employee who returned as a contractor laid off due to a general downsizing? I've worked somewhere where there were mass layoffs (for financial reasons) and people were joyfully rehired when money was once more available; I've also had a contract terminated early for financial reasons and then shortly afterwards been offered a full-time job by the same company. – Carson63000 Feb 19 '14 at 23:27
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It all boils down to why you had to leave in the first place. Honesty is key, just like in any other application. You'd want to have papers on why you had to leave, if the reason was simply budget cuts, you can safely say that in your new application to that work place. But, if it was a more sinister reason, such as harassment, vandalism, theft or general breaking of company rules, I'd say good luck even trying. If those actions were related to some issues you had, like drugs, alcohol or general mental condition that is now "cured" or under control, you could try your luck by explaining it and show them papers from a doctor for example. But I am quite certain you'd still get a 'No', simply due to the company not wanting to take another risk with you.

The most common reason for letting people go, without them having done anything bad, is budget cuts or simply lack of experience. Usually (but still depending on company), the person with least experience is let go first, as a person who is still learning the ropes is less desired than one who know the ropes. So if you've gained more experience after the initial layoff trough extra classes or another job, brilliant!

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