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I had an internship for about 6 months, was asked to interview at another company and I decided to do it to see if I was interested and was offered an internship at the other company. Around this time I was offered a job at the first company once I graduated but I declined due to finding another internship that I wanted to take to explore my opportunities.

An HR representative at the initial company told me to contact her if I was still interested in working for them after the 6 months when my new internship was supposed to end was up. I ended up getting a different internship within the same company that extended another 6 months, but it's ending now and I'm interested in going back to the initial company.

I emailed the HR rep and her automatic email response said to email someone else. I emailed them and they didn't respond. I'm assuming the first HR rep does not work there anymore and the second HR rep didn't notice or take my interest seriously.

Is it inappropriate to e-mail my former boss directly? Should I go through the online process of applying and just rely on the fact that they normally ask if anyone who's applying has worked there before? I'm not sure how much that sets me apart from other applicants.

I just want to take advantage of the fact that they have already offered me a job and that I've already worked there for 6 months so I can increase my chances of getting rehired.

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    Not only is it appropriate to contact your former boss, it's a good idea. – Dan Pichelman Dec 4 '15 at 22:13
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Is it inappropriate to e-mail my former boss directly?

Not at all. I would strongly recommend that you occasionally (every year or so) reach out to old bosses and peers to see how they are going and keep those connections alive. You never know when an old boss or peer may have a job you are interested in or otherwise help.

Should I go through the online process of applying and just rely on the fact that they normally ask if anyone who's applying has worked there before?

I would ask your previous boss this question. Likely you will need to go through some or all of the process. However, your boss may chat to HR or otherwise short circuit some parts of the process. For example, if you already worked there, you may already exist in the system.

If your boss is unavailable or unable to answer the question, go through the online process. If there is a comments field (or similar), state that you have worked there before as an intern. If you had an employee or staff number, include that. Otherwise, reach out to HR and let them know.

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Never rely on online processes or HR to get to the right people. If you know someone I would email them and leave your contact information.

I would just make it really simple. Say that you really liked working for him, you wouldn't mind another job at that company, and ask him to call or email you when he gets a few minutes.

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Employers don't take things personally, even if we think they might. If anything, having broad experience will make them more happy to hire you. Contact your former boss, contact HR, fill out an online form; contact anyone you can until you receive a personal reply.

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