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How to Format a Resume If You're Returning to a Previous Employer

by Nicole Vulcan, studioD

You may never have imagined returning to the same job you left once before but stranger things have happened. When you're reapplying at the same company, you'll need to take the same care with your resume that you did the first time -- only this time you'll be able to use the knowledge you have about the company to tailor the resume even more specifically to the job in question.

Include an "Objective" section at the top of your resume that makes it clear that you've worked for the company in the past and that you're excited about returning. Include a phrase about your passion for that type of work or your love for the company, advises "The Wall Street Journal."

Review the job posting to identify words and phrases that can help you describe your past jobs. You may have had the exact same job at the company as the one you're applying for now, but don't assume the hiring managers will know what you did when you worked for the company, or will be familiar with the accomplishments you made while there. Look over the qualifications, traits and skills described in the job posting and use similar descriptive words to talk about your past jobs. For example, if the job posting says the company seeks someone with tech skills, be sure to include your tech-related duties in the job description. Include your manager's name in the description of your job with the company so that the hiring managers can ask that person about your performance.

Create an "Accomplishments" or "Professional Development" section that outlines any awards you've gotten since leaving the company the first time, as well as any trainings, schooling or special education you've taken part in since the last time you worked for the company. Hiring managers want to see that you're not only going to bring them the same package they got before, but an even better one.

Include former colleagues or supervisors among the references you list on your resume. Call the people you have in mind and let them know you're applying for a job at the company. Inform them of what you've been doing since you left the company and any awards or recognitions you've gotten since you left the company. Ask those people to put in a good word for you, and then ask permission to include their names on the resume.


  • Your cover letter is another place you can include information about why you left, why you're reapplying now, and what makes you an even better candidate than you were the first time. You can bet that one of the hiring manager's first questions -- should you get an interview -- will be about why you're reapplying at the same company. Throughout the process, be honest, open and enthusiastic about the prospect of working with the company once again.

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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