var googletag = googletag || {}; googletag.cmd = googletag.cmd || []; googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.pubads().disableInitialLoad(); });
device = device.default;
//this function refreshes [adhesion] ad slot every 60 second and makes prebid bid on it every 60 seconds // Set timer to refresh slot every 60 seconds function setIntervalMobile() { if (!device.mobile()) return if (adhesion) setInterval(function(){ googletag.pubads().refresh([adhesion]); }, 60000); } if(device.desktop()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [728, 90], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.tablet()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.mobile()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } googletag.cmd.push(function() { // Enable lazy loading with... googletag.pubads().enableLazyLoad({ // Fetch slots within 5 viewports. // fetchMarginPercent: 500, fetchMarginPercent: 100, // Render slots within 2 viewports. // renderMarginPercent: 200, renderMarginPercent: 100, // Double the above values on mobile, where viewports are smaller // and users tend to scroll faster. mobileScaling: 2.0 }); });
 Upload Your Resume   Employers / Post Jobs 

Contacting Previous Employers for Jobs and Job Leads

published January 19, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 803 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
From the Job-Club point of view, a previous employer can offer especially valuable assistance in your job search. Traditionally, however, former employers usually are not contacted. Job seekers often balk at the idea of making this contact—they feel that they don't want to do the same work; that a return to an old employer is an admission of failure; that they now have new skills; that a past employer did not like them that well; or that the past employer is located in an area far from where a job is now desired.

But if some, or even all, of these facts are true, former employers can still help you get ready. More than anyone else, they are familiar with your skills and work habits, as well as with you as a person. In the Job-Club approach, you contact all previous employers even if they can help in only one way.

How can former employers help

The obvious way in which former employers can help is to hire you for the same job. But even if they don't do this, or if you don't desire it, previous employers can help in many other ways. For example, they can write an open letter of recommendation, which, because it describes your actual work habits, will be especially meaningful to a new employer. In addition, they may have a different type of job available in their companies, in a different department, or in a different branch (if it is a large company). Almost certainly, they will be in a position to suggest other possible employers who might be hiring. Let's take a look at each of these possibilities.

If you want the same job

If you are interested in obtaining the same type of job with a former employer, remind him/her of what a good employee you were in the past. For example, "I believe I did a very good job when I worked for you before, and I remember you thought so too," or "I was a very hard worker and enjoyed working for you." Also, point out how you will be even better because of your experience since you left—for example, "I was younger then. Now that I'm older and more experienced, I can do that type of work even better," or "Since the time I left you, I have had many more job experiences that will make me even more valuable."

If you want a different job

If you are not interested in doing the same job, point out that: (i) you were a good worker and enjoyed working for the company, and (2) you are now qualified for a different job. For example, "I remember how much I enjoyed working for your company and I did a good job as a counter clerk. Now that I've had business school training and management training, I could be useful to you in some other positions in your company," or "You know that I was a very conscientious office clerk and I'd enjoy working for you again. I've had experience since then in many phases of sales and merchandising that I think would be useful in a job in the sales, marketing, or some other department."

If you want to work in a different branch

If the company has different branches in the same city or in other cities, you can ask for a job at one of the other branches even if there is no job in the branch where you previously worked. You can ask your former employer to be the one to call the other branch, or else to tell you whom to contact there. Your previous employer could also give you a letter of introduction to the other branch.

If you want a referral to other companies

If there is no job in the company or its branches, you can ask your former employer for job leads to other companies, just as you would ask any employer who had no job possibilities at the time. And since this person knows your skills so well, his or her suggestions should be especially helpful.

Ask for a letter of recommendation

The best way a future employer can estimate the value of your job experience is by learning how you did in your previous employment. Indeed, some companies require a letter from previous employers. So always try to obtain an open letter of recommendation from former employers.

If you left an employer on bad terms

Even if you left an employer on bad terms, you still have much to gain and nothing to lose by initiating a contact. No matter what your problems—whether you were absent too often, were uncooperative, had a personality conflict with the supervisor, weren't sufficiently skilled, made several mistakes, didn't take the job seriously, had an argument right before leaving, or any other such reason—if you worked there for more than a month, the employer was apparently pleased with your performance most of the time, or else he/she would not have continued to employ you for as long as he/she did.

When you contact such a former employer, remind both that person and yourself of those aspects of your work that were appreciated. Be sure to mention that the old problem does not exist because your situation or attitude has changed since then.

Here are some sample statements you might make that stress the positive experiences and explain or reassure about the negative experiences:
  • "I enjoyed the job and you felt I did a good job except for my being absent so often. But now I've settled down and that hasn't been a problem in any other jobs. I've been very steady."
  • "I was one of the best employees but somehow I didn't 'hit it off with Bob. If I worked in another department, I know I wouldn't have any problem since I've always gotten along very well with all the supervisors I've had before then and since then."
  • "I gave the company everything I had and was the one you called on for very difficult problems, you remember. I lost interest toward the end because I found the job was too routine. The family problems have all been taken care of and the job in sales is never routine, so I know that I'll be excited about it. I'm not a kid anymore."

Rehearse your lines

Write out in advance what you want to say to your former employers so that you will be sure to tell them exactly what you mean to say. List each of your former employers, starting with the most recent one. In the blank spaces write the statement you will make concerning: (1) how much you enjoyed working for them; (2) how satisfied the employer was; and (3) an explanation of any problems that caused you to leave on bad terms. Do this separately for each employer.

Telephoning former employers

Contact former employers just as you contact other acquaintances. If at all possible, do it by telephone. And use your Telephone Reminder List to be sure that you give all the information. When you come to the part about how the person can be of special help, give the information you have just written—how enjoyable the job was and how productive you were in that job for the former employer. Then include the usual requests for job leads, letter of recommendation, and an interview or callback appointment, if necessary. In addition, ask about a job in a different department or in another branch, if it is a large company, or the same job if that's what you want.

Former employers usually are pleased to hear from their old employees and to learn what they are currently doing. And because they are in a unique position to know your work potential, they can do more for you than others. If any feature of your experience and skills was attractive to them, they would much rather hire you than others, since they are so familiar with your work. And even if they have no job possibilities, they can guide you to other companies that are just right for you. So contact each of the former employers. You may be doing them—as well as yourself—a great favor.

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

published January 19, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 803 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.