Tips for Writing a Letter Asking for Your Job Back

This illustration shows how to write a letter asking for your job back including "Remind them who you are-and sell yourself," "Use business letter format," "Edit carefully," and "Be brief: Focus on why you think you should return to your old position."

 Ashley Nicole Deleon © The Balance

Did you just start a new job and are already regretting it? Or have you been demoted, laid-off, or fired from your job? You may not be able to get your old job back, but it certainly doesn't hurt to ask. You have nothing to lose by sending a courteous request to be rehired.

Make sure you really want to return to the company. You left for a reason, after all. If you are only going back because it is the easiest option, think hard before sending this letter.

Consider making a pros-and-cons list to consider whether you should return to the job.

Keep in mind that if you were to be rehired, you most likely would be starting over as a new employee. Your salary and benefits package may not match what you were earning before.

Remind Them Who You Are and Sell Yourself

Remind your employer of the department you worked in, along with your job title. You might also mention how long you have worked there. If you have worked there for a while, this will remind them of your dedication to the company.

Start by sending the message to your former manager. You may also have to speak to human resources or upper management, but your former boss is a good person to start with.

Don’t expect to get your job back just because your employer liked you in the past.

You need to convince your former boss that hiring you again is a great idea for the company. Tell them why you are a terrific fit for the job. If you achieved any big successes at the job (for example, if you have helped the company save money), remind them of this. If you have developed any new skills since leaving the job, mention them.

Be Concise

Don’t go into great detail in this letter. You can mention why you are leaving your new job, but keep it brief, focusing mainly on why you think you should return to your old position.

If your former boss considers you for the position, you will likely meet with him or her in person. During that meeting, be prepared to answer more questions about why you left your old job, and why you want this job back.

Explore Other Opportunities

Your job might already be filled. Therefore, if you are willing to consider other open positions at the company, say so. Being flexible may help you get a job offer. 

Follow Business Letter Format

Printed Letter

If this is a written letter, use the official business letter format when writing your letter. Include your contact information at the top, the date, and the employer’s contact information. Be sure to provide a salutation at the beginning, and a handwritten signature at the end.

Email Message

If this is an email, begin with a salutation, and end with your typed name. For an email, also be sure to include your name in the subject of the message so that your request will be read.

Carefully Proofread and Edit

This letter is what can get your foot back in the door at your old company. Therefore, take the time to make this letter as professional as possible. Read through and carefully proofread the letter for any errors.

Sample Letter Showing How to Ask For a Job Back

This is an example of a letter asking for a job back. Download the letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Screenshot of a letter asking for a job back
 The Balance 2020

Sample Letter Showing How to Ask For a Job Back (Text Version)

Stephen Applicant
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

June 2, 2020

Jerry Lee
XYZ Company
321 Metropolis Ave.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Lee,

As you know, I recently started a new job at ABC Company. However, I have realized that the job duties and the work environment are not what I expected. I am therefore writing to inquire about the possibility of returning to my position as Assistant Editor at XYZ Company, which I held for the past four years.

I sincerely regret my decision to resign and if I were to be rehired, I can assure you that I can offer a long-term commitment to the company.

In the interim period since I was Assistant Editor, I have gained experience with new content-management systems, including Drupal and WordPress. I believe these skills would be invaluable as ABC Company continues to expand its online presence.

If the company would consider rehiring me, I do understand that my job may have been filled. If so, are there any other open positions I would be eligible to apply for?

Thank you in advance for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you, and I am available at your convenience for a conversation. I can be reached at 555-555-5555 or at

Best regards,

Stephen Applicant (signature hard copy letter)

Stephen Applicant

Sending an Email Request to Be Rehired

A request to be rehired can be sent by email. List your name and former job title in the subject line of the message: Your Name - Job Title. Include your contact information in the signature of the message, so that it will be easy for your former supervisor to get in touch with you.

When You Have Been Demoted or Let Go

What should you do if you've been demoted, laid off, or fired? You may not be able to do anything about it, but it may be worth appealing the decision and writing a letter to ask the employer to reconsider. Review tips for writing an appeal letter, with an example and a template to use for your own appeal.