How do write a cover letter for the exact position I left two years ago?
July 24, 2006 3:34 PM   Subscribe

How do write a cover letter for the exact position I left two years ago?

I've seen this question and the other cover letter questions, but my circumstances are a bit different.

Three years ago, I held a job that I really loved, and worked there for a year. I left because I was accepted to a Master's Program halfway across the country. Now, two years later, I have my degree, and am moving back to the place I left. I've maintained contact with the people I used to work with, and it so happens that there have been some internal promotions, and my exact position is now open.

The people I worked with are encouraging me to apply for this position, and I am very interested in returning to the company, especially because it's a great place to work my way up in a career I would enjoy.

How do I write a cover letter applying for the exact same position I left two years ago? I obviously have the skills, as I did the job for a year. My co-workers and supervisors were all impressed with the quality of my work. I just want to convice these people that I'm not going to run off on them again - that I'm finally at the stage of my life where I want to commit myself long-term to a company that can offer me a good career.
posted by ArsncHeart to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
if the people are encouraging you to apply, i don't think you need to worry about convincing them that you won't jump ship. most people in hiring (in my experience, anyway) don't hold grudges against someone who leaves to get more education. you're probably preferable since your competition would have to fuck around for a few months learning the ropes, whereas you could jump right in with a lot of experience.

you're clearly well-qualified for the job. just do the usual cover-letter thing: cite some specific good things you did when you worked there previously, highlight your strengths, experience, you're better educated and can bring even more to the company, etc etc.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 3:58 PM on July 24, 2006


I'd say that. Sounds like you already have your answer...

"The people I worked with are encouraging me to apply for this position, and I am very interested in returning to the company, especially because it's a great place to work my way up in a career I would enjoy. My co-workers and supervisors were all impressed with the quality of my work. I'm finally at the stage of my life where I want to commit myself long-term to a company that can offer me a good career."

Name the people encouraging you. Mention what you did. Make it clear you loved working there. should be easy enough.
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 3:58 PM on July 24, 2006


When I asked a similar question (how do I apply for the job I'm already doing) I got this good answer:
I would certainly highlight the advantages to your employer of hiring you over any other candidate:

No training necessary, no down-time for learning curve
Already demonstrated ability to do job well with internal references!
Knowledgeable NOW to recommend new procedures or opportunities that others would take months to identify...etc.
Simple internal transition, everyone already identifies you with this job

As many ways as you can subtly imply how much extra work it would be for your boss to choose anyone else, the better!
I went ahead and highlighted my skills that were most relevant to the posting, and then closed with something to the effect of "this, combined with my year of experience in this position will enable me to be a valuable team member from day one".

I just want to convice these people that I'm not going to run off on them again - that I'm finally at the stage of my life where I want to commit myself long-term to a company that can offer me a good career.

Then say that! Something like "during the year that I worked in this position previously, I was recognized for my value on the team. My Masters studies in the past two years have broadened and deepened my knowledge of video editing*, and I am looking to establish a career with a company, like yours, that values this knowledge."

Remember to focus on what you can offer them, not on what they're going to give you. If you were good before (by all accounts you were) now you're like Youplus.

* (or whatever it is)
posted by raedyn at 4:01 PM on July 24, 2006


I echo the advice above. If you're on good terms with your former colleagues, they probably understand that you left for an educational opportunity, and not for any other reason that would make it hard for you to return to the job.
posted by phatkitten at 4:04 PM on July 24, 2006


I think most of the advice above is right on, but I would add one concern: If I didn't know you, but I was reviewing your resume (say, if I was an HR officer), the first question I would ask is, "If this person just completed a Masters program, why are they looking to come back into the same position? Didn't they learn anything that makes them more valuable than they were before the program?"
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:19 PM on July 24, 2006


Response by poster: NotMyselfRightNow - that's one of my concerns. However, this company has a habit of promoting from within, so I know I have room for growth. I will make sure I include a reference to that effect.

And thanks to everyone for the answers so far. You have boosted my confidence!
posted by ArsncHeart at 4:26 PM on July 24, 2006


ArsncHeart--I typically view grad school as a period of career growth in and of itself. So, as long as when you left your position you still had two or more years before you would have been promoted, I think you can make a strong, valid argument. If not, I'd recommend you shoot for something higher if you can so you don't put yourself in a defensive position.

Either way, good luck with your application and let us know how it goes! (hey, I just realized we're neighbors. Good luck, neighbor!)
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:10 PM on July 24, 2006


Be sure you get paid more.
posted by jellicle at 5:20 PM on July 24, 2006


I would also think of something cogent you learned in your recent Masters program that might add to your skills. It tells the company they aren't getting the same person they hired two years ago. They're getting a more experienced person! It also shows how well you used your time away.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 10:49 AM on July 25, 2006


echoing above: the trick is going to emphasize that you are coming back to be promoted/paid more, not coming back to your previous position.
posted by iurodivii at 11:19 AM on July 25, 2006


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