Can you get rehired after being terminated?

Updated on August 31, 2023
Can you get rehired after being terminated

Being terminated is not the end of the world, so don’t panic. There are more than a couple of ways to work it through, and we will get a closer look at a few of them below.

You can get rehired after being terminated, but it hugely depends on the circumstances that led to your termination. Certain types of termination can leave a track record which can make a future hiring process harder for you. However, no type of termination deprives you of the right of labor.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at what you can do to be rehired and employed once again.

How long after termination can you reapply?

If you were terminated, you can apply for another job immediately. If you would like to return to the same company, then you should check their rehiring policy to find out when you can reapply.

Some companies allow terminated candidates to reapply after 3 months.

But if you were fired, you might be added to a no-rehire list which means that you won’t be able to reapply for a very long time (if ever).

Can you join the same company after termination?

Can I join the same company after termination

Yes, you can join the same company after being terminated. However, if the reason for your termination was a severe breach of company policy or abandoning your duties, then there's less chance of being rehired. It all comes down to why you were terminated.

If I am to be more specific, we have to dig deeper into what “terminated” stands for – is it the same as “being let go” or “being fired”?

In a sense it is – If the employer ends your employment for a reason specific and directly related to you, then "terminated" stands for "being fired" as well as for “being let go.”

There are other ways of being terminated that are not considered a red flag by HR representatives, such as layoffs and contract expirations.

Being terminated during your work probation period can also be considered a mild case. After all, that's what probation is for – to see if you fit the company.

Can you get rehired after being fired?

Yes, there is a chance. If you have been let go for not being a good fit or due to poor performance, and now you believe you have improved professionally, then you could apply again.

If possible, back up your statement with recommendation letters and work assessments to prove your improvement.

Make sure to liaise with an HR representative or a former manager of yours, so you can discuss the re-hire options and your professional path and achievements since you were let go.

In regards to how soon you can reapply – most companies stick to the three-month rule, allowing applicants whose contract was terminated no earlier than three months back from the current application date.

If you want to be sure – contact an HR representative and confirm the details prior to applying.

Can you get rehired after being laid off?

Yes, if you have been laid off, you could apply again. Being laid off means that the company took the decision to part with you based on strategic/financial reasons, thus through no fault of yours.

If the position was not eliminated for good, there's a big chance for you to be considered.

Don't burn your bridges, a good piece of advice is to state your willingness to be considered for future open positions and confirm you are not holding any grudges.

Can you get rehired when your work agreement expires?

Yes, by signing a new agreement. Once the contract has expired it ceases to exist. Having your contract expired means that no automatic renewal clause was included in it.

You can enquire for a renewal before the expiration date to know for sure if you will be employed.

The option here is to have both parties agree to sign a new document with a new term – it is very important to consider signing the new agreement with a backdate so that there’s no period uncovered between the expiry of the old and the signing of the new contract.

Can you get rehired after quitting your job?

Yes, you can get rehired after quitting, as long as you have not damaged your reputation in the company irreversibly.

Don't burn your bridges, as you never know what life will serve you. Before reapplying – consider what went wrong and where you stand now, and prepare yourself with the answers.

If the company doesn't have a strict written rehire policy, it's usually up to the employer to consider rehiring a former employee.

You can be sure that the employers have solid reasons to rehire former employees, trust me – being compassionate is not the only one.

It is believed that the re-hired employees have stronger loyalty and commitment since they are working to prove they deserve a second chance.

Another argument on your side is the cost of enrollment and training, which can be significantly cut for someone who's been part of the company and knows the culture.

The rehire is also a positive for the company, as the former employees are able to become very productive almost immediately.

Can you get rehired after retiring?

Yes, you can be rehired after work separation due to retirement. Your experience and skill level, as well as the constant need for qualified employees, are working in your favor.

Most companies do have a retire-rehire policy, in line with the regulations for retirement plans and compensations.

It is important to check the details with an HR rep on how soon after retirement you can return.

The company policy could have more than one option for rehiring such as setting up part-time or full-time positions, as well as independent consultancy contracts.

That depends on the legal and tax implications of the specific retirement plans.

How to get rehired after being terminated

How to get rehired after being terminated

To get rehired after being terminated, you need to be on good terms with your former employer. Reach out to them and express your desire to return to your previous position.

If they are willing to give you a chance, then you can apply for the position once again.

Okay, so what can you do to increase your chances of being considered for rehire? It's pretty straightforward – make yourself the perfect fit.

All you have to do is make it easier for the decision-makers to find what they are looking for when screening your application.

Now let's go over some of the steps you can take.

1. Reflect on why you lost the job

Start with an honest self-assessment of your actions and performance leading up to the termination.

Revisit any feedback you received and genuinely accept responsibility for any missteps.

Use this introspection to identify areas for growth, whether it's skills training or personal development. Sometimes, seeking perspectives from mentors or peers can offer invaluable insights.

Documenting your reflections can also be beneficial, providing clarity and serving as a reference for future discussions or applications.

2. Learn about their rehire policy

Knowing the criteria will help you ace the potential interview. Don’t be afraid to apologize for previous behavior and keep a professional tone.

You can also check for other positions that match your set of skills in case your previous position is currently taken.

3. Bring forth any recommendations

Think of the recommendation letters that will back up your application.

Focus on the people who can emphasize your qualities which are desired for the position you want back. Especially if you worked on them after the termination.

4. Leverage the results you have achieved

A perfect way to do that is the work assessments or KPI reports, which are strictly related to the numerical aspect of your achievements.

You can always ask for those if they are not regularly shared with you – normally the companies keep track of these reports on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

5. Reach out to your former employer

Try to arrange a phone call or a face-to-face meeting instead of expressing your desire to return via email.

When reaching out, approach with humility and a willingness to listen.

Frame the conversation as an opportunity to understand better and learn from past mistakes, rather than immediately seeking reemployment.

6. Acknowledge and address past issues

Be transparent about the circumstances that led to your termination.

Instead of deflecting or placing blame, take ownership of any missteps and articulate the lessons you've learned.

Highlight any tangible steps you've taken since the termination to rectify those issues, whether it's attending relevant training, seeking mentorship, or implementing feedback.

This proactive stance can reassure former employers of your dedication to improvement and your readiness to contribute positively in the future.

7. Remind them of the good times

Make sure to remind the hiring manager that you were part of the company.

You know how things work around here. You are familiar with the company culture and the team dynamics.

Maybe some of your favorite coworkers still work here. All these factors will stack up in your favor.

8. Remain professional if you don't get rehired

Should this be the outcome, try to handle the situation with grace and professionalism.

Thank the company for considering your application and express appreciation for any feedback they provide.

Avoid reacting negatively or defensively, as this can further strain the relationship.

Instead, use the experience as a learning opportunity, reflecting on any insights gained during the process.

How to get your job back after being wrongfully terminated

How to get your job back after being wrongfully terminated

If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you should reach out to your previous employer and make an appeal.

State your reasons and ask them to provide you with a reasonable explanation. If you are denied, then you can turn to local regulatory agencies or take legal action.

It's important to stay calm in these situations. Any expression of aggression or disrespectful behavior may have consequences on the final outcome.

The Labor Law has a strong backup for situations like this and you can be sure that protecting your rights will be a top priority when looking into details.

There are plenty of steps you can take, so let's focus on the most important ones.

1. Collect the evidence

Go through your emails, or any other written or recorded communication such as text messages, voicemails, or training recordings.

Eyewitnesses can also be a good way to authenticate your statement. Dates, names, and sequence of events are what you should keep in mind.

2. Contact the appropriate local regulatory agency

Filing a claim will bring a legal third party into the game, so they can investigate the circumstances of your termination and if applicable – go for administrative penalties.

Those agencies have the power to help you achieve a settlement with your previous employer, or support you if you decide to file a court claim.

3. Seek legal advice from your lawyer

Even if you decide to skip the second step, your lawyer will be the best person to consult.

They should be able to evaluate what would be the best outcome for you – win a lawsuit, achieve a settlement, and/or be entitled to reinstate your previous position.

What makes you not eligible for rehire?

The fastest way to find out is to ask your previous employer or HR rep directly what led to that.

As there are no lawful regulations to control the no-rehire policy and classifications, it could be anything from not giving notice, to breaching a company policy or poor performance.

To narrow the guessing game, we can look into the 10 most common reasons employers use to deem employees as not eligible for rehire:

1. Break of trust

Trust is foundational in any professional relationship. Actions that erode trust, such as dishonesty, misrepresentation, or theft, can lead to a no-rehire status.

2. Engaging in illegal activities

Involvement in any unlawful activities, either within or outside the workplace, can tarnish your reputation and make companies hesitant to want you again on the team.

3. Workplace violence/harassment

Any form of violence, bullying, yelling, or harassment is a severe breach of professional conduct.

Such behaviors not only harm individuals but can also disrupt the workplace environment.

4. Continuous poor performance

While occasional mistakes are part of growth, consistent underperformance or negligence can lead to termination and a no-rehire status.

5. Attendance issues

Regular tardiness or unexplained absences can be disruptive and indicate a lack of commitment or reliability.

6. Violation of company policies

Each company has its own set of policies and guidelines. Breaching critical policies, especially those related to confidentiality, data protection, or ethics, can result in being marked ineligible to be hired again.

7. Conflict with management or colleagues

While disagreements are natural, persistent conflicts, especially those that disrupt team harmony or undermine leadership, can be a reason for not being considered for rehire.

8. Negative exit interviews

Exit interviews provide employees with an opportunity to give feedback. However, overly negative, unconstructive, or inappropriate comments can influence decisions to take you back.

9. Job abandonment

Leaving a position without proper notice or explanation can be viewed as irresponsible and unprofessional.

10. Non-compliance with non-compete or non-disclosure agreements

If you've signed any agreements that restrict you from working with competitors or sharing confidential information and you breach these, it can result in being ineligible for rehire.

How long do you stay on a no rehire list?

There is no lawfully determined period of time for being on a no rehire list.

As per the labor regulations in the US, companies can keep employee data for up to one year after their termination.

That being said, we should clarify that the length of stay in the no rehire list may not be limited to the above options and may depend on the severity of the termination reason.

On a good note - some of those reasons can be considered redeemable and you can change your status.

Can a no rehire status be changed?

Yes, it can, most of the time, depending on the reason why you are deemed as no rehire.

There are a few ways to approach the situation and the most common one is to negotiate it with the HR manager directly.

They would be the best person to discuss the reason for you ending up on the list in the first place and give you advice on what actions you can take to change that status.

Alternatively, for smaller companies, you can approach the business owner.

Sample letter to request rehire after termination

Here I will explain to you how to craft an effective letter to request a rehire.

First, let’s take a look at the general outline of the letter, and then I will explain what makes it effective and what you should include in it.

Subject: [your name] – rehire inquiry


This is [your name]. I worked at the company as a [position] from [starting date] to [termination date].

I was wondering if I could be considered for a rehire because I would love to take my old position once again.

The reasons that led to my termination were [their reasons].

However, I believe that I fit the role well and I should be considered for a rehire because [your reasons].

Please let me know if you would consider me for the position.

Thanks in advance.

Here is a breakdown of what your letter should contain.

  • A short precise subject line with your name and your inquiry.
  • Start with an informal greeting such as “Hi” or “Hey” because it is more effective than formal greetings.
  • Explain the nature of your inquiry, and state that you would wish to be considered for your previous job.
  • Don’t avoid the matter of your termination, address it boldly, especially if you were fired.
  • Give them good reasons why you should be considered for the position, and explain how you have grown professionally.
  • Conclude with “thank you” or “thanks in advance” – research suggests this type of email ending has a higher response chance.

Frequently asked questions

What if I left on bad terms? Can I still get reinstated?

While it's more challenging, it's not impossible. Demonstrating personal and professional growth since your departure can increase your chances.

How should I address a gap in my resume after being terminated?

Again, be honest and concise. Mention the termination, focus on what you learned during the gap, and highlight any new skills or experiences you gained.

Are there industries or sectors more open to rehiring terminated employees?

It varies, but industries with high turnover rates or those facing talent shortages might be more open to rehiring.

Can I negotiate my previous salary or benefits if I get taken back on?

Yes, but it's essential to be informed about the company's current compensation standards and be prepared to justify any requests.

Written by:
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galin office topics square
co-founder / office worker
Alex has been an office worker for more than 10 years. He is dedicated to helping other office workers to achieve the perfect life-work balance through well-being, effective communication, and building productive habits.

One comment on “Can you get rehired after being terminated?”

  1. I see this to be immensely helpful. I took it upon myself because I genuinely liked what I was doing at my previous job. I wrote that I enjoyed the time I spent and the opportunity to be a part of the team and that I hope that in the near future that I will be able to be working with them again.

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