How to Contact an Old Boss After Many Years


Whether you left a previous job on good terms or bad, a need to contact a former supervisor sometimes arises. Getting in touch with an old boss can be a pleasant trip down memory lane or an uncomfortable, yet necessary, task. No matter what your particular situation is, there are ways to reconnect as painlessly as possible.

  • Call or write to a former boss to ask if you can use him as a reference. Some companies have policies in place that prevent current employees from commenting in detail about the performance of those who used to work there. Many companies refer inquiries to the personnel department, which can verify the dates of employment, position held and salary.

  • Notify your old boss that she can expect a call from the company you're seeking employment with about your job performance, once she's given her okay to use her as a reference. Give her a few details about what duties the new position will involve, and thank her for her willingness to provide a positive reference for you.

  • Call your old boss for a lunch date if you had a close, positive working relationship. It never hurts to maintain contacts in the industry. Getting together with him will give you a chance to catch up on your careers and personal lives, if appropriate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take your cue from your former boss's behavior. If she seems glad to hear from you, feel free to chat awhile. If the contact feels uncomfortable, get straight to the point and keep the conversation brief.

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