How to Find a Job as an Ex-Convict: What Processes You'll Go Through
This blog post will discuss the challenges of finding employment with a felony record. It will cover what processes you'll go through during the hiring process and why it can be hard to find work if you have a criminal past. If you are having trouble finding jobs because of your criminal history, this post is for you!
First, let's discuss what you can do to make yourself stand out as a candidate. These are the areas of hiring where felons need to be extra prepared for success:
- Qualifications and experience - Education and work history (including gaps) - Personal traits (and why these matter more than your criminal past) - Interview tips and tricks (and how not all interviews go as they did on TV!)
Now that we've covered some things you can focus on throughout your job search, there are still many potential obstacles in finding employment with a felony record. The companies listed below have reported fewer problems in employing reformed criminals than other firms in their industry during previous studies performed by Career Builder. Let's look at who they are and what you can do to increase your chances of being hired by them.
- Starbucks - Publix Supermarkets - Costco Wholesale Corp - Hyatt Hotels & Resorts LLLP
Now that we've looked through companies that have some success in hiring felons let's look at why it is hard for reformed criminals to find jobs with their criminal records. Some reasons include:
- Employment gaps resulting from time spent incarcerated or on parole - No high school diploma/GED yet (or unable to pass the test) - Criminal history preventing applicants from obtaining Licenses required by certain industries (e.g., nursing) This list isn't exhaustive. Still, these are the most common issues that companies may run into when hiring felons.
So, what can you do?
- If you don't have a high school diploma/GED yet - get it! It'll be easier to find jobs with your criminal record if you can prove yourself in other ways (like through experience or education).
If the company requires any Licenses before they hire employees, acquire them as soon as possible! It will help show potential employers why they should hire YOU over someone else who doesn't have all their paperwork together. You might not need these qualifications for certain industries, though, so make sure to research whether or not your chosen career path requires one. In general, however, having anything related to licenses and education will help your chances.
- If you have a felony record - talk about it! It won't be as big of an obstacle as people make it out to be, but don't try and hide the fact that you were arrested either. Tell them upfront because if they see this information after hiring you, there's no way for them to know what happened from their end. The best thing is just being honest from the start when applying for jobs with felonies to avoid any issues later on down the road.
What are some other things I can do?
- Don't give up easily or settle for less than desired employment - Make yourself stand out through experience/education (and show how these qualifications can contribute to the company's success)
- Get your paperwork in order (this includes education, licenses, and any other requirements by companies you apply for). If needed, get help from places like Goodwill or legal aid.
If you're looking for more information on jobs that hire felons, then check out our article on Companies That Hire Felons. It is loaded with tons of great advice! There are plenty of options out there if you're willing to put in some hard work, so don't give up hope just because it seems difficult right now. Keep trying until something works - even if it takes a long time! You never know when one application will be it takes to score an interview.
We've also written a helpful guide on finding jobs for felons that can provide some more insight into what you should focus on during your job search! If the companies listed above aren't hiring, then it might be time to look somewhere else.