Category : job-readiness
On release from prison, you have the opportunity to build a new life and a new career. But unfortunately, some employers may put your application aside after seeing you have a conviction record. Still, with some strategies, you can overcome the bias and be successful in finding a good job.
Narrow Down Your Search
There are some types of jobs that tend to exclude anyone with any type of criminal record. Government jobs on the federal, state, and local levels are one example. Positions in education, child care, health care, and banking or finance are others that weigh your record against you.
Knowing this, you should narrow down your search to exclude these positions. Instead, look for jobs in industries that don’t involve working with people or finances. Some examples are jobs in the many hands-on trades, such as plumber and electrician, as well as truck driver, hospitality, or manufacturing.
Get Character References
Your conviction and prison sentence represents only one small part of your life, and your record doesn’t tell your prospective employers who you really are. Instead, start now to get character references that will detail your good qualities and achievements.
You should get references from people you have known for many years. This can include friends, neighbors, teachers or religious leaders, former employers, coaches, and so on. Tell the person why you need the references and what you would like them to highlight.
Employers routinely run background checks, so it’s inevitable that they will find your criminal record. Trying to conceal your past will only work against you. Don’t volunteer information if you’re not asked, but if an application inquires, it’s important to be upfront about what happened.
Most applications will include a space for you to explain the context of your conviction. Fill this out honestly, and say that you have now turned your life around. Offer to tell more in an interview. Your positive attitude will go a long way in helping the employer get past your record to see your willingness to work.
You can make yourself more hireable following your release from prison, but you should prepare in advance of your job search. It’s a big advantage to have the tools in place to make a positive impression on employers. Many will be willing to overlook the past and give you a chance to prove yourself.
Check out this article on some great reasons to change your career!