3 Career Pivots You Can Make After Serving Time for a Conviction

Approximately one in three adults have some type of criminal record, and integrating into the workforce after acquiring a conviction can be a difficult journey to pursue. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires potential employers to remain impartial while performing background checks, but it is natural to be nervous about how a societal bias may impact your future career path. There are fortunately a large number of positions that offer what are referred to as “second-chance programs,” as well as careers that don’t require background checks at all.

Become a Sales Representative

Proactive sales reps are typically hard to come across, so these jobs are often hard to fill. Due to this shortage in prospective employees, sales rep positions don’t always require a thorough background check. There is usually no prior experience required, as long as you are open to learning and becoming assimilated to a fast-paced and high-energy role. Sales representatives make around $30.32 to $44.67 an hour, which is well above a comfortable wage.

Work as an Independent Contractor

The gig economy is steadily growing, causing more and more individuals to decide to become their own bosses as independent contractors. Participating in freelance work could potentially give you the opportunity to avoid background checks altogether, as long as you maintain a reputable presence in your chosen industry. Learning to code and becoming a freelance web developer is perhaps one of the most promising career paths, with over 58,600 prospective job openings becoming available in upcoming years. You can start this by learning computer languages, start with languages like Java,  SQL, or Angular JS.

Get a Culinary Degree

Dining facilities are historically known for giving second chances to those who have prior criminal convictions. Many of these eating establishments, especially smaller businesses, do not require background checks at all. Culinary arts is far from becoming obsolete, with over 30,400 predicted job openings in the near future. If you do not want to dedicate the time to a full degree, many restaurants will accept just a vocational certificate instead.

Your prior criminal conviction does not have to mean hitting a brick wall when it comes to the pursuit of your dreams. Your career goals can still be accomplished with the proper knowledge and resources, enabling you to secure a position that is both profitable and enjoyable to you. Over 68% of those who enter the prison system have a stable employment history beforehand, so go build a LinkedIn profile or a redo your resume, keep your head up as you can successfully re-enter society.

Resume Tips for Job Search Success in 2018

When you’re looking for a job with a criminal charge on your record, it can be tough. There are a lot of mistakes that past criminals make when applying for jobs that can hold them back from their dream position. So don’t miss out on the career you deserve. Use these following resume tips to supercharge your search in 2018.

Format Your Resume Professionally

The right formatting can make a big difference in whether or not you get the job. Without a great formatted resume, it can look sloppy or lazy. Companies like to see that you are using modern standards for today’s layout. It shows that you keep up with the job market and your industry.

Leverage Social

There are various ways to leverage social media to help with your job search. The biggest mistake is simply ignoring social media, even if you don’t like using it. Look at getting a job as your only job right now, and you can change your perspective.

To get the most out of social, get an account on LinkedIn. If you already have a profile, it’s time to clean it up. Make sure you fill out your profile information top to bottom. The more you can share about your experience level and expertise, the better. Also, Use the best photo that exists of you in your profile. It should be within five years old, however. Finally, make sure you are leveraging social proof by getting endorsements for your skills.

Ditch the Old Stuff

It can be tempting to look at your experience and job history and put everything on your resume. It might seem like this makes it more impressive, but in reality the HR departments and hiring managers who will be looking at your resume don’t want to spend ages reading it.

Include only the most recent 3-5 jobs you have had. If there is a gap, find a way to explain it in the interview rather than worrying about it by lying on your resume. Honesty is always the best policy and will pay off in the long run.

When it comes to job hunting in today’s day and age, it is tough enough. You are already competing with the world instead of just your local talent pool. Add to this the fact that you have a criminal record and you need to try harder than other candidates just to be considered. So use the tips above and enjoy finding the right job for you.

An average of 22% of all justice-involved individuals in the state of Virginia are expected to be re-arrested, re-convicted, and/or re-incarcerated. Strengthening societal relationships and making effective use of time has proven to deter individuals from returning to prison. We are here to be a direct link to those deterrents. They’re counting on failure; we’re working towards success!


  • Resume Format Tips You Need to Know in 2018 | TMV Social
  • How to Explain Employment Gaps in an Interview | Indeed
  • Maximize LinkedIn in Your Job Search | UNCW



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