Looking for a job is difficult. With a criminal record it can be extremely difficult. We know this, so we have some tips and resources to help you find stable employment. Sadly, more than half of all convicted felons will end up back in prison within a year of their release. Help reverse that trend. Become a success story, not just another statistic.
Your Employer and Your Conviction
How an Employer Can Find Out About Your Conviction
What They Can and Can’t Ask You
Three Steps to Success
1. Clean up your record
It is possible that your record has mistakes and/or incorrect charges. Contact your local Division of Criminal Justice to get a copy, or you can call the Legal Action Center at (212) 243-1313. You can also seal your records so that only the criminal charges will appear.
· If you have a military discharge that was less-than-honorable, see what you can do to clean it up. Call your local state division of Veterans’ Affairs.
If you have gone through a rehabilitation program, get the clinic director to write you a letter of support. Living in a halfway house? Ask the house manager. Employers want to see that you are making progress and putting forth effort.
In some states, they will issue special certificates for good conduct and evidence of “rehabilitation.” Ask your parole officer if that is available in your state.
3. Sell yourself
You must show yourself as a person, not a criminal.
Tell the employer how you have changed. Explain why you had trouble, and what you learned from your mistakes.
Bring letters of recommendation from your parole officer, former employer, counselor or minister.
Be prepared to answer, “Why do you want this job?” and look the interviewer in the eye.
Dress for success. Don’t wear torn or dirty clothes, and try to cover up any visible tattoos. Make sure you’re clean and well-put together.
Be frank about your history. Speak clearly, don’t use slang, and above all else be honest. The more open you are, the more likely you will get hired.