Ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs will have greater success by developing a plan using these important steps.
Dress like a professional!
There is no substitute for a powerful first impression. If ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs want to be treated like professionals, they ought to look like professionals. A fact of life is that most of us will be judged at least partially, by the way we look. Meeting someone for the first time, you should look as professional as possible. You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Get a personal contact card
Nothing will set you apart from the competition like having your own contact card! A professionally done contact card will leave everyone you meet with a powerful, professional, lasting impression. Your card should include your name, address, telephone number and email address. If you have a particular profession or skill, it should also be on the card. Your local printer can help you put one together. You will be amazed just how affordable this powerful little tool can be.
Always be honest
I encourage ex-offenders and felons to always be honest when searching for jobs especially on applications and interviews. There is often a temptation to lie about criminal pasts. I have know many people who have not been honest on applications and gotten jobs, only to get fired later when background checks are done. It is always better to be honest.
If you are asked about criminal records on interviews, you should briefly speak about it but focus on what you have learned and why having a job and working hard is important.
Use resumes and cover letters to get jobs
Ex-offenders and felons will have more success getting hired if they can get their resumes into the hands of people who can hire them. Sending a resume with a cover letter will give them a huge advantage. A well written cover letter will introduce you and help you ask for an interview in a professional way. Often when ex-offenders and felons inquire about jobs this way, the question of criminal records never comes up. If you don't know much about writing a cover letter, find someone who does and get it done properly.
Build a good network
Most people get jobs through people they know. Who you know is often just as important as what you know. Finding job leads from people you know is called networking and it is without question the single most powerful way to get a job. Many jobs are never advertised because they are often filled by personal referrals. In fact, employers would rather hire somebody referred to them instead of looking through piles of resumes and applications.
Contact as many people as you can think of and ask if they know of anyone who is hiring.
Build a list of good references
A lot of applications ask for personal or professional references. A reference is someone who would say something positive about you or your work performance. Past teachers, previous employers, ministers, and other prominent members of your community would all be great references. Please ask people if they be a reference for you before you list them.
Always be on time!
There is absolutely no excuse for ever being late. You should always plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before for all interviews and other appointments. Arriving early will allow you to relax and make any final preparations
Practice and prepare!
Getting a job with a criminal record will depend on how well you prepare. Practice everything on your job search from filling out applications, shaking hands, body language and interviewing.
Like anything else, interviewing well will take practice. The more you practice, the better you will get. Practice your body language in front of a mirror. Predict the interviewer’s questions and practice answering them until they sound natural. Don't memorize your answers but practice making them complete thoughts in your own words...
Get friends and family members to take turns being the interviewer. Practice the whole interview from beginning to end. If possible, make video recordings of your practice interviews so you can see and hear your responses to questions and your use of grammar and body language.
Get ready to work hard!
Ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs must realize that they are playing a game of numbers. More job leads means more interviews. More interviews mean more opportunities to get hired. It's that simple. Getting enough quality jobs leads will result in a job .
Finding a job with a criminal record will require a huge commitment in time and effort. Put your time in making phone calls, filling out applications and digging for leads. Effort in practicing, and preparation will have to go with putting the time in. Every minute you take off leaves an opening for someone else to get a job instead of you.
There are ex-offenders and felons getting jobs everyday. Work hard and prepare well and you could be
one of them!
If you are really serious about getting a job with a criminal record or helping someone you care about get a job, check out this link: From Jail to a Job