Finding jobs for ex-offenders and felons is a very difficult task. I know, I have been helping ex-offenders ad felons get jobs for many years. I wish there was one thing I can tell them that would make this job easier, but the fact is, it will take a plan and a lot of hard work. Unfortunately, too many felons consider themselves victims of society that are constantly discriminated against for things they have done in the past. When a felon is released, the sooner he or she finds gainful employment the lower the risk of re-offending
Everyone looking for a job should have a resume. A resume is an individual summary of your background, experience, training and skills that helps you to present your best qualities to an employer. If you have a resume, have a professional person look at it to judge it's quality. If you do not have a well written resume, I suggest you get some help putting one together.
Proper Interview Clothing
While your resume may get you an interview, it’s your performance on the interview that will get you the job. Remember you are going to a business meeting so be personable and friendly but keep it businesslike. Do not reveal too much information. give full responses to the interviewer's questions but never volunteer information that is not asked for. If the question of your record comes up, briefly acknowledge it but do not spend too much time talking about it. Focus on what has happened since your conviction and what you have done to make yourself a better person. Develop a friendly smile and a good handshake. You have to make the interviewer forget that you are an ex-offender. Get a friend or family member to help you by playing the part of the interviewer. Practice will pay off.
Finding Job Leads
The most effective method of finding job leads is by networking. Networking is simply talking to people you already know and asking if the know of any job openings. Believe it or not, this how most people get their jobs. Employers save time and energy by hiring people that are referred to them.
Another great source of good opportunities is to apply for temporary employment. A lot of employers need temporary help. Many temporary employees are hired permanently if they prove to be good workers. Smaller independent agencies are a better choice than larger, nationally known ones. Independent agencies do not have the same hiring restrictions that may exclude ex-offenders are free to hire anyone they choose. They are more likely to hire a person with a criminal record. You may find some in your local telephone directory. Apply to them as you would any other employer.
I encourage everyone looking for jobs to go to their local One-stop Career Center. You will find a long list of services that can help you find work. You will also find lists of available jobs in your area. There are also counselors who can provide one-on-one assistance. Often the counselors have experience helping people with criminal records and know of employers who may hire them. The counselors can also help you find opportunities for vocational training that could lead to a new career.
You can find you nearest One-stop Career Center here:
There are also government programs that can help ex-offenders and felons get jobs. The first is the Federal Bonding Program. Some employers are fearful of hiring ex-offenders or felons since they feel their criminal histories make them more likely to steal, commit fraud or be dishonest in other ways. A bond is an insurance policy that protects an employer against money or property loss due to employee dishonesty. Most felons cannot be bonded by private insurance companies. The Federal Bonding Program is sponsored by the government through the Department of Labor. This program was created to help high-risk, but otherwise qualified, job seekers who have offers of employment. The Federal Bonding Program offers insurance policies that protect employers against any possible losses incurred due to actions by high-risk employees. The program is designed to help ex-offenders and felons who need a second chance. These bonds are free of charge to both the applicant and the employer and can be issued for any job at any employer in any state. Any full or part-time employee paid wages (with Federal taxes automatically withheld) can be bonded, including persons hired by temporary employment agencies.
You can find out more about the Federal Bonding Program here:
Federal Bonding Program, ETA/DOL
1725 De Sales Street, NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
1 (800) 233-2258http://www.bonds4jobs.com/state-coordinators.html
Always remind interviewers that you can be bonded. Finally, a great incentive for employers to hire ex-offenders and felons is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit or WOTC. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal income tax benefit administered by the U.S. Department of Labor for private employers who hire individuals from specified target populations. One of the target populations are ex-offenders who have completed their sentences within the past year. The WOTC reduces a business’s federal tax liability, serving as an incentive to hire otherwise difficult to employ people. Eligible employers can receive a federal tax credit up to $4,800 for each qualified employee.
You can get more information here:
There are many opportunities for ex-offenders and felons to get jobs if they are willing to put in the time and effort. Hard work, dedication and a definite plan of action will lead to jobs.