Eric Mayo Jobs for Felons: How felons can get jobs
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Showing posts with label jobs that hire felons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jobs that hire felons. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Criminal history questions on job applications could soon become illegal

Criminal history questions on job applications could soon become illegal

Posted: Sep 18, 2017 3:50 PM EDTUpdated: Sep 18, 2017 10:19 PM EDT
If the employer plans on denying an applicant based on their conviction history, the bill would require the employer to do an individualized review of whether or not their history would have a direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job.
They would have to consider three stipulations: the nature of the offense, the time that has passed between the offense and sentence completion, and the nature of the job.
The employer would have to notify the person applying with a written decision, and the applicant is allowed five business days to respond, and an additional five days to dispute the decision with evidence.
There are some companies that require background checks by law, so they would be exempt from this bill if it becomes a law, according to Eppright.
Nine states and 15 cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, have adopted similar regulations.

Companies that Hire Ex-offenders and Felons

 Companies Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Felons | Jobs For Felons | Jobs For Ex-offenders | Jobs That Hire Felons | Places That Hire Felons | Felon Friendly Jobs | Felon Friendly Employers | Jobs for Felons | Jobs For People That Have Felonies | Jobs For People With A Criminal Record | Ban the Box

Eric Mayo

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Monday, May 16, 2022

10 Tips on How to Get a Job With a Felony

Originally published on Money Inc. by  Dana Hanson

A felony is a serious offense that can stay on your record for life, and if you have a felony, it can be challenging to find a job. Many employers will not hire people with a felony. However, don’t despair; there are things you can do to get a job even if you have a felony on your record.

10. Be Realistic

If you have a felony, you need to be realistic about the types of jobs you can get. You will likely not be able to get a job in specific industries, such as healthcare or education. But there are still many other kinds of jobs that you may be able to get, such as customer service, retail, or food service. Don’t waste your time applying for jobs that you know you won’t get when looking for a job. It’s better to focus your efforts on assignments for which you are more qualified.

9. Ask for Help

One of the most important things you can do is ask for help. You might be surprised by how many people are willing to help you out if they know that you require a job. Many community groups, organizations, and businesses have programs for helping felons get back on their feet. The more people you contact, the better your chances are of finding a job. Some of the programs that you might want to look into include the following:

The Federal Bonding Program: This program offers bonding insurance to employers willing to give someone a second chance. It covers theft or other forms of dishonesty and provides the employer with insurance if things do not work out.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit: This program offers a tax incentive to employers willing to hire someone with a felony. It might not cover all costs, but it can help employers reduce their costs.

The Veterans Employment and Training Service: This service offers assistance to veterans, including those who have a felony on their record. It can help with federal career opportunities and other employment programs for veterans.

The Reentry One-Stop Career Center: These centers help ex-offenders find jobs. They provide job search assistance, job readiness training, and job placement services.

8. Look Out for Scams

There are a lot of job scams out there that target people with criminal records. Be very careful when looking for a job, and make sure you research any company or individual you’re thinking of working with. There are a few things to look out for:

Promises of easy money: Be wary of anyone who promises you a high-paying job with little or no experience.

Upfront fees: Be careful of anyone who asks you to pay a fee upfront, especially if they guarantee you a job.

Out-of-state offers: Be cautious of anyone who gives you a job that requires you to move out of state.

Unrealistic claims: Be wary of anyone who promises you a job without interviews or applications.

If you’re careful and do your research, you can avoid many scams that target people with criminal records.

7. Learn a New Skill

If your felony prevents you from getting the job you want, it may be time to learn a new skill. This can help you get a job in a different field or open up new opportunities. There are many ways to learn new skills, including online courses, community colleges, and vocational schools. To learn a new skill, start by considering your interests and strengths. Are you good at working with your hands? Do you enjoy working with computers? Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do, research training programs that can help you get started.

6. Look like a Professional

Appearance is a massive factor for employers, especially those looking to hire people with records. If you can’t afford to buy clothing that will make you look presentable, consider doing some manual labor. Please work with your hands to show that you’re not afraid of getting them dirty and willing to put in the effort. Many employers will respect this and see it as a good sign that you’re ready to work hard.

5. Secure References

You can not get a job with a felony conviction unless you have at least one reference. Yes, even if you work on the family farm with your dad, you still need references as they will ask for them if you are applying for a job. References can be anyone credible. You will often want to pick successful people, such as managers and supervisors from previous jobs. But other options include teachers or coaches from your past or community leaders. If you do not have a solid list, start by asking former employers for references. They may not have a reasonable opinion of you, but that may be your only option.

4. Join the Army

One option that many people with a felony conviction may not consider is joining the Army. Although this method involves an intense and lengthy application process, it is an excellent way to get your life back. The Army will provide you with a steady income, benefits, and structure to help you find your way after prison. Additionally, you may be able to use the Army as a stepping stone to finding other opportunities after you have served your time. To get started, speak to a recruiter in your area. They can help you understand the process and whether or not you are eligible to join.

3. Expunge Your Felony

Expunging your felony is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of getting hired. If your felony is deleted, it will not appear on your criminal record. This is important because many employers will not hire you if they see that you have a felony on your record. Plus, you will have a better chance of getting the job you want if it does not appear on your record. Below are steps to follow to expunge your record:

Step 1: Get a copy of your criminal record. You can do this by finding the courthouse with jurisdiction over where you were convicted.

Step 2: Complete the petition.

Step 3: File the petition and pay a filing fee.

Step 4: Go to court on your day in court.

2. Start Your Own Business

A business is a great way to keep your mind occupied, show off your skills, and make money. When done right, owning your own business can provide you with enough income to support yourself and your family. It can also help you avoid situations where you’re likely to get into trouble, such as living in a bad neighborhood. The best place to start is by looking online for business ideas. Many websites offer advice on starting your own business. You can also find books at the library or bookstore to provide you with valuable information. When deciding on a business idea, it’s important to consider your skills and interests. You should also think about the amount of time and money you’re willing to invest. Once you’ve settled on an idea, it’s important to create a business plan that outlines your ideas and strategies. Finally, you will need to get the necessary licenses and permits to set up your business. This will involve working with local authorities and ensuring that you comply with all regulations. With the right planning, hard work, and determination, you can start your own successful business.

1. Get a GED

Having a high school diploma or GED is a must if you want to get hired for most jobs. Education, including vocational training and college, can open up opportunities that might not be available to you otherwise. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire people with a GED over those without one, so having one can increase your chances of getting hired. If you do not have a GED, start by creating a study schedule that you can stick to and sign up for classes. Many resources are available to help you get a GED, so take advantage of them and see what steps you need to take to get yours.


Being convicted of a felony does not mean that you will never find a job again. With the right approach, you can get hired and start climbing your way back up the career ladder. To improve your chances of getting a job with a felony, focus on securing references, building relationships with potential employers, and working hard on your job search. With patience and persistence, you can get hired and rebuild your life after getting out of prison.

Eric Mayo

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Sunday, November 14, 2021

List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felons

List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felons

I get a lot of emails about getting a job with a criminal record.  I get quite a few from ex-offenders regarding the list of companies that hire ex-offenders and felons.  We have all seen the list.  It is posted on a number of websites.  I even have a variation of it on this blog here: 

Updated List of Companies That Hire Ex-offenders and Felons 

I have contacted each one of the companies on the list and none of them have official policies that exclude the hiring of ex-offenders.  My list is a little different because it includes companies that have hired students that I have worked with personally.

Many people that read this list are confused.  Just because an employer has hired an ex-offender in the past, does not mean it will hire every ex-offender or felon that applies for employment.  The nature of the conviction of the person applying will come into play.  For example, a person convicted of any type of theft or robbery will not be considered for any type of job where valuables are at risk.  A person with a drug conviction will not be considered for jobs in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes etc.  There maybe even local laws which prohibit those with drug related convictions to be employed anywhere alcohol is served.

Many types of jobs require licenses that people with certain types of convictions are ineligible for. 

I have also met people who have have applied for jobs with some of the employers on the list and come to the conclusion that the employer doesn't hire felons because the employer did not them.  Just by appearance, the person was a poor applicant who just didn't make a good impression or did not fit in what the employer feels a good employee looks like.

List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felons

List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felons
Before you apply for any position, you have make sure you put yourself in the best position to be hired.  The first and most important is appearance.

Do you have suitable interview clothes? For men, a well fitting suit with a nice shirt and tie would be the absolute best thing to have. That may not be possible for someone just coming home but I suggest that men at least have dark dress slacks, a light colored shirt and a coordinated tie. You should also have a pair of shoes that you can put some polish on. Not boots, not sneakers…shoes! A good number of my students buy

List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felons their interview clothing at thrift stores like Goodwill or the Salvation Army store. They find quality clothes at very low prices, clean and press them and they are ready to interview. Never mind how you get them, the right clothes will make the difference. You should also have a neat haircut and be clean shaven. If you wear a beard, it should be neat and trimmed. How do you look? Do you look like an ex-offender with a shirt and tie or do you look like a businessman? Do you look like you are going to a
List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felons
business meeting? You should - an interview is a business meeting. You should always look like a professional who is there to make a business deal! Always dress like you have an interview even to fill out applications.  You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Women should wear a classic skirted or pant suit with a light colored blouse or a simple dress that does not come up above the knee.  Do not wear anything too tight or too skimpy.  Be sure to wear coordinated pumps that are neat and clean.  The pantyhose should match the skin with no pattern.

Hair should be neat and of natural color.  A short hairstyle is best, but tastefully done longer hair is fine.  Fingernails should be neatly trimmed with tasteful polish.  The make-up should be natural looking.  One set

List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felonsof earrings (no larger than a quarter) no facial piercings or tongue ornaments, one ring per hand and no more than one bracelet per wrist.  If you have visible tattoos, especially on the neck or face, should be covered by makeup.

List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felonsDo you have a resume?  A resume will present your skills, past experience and other information in one neat package.  Everyone looking for a job should have a resume.  If you do not have a well written resume, you should do what you have to get one.

How are your interview skills.  Once again, you will have to leave an employer with a good impression of you, so brush up on your interviewing skills

This is a great list and a great opportunity for ex-offenders and felons to get hired for jobs.  Make the most of the opportunity!

List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felons

Jobs for Felons The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons (2021)


Tips to help felons get jobs

Jobs for Felons: How does a Criminal Record Affect Employment?

List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felons

List of Companies that hire ex-offenders and felons

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Can I Become a Nurse with a Criminal Conviction?

Can I Become a Nurse with a Criminal Conviction?


My name is Denise. I am a 28-year-old female and have two felony convictions from over three years ago, both drug-related. I have been in recovery for over three years, have completed a technical diploma for human services, and am currently a youth counselor/ case manager at a local shelter home. My hopes have been to become a nurse. However, I have no idea if this is possible and neither does anyone else.

I know the laws vary from state-to-state, but I have never been able to get a direct answer on any state laws regarding this. I have done a great job of turning my life around, gaining connections, and utilizing the opportunities I've been presented with, so there is no doubt that if the law allows it I can obtain my license and find a job, regardless of my background. However, I don't want to waste my time and money if the state laws bar me from obtaining my license. 

What should I do? Thanks :)

Can I Become a Nurse with a Criminal Conviction?

Hello Denise,

I often get this question.  I suggest you contact the medical licensing board in your state to see if you were eligible to be licensed.  Also, if the school you are thinking of attending has a placement office, I'm sure they could get that information for you.

I hope this helps.

Companies that Hire Felons


Can I Become a Nurse with a Criminal Conviction?

Jobs for Felons

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Ex-offenders struggle to find jobs amid COVID-19

Back in 2015, Bill Livolsi Jr. had no trouble finding work even though he'd been convicted of wire fraud and was upfront with potential employers about his crime.

But that was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I am applying to jobs left, right and sideways, " says Livolsi, who has been looking for work since April when he was released from federal prison after serving a 13-month sentence for the crime. "It is extremely difficult ... They're picking the cream of the crop when there are opportunities.''

Almost 1 in 3 adults in the United States has a criminal record, and finding a job when you have a past arrest or conviction has never been easy. But it's become even more difficult in the midst of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 health crisis that has left millions of Americans unemployed and significantly increased the competition for jobs, public policy experts say.

"Because of COVID-19 ... everybody is having a harder time, and that would be exacerbated for people who are being released from prison,'' says Kristen Broady, policy director for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, which focuses on economic policy.

Low-wage positions, a lifeline for those with limited prospects, are in high demand and short supply. Restaurants and other industries that offer lower-paying jobs have struggled amid shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. And with a national unemployment rate of 6.7%, employers who have their pick of applicants may be less inclined to hire someone with a record, Broady and others say.   

The hiring dip threatens to slow the progress led by a growing number of states and municipalities to restore the rights of ex-offenders. They are passing laws that wipe criminal records clean, allow some who've committed felonies to vote, and bar employers from asking about criminal histories early in the hiring process. 

Most urgently, the hiring slowdown may make it harder for the 620,000 men and women released from prison each year to get a fresh start and contribute to their communities, advocates and ex-offenders say.  

Bill Livolsi Jr. has struggled to find work after being released from federal prison at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Meaningful employment is crucial,'' says Livolsi, 61, who lives in Owasso, Oklahoma. "It's crucial to rebuild your self-esteem, to rebuild your ties with your family, and just to be able to put food on the table.’’

COVID-19 makes hiring harder 

The jobless rate for those who've been incarcerated has typically been much higher than the general population. A Brookings report published in March 2018 found that 45% of those released from prison did not have any reported pay in the first calendar year after they returned home.

The current jobless rate for those who've been incarcerated is unclear, but placement services that work with ex-offenders believe it's risen during a pandemic that has caused unemployment to soar across the board.  

The Center for Employment Opportunities, which provides transitional employment, coaching and job placement for those released from prison, made 368 placements in April 2019. But in April 2020, near the start of the COVID-19 health crisis, only 140 of its applicants were able to find work.

Similarly, for the period between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2019, the center found jobs for 1,793 of its applicants, but placements dropped by half, to 900, during that same period last year. 

"We already know that in hiring, people with convictions face tremendous hurdles and I think COVID has just exacerbated those situations,'' says Chris Watler, the center's chief external affairs officer.

70 Million Jobs, an employment agency for those with criminal records, says it was particularly successful in finding former offenders jobs in shipping, warehouses and food processing plants. But as the pandemic took hold, "business dropped almost overnight, by 90%,'' says its founder Richard Bronson.

"We were doing very well and then we were virtually out of business," says Bronson, a former financial services executive who started the agency after he served time in prison. 

Will they commit more crimes?
Job seekers who are ex-offenders have to overcome stigma and suspicions that they can't be trusted and may be prone to commit another crime, Bronson says. But historically low unemployment rates before the pandemic, which left tens of thousands of jobs unfilled, made employers more receptive to applicants who'd been incarcerated.

The need for workers also boosted efforts by organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management to get employers to commit to giving qualified applicants with a criminal record an equal chance to be hired.  

But barriers to employment have remained steep. A majority of employers still check to see if job applicants have past convictions, and a host of laws prohibit people convicted of a felony from getting licenses necessary to work in various higher-paying fields such as health care or cosmetology.

Those obstacles have ramifications for not only the individuals who struggle to find work but the economy as a whole, social justice experts say.       

"There is a public safety angle if people can't find jobs when released from prison,'' says Ames Grawert, senior counsel for the Justice Program at New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice. "It's more likely they'll return to crime which no one wants. And there’s research that homelessness is more likely and deep poverty... Even those who do find jobs earn shockingly less than their peers."

The economy suffers

The broader labor market suffers as well. When those with felony convictions or who've been incarcerated struggle to find jobs, the economy loses out on roughly 1.7 to 1.9 million workers, and between $78 billion and $87 billion in gross domestic product, according to a paper by the Center for Economic and Policy Research), released in June 2016, that examined 2014 data.  

Having a job can help reduce the chance ex-offenders will commit new crimes, though the quality of the position and the ability to earn higher wages is key to success as well, research shows.

Chauncey Floyd has struggled to find work after being released from prison last year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting Out And Staying Out, a New York area reentry program, says that recidivism rates for its participants who've gone to school, undergone training, received mentorship, or gotten jobs in the previous 90 days are 15% or lower, compared with 67% for young men in a similar age group nationwide. The recidivism rates for its participants dropped as low as 10% early on in the pandemic, says Sonya Shields, Getting Out And Staying Out's chief operating officer. 

Eager to use new skills in jobs

Chauncey Floyd, who returned home last year after serving nearly 16 years in prison, says that like him, many former offenders just want to move on from their pasts and provide for themselves and their families.

Floyd says he was eager to find a job using the computer programming skills he learned while incarcerated. But conversations with potential employers usually end when he tells them he has a record.

“I was ... trying to find a career, not necessarily trying to grab a job just to have one,’’ says Floyd, 46,  who is living with family members in South Carolina.

He's now looking for more manual positions and hopes to eventually start his own business. "You just want to basically have a chance,’’ Floyd says. “Me, going to prison, I don’t want to pay for it for the rest of my life … Some people actually just want to do better.’’

Don't ask about criminal records in job interviews
While hiring has slowed, larger efforts to give ex-offenders more opportunities continue, advocates and public policy experts say. 

Twenty-six states and Washington, D.C., have passed legislation that bar employers in the public or private sectors from asking early in the hiring process if an applicant has a criminal record, says Michael Hartman of the National Conference of State Legislature's Civil & Criminal Justice Program. 

And several states, including Pennsylvania, California, North Carolina, and Utah, have passed or are considering "clean slate'' laws that automatically clear the records of some offenders after a certain amount of time, according to a compilation of research on reentry hurdles and initiatives by the Center for American Progress, National Employment Law Project and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.  

On the federal level, U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, introduced the "Clean Slate Act'' in December which would automatically seal the federal records of those arrested for simple drug possession. Those convicted of such offenses would have their records sealed after they finish their sentence. And the legislation would also create a framework for ex-offenders to request the sealing of records for other nonviolent crimes.

"That was a real breakthrough,'' Grawert said of the bipartisan bill, which if passed will make it easier for people who've been arrested or convicted to find work without answering questions about their past. 

Promises after George Floyd death

Promises by many businesses to address systemic racism in the wake of the protests that followed the killings of George Floyd and other African Americans could also open up opportunities for the formerly incarcerated, who are disproportionately Black and Latino, advocates say.

“I’m hopeful because I see in the job seekers that I work with a real passion to work, to contribute, to grow,'' says Watler. "And increasingly, I’m seeing employers ... waking up to the fact that their practices have to evolve.'' 

Follow Charisse Jones on Twitter @charissejones    

companies that hire felons

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Eric Mayo

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Monday, January 25, 2021

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Finding a job in this day and age is different than it was even five years ago.  The computer age has changed the way we look for and apply for jobs.  Felons looking for jobs face different challenges than other job seekers.  By using some different techniques, felons can dramatically increase their job opportunities.  Take a look at these tips and your next job will not be far away.

Get out and Network

Asking people you already know about jobs that may be open is called networking.  This is the single most powerful way to get job leads.  In fact, most people get their jobs this way.  Networking is works so well because many employers will take a good a look at people who are referred to them.

How many categories of people do you know?  This a big group of people who can provide you with a lot of quality job leads.

People in the neighborhood
How Felons can Land Jobs TodayParole/probation officers
Members of your worship group (especially religious leaders)
Former co- workers
Other Former Inmates
Former teachers
Former employers
Casual acquaintances
People you do business with (Barber, landlord, doctors)

This is eleven categories of people.  Let's say you got five job leads from people in each category. That is a possible 55 high quality leads for jobs.  That would be a great start for your job search.  This the single most powerful way to get a job and it how most people find jobs

Get a Professional Looking Email

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Your email address should have a professional look.  Employers will probably take more seriously if you have a professional looking email address.  You may want to one that uses your first and last name separated by a period, followed by the two numbers of your date of birth  ex:

Clean Up Your Social Media

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Clean up your social media
With the popularity of social media, it would be difficult to find a lot of people who are not using some form of it. More and more, employers are checking social media pages to get a better idea of
who they are considering.  So take a good look at your social media profile or page.  Is there anything that leave a bad taste of an employer's mouth?  You may want to remove it.  That means any objectionable pictures, posts or videos.

Apply for Every Job You are Qualified for

How felons can land jobs today
Too many felons miss out on jobs simply because they don't apply.  Felons get jobs everyday.  Don't assume that you will not be hired because you have a record.  Never talk yourself out of a job.  What you must understand that the numbers on on your side when it comes to getting a job with a criminal record.  More applications, will lead to more interviews.  More interviews will lead to more opportunities to get hired.  Make a goal of a certain number applications each week and stick to it. Every application you fill out will take you one step closer to getting a job.

Get Professional Looking Interview Clothing

The choice of clothing you wear to an interview will have a huge impact on your chances to get hired.  Remember you are not going to a nightclub or a party.  An interview is a business meeting and you should look like you are ready for business.  Your clothes will create an image or perception of the type of person you are, so choosing your look is critical to presenting yourself as a professional.  It doesn't matter what position you apply for, you should present yourself as a professional.


Men should should wear a dark suit, a light shirt, a tie and shoes that can be shined.  If a suit is
How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
unavailable, dark slacks, light colored shirt, a tie and once again, shoes that can be shined.


The ideal look is a classic business suit (either slacks or skirt,) a light colored blouse and coordinated shoes with a medium or low heel.  Earrings should be small. Nail polish and makeup should be natural looking and tasteful.

Not everyone has clothing like described above, but it is important to get them.  How you look will definitely influence an employer.  If finances are an issue, you may want to look into thrift stores to find appropriate interview clothing.  At thrift stores you will find suits, slacks, shirts, ties and shoes at very affordable prices.

Need Interview Clothes? Ex offenders and Felons Should try Thrift Stores

No matter where you find your clothing, clean and neatly pressed clothing will give you the professional look and help you make a good impression.

When looking for a job, dress like you are going to an interview

I encourage ex-offenders and felons to dress like you are going on an interview whenever you go out filling out applications.  You never know who you are going to meet on your job search.  It's always better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.

Make a list of your skills 

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Make a list of all of your skills and be able to talk about each one.  Make a list your skills and practice talking about them.  The better you can explain you value, the better your chances to get hired. The skills you should focus on are:

Work-specific Skills

These are skills that were acquired by working at a particular jobs.  Can you paint, cook, use tools or perform other types of work?  The skills you used to perform on a job are all examples of work-specific skills.

Transferable Skills

These are skills that can be taken from one type of job and used in other types of work.  Typing, use of office equipment, and telephone skills are all examples of transferable skills.

Personal Skills

These are skills that are part of your personality that helps you do other things well.  Are you a punctual person?  Do you work well under pressure?  Do you work well with customers?  These are all personal skills.

These are three types of skills you can sell to an employer.  If you can easily talk about your skills and how they can benefit an employer, you can get job, even with a criminal record

Follow Up

Follow up with everyone you meet on your job search.  If you fill out an application, find out the name and phone number of the hiring person.  If you get an interview, always get the business card of the person you interview with. The business card will have the interviewer's name, title, address, phone number  and email address.  Right after the interview, you may want to send a thank you email.  If you really want to stand out, you could even send a thank you card.

Get Good References

Having a few good references may be the difference that could get you hired. Have a list reputable who would say something positive about you make a list of five great references.  A reference may look like this:
How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Mr. David O'Bannion
Vice President, Marketing
XYZ Company
922 N. Bank St.
Chicago, IL 60610

References should never be included on your resume.  They should be listed on a separate sheet and only be submitted upon request.  Before you use anyone as a reference, you should ask their permission.

Use your One-stop Career Center

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Every ex-offender or felon looking for a job should visit their local One-stop Career Center.  You will find many resources that can help you find a job or get training for a new career.  You may get personal assistance from trained employment counselors.  You can get help writing a resume, learn interviewing techniques and find lists of open jobs in your community.  Click this link to find your local One-stop Career Center  One-stop Career  Centers

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Eric Mayo

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Can I get a Professional Job with a Criminal Record?

Can I get a Professional Job with a Criminal Record

Can I get a Professional Job with a Criminal Record?


I have been trying to get a job with an insurance company or large law firms and no one is calling me back. I assume it is because I was arrested in 2002 and plead out to probation. I am not a convicted felon, but that is still on my record. Also, I have an arrest for battery on my record, but the case got thrown out. Can you really help? I received an email from Allstate that they want to set up an interview with me next week. Will this mess me up once they look up my background?


Can I get a Professional Job with a Criminal Record?

Hello Mattie,

Can I get a Professional Job with a Criminal Record?Let's start at the beginning.  You state that you plead to probation, which means that you were convicted.  I don't know what your conviction was for, but if you were convicted of any type of theft, fraud or robbery, some jobs may not be available to you. 

In case of any other arrests, employers are more concerned with convictions rather that arrests.  That is why the question on applications typically begin with. "Have you been convicted of a crime..."  I encourage all ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs to get a copy of their criminal records so that they can answer this question honestly and accurately.  The best place to get this is from your probation officer.  I'm sure he/she can get a copy for you.

When your interview comes, as I advise everyone with a criminal record, answer every question honestly, but never volunteer information.  If the question does come up on the interview like this, "I'm glad you are asking this question, because I want you to feel comfortable hiring me....."  Then briefly explain the circumstance surrounding the infraction.  Spend more time talking about the steps you have taken to overcome that situation.

Don't assume that your legal issues are the reason you are getting few call backs.  Continue to apply for every job you qualify for for.  Don't assume that because you have a record, you won't be considered.

I would also try to find out if expungement in your state.  Expungement essentially means that your criminal record would be hidden from public view.  Once that is done, you may claim not to have a record when responding to the "Have you ever been convicted....." question.  Expungement is a legal process that you should not try alone.  You should contact your local legal aid office to see if your state offers the opportunity for expungement.  You may also qualify for free legal services.

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Monday, November 9, 2020

Hiring As A Second Chance

You make a lot of potentially life-changing decisions when you’re a boss. You promote someone — or you have to let them go. You give someone a raise. You send a new product into the world. 

But none of these has been as life changing as the times my partner and I have been able to give a job candidate a second chance at life simply by hiring them. These are employees who were once in prison or rehab or who came to us from a sober living house. In too many cases, having those experiences on a job record has proved detrimental to career opportunities. In fact, according to the National HIRE Network, “Nearly 75% of formerly incarcerated individuals are still unemployed a year after release.” And when 1 in 3 American adults has a criminal record, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, that’s both a disaster and an opportunity that’s currently being wasted.

Fortunately, many large companies — like Walmart, Starbucks, Home Depot and more — have changed their hiring practices to include people with criminal records. And in the case of our small business, every time we’ve hired someone with a criminal record or who has gone through rehab, we’ve been paid back with exceptional productivity, increased loyalty and overall great morale. For the employees, it’s meant a chance to prove themselves and to excel, setting them up for a successful future.

Here are some key reasons it makes sense to give people a second chance — and how you can do the same in a way that offers the best path to success for everyone.

Employment lowers recidivism rates.

Here’s a shocking fact: According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics study, 83% of state prisoners were rearrested during the first nine years after their release. Is that because they’re hopeless career criminals? Maybe for a few. But studies consistently show that lack of education and lack of employment are linked with recidivism rates. Basically, you can help people stay out of jail by giving them a job. This doesn’t apply to just any employment — if people only have fast-food job options, that does not lower recidivism rates. But if they can get jobs in construction or manufacturing, or in jobs that offer the potential for growth, that correlates with a decrease in returns to prison.

You get hard work, dedication and gratitude.

Our experience mirrors those of other small businesses: The people we’ve hired have demonstrated hard work and dedication. According to the ACLU report “Back to Business: How Hiring Formerly Incarcerated Job Seekers Benefits Your Company,” when employers hire ex-offenders, “Retention rates are higher, turnover is lower, and employees with criminal records are more loyal.”

One of our best employees is an ex-offender with a wife and children, who humbly and happily started his career with us at the bottom of the totem pole: on the assembly line. One year later, he had done such outstanding work that he was promoted to line manager. He’s now been with us two and a half years and is such a role model that we profiled him in a Father’s Day post on our company blog! 

People who have gone to rehab for drug or alcohol issues are already outstanding in one key way: Although 40 million Americans meet the criteria for substance addiction, only 10% receive treatment. 

You can help change the story.

You can provide the example that ex-offenders and people just out of rehab are not only worthy of employment, but they can also benefit the whole community with increased productivity and even safety. 

One very dramatic example: In the past, prisoners who worked alongside professional firefighters during California’s wildfires were barred from becoming firefighters themselves due to their criminal records. But this fall, in the midst of the worst wildfires the state has ever seen, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill to expunge the records of certain prisoners (violent and sex offenders excluded), making them eligible for EMT training en route to becoming professional firefighters.

You can get a tax break.

Another big incentive may be money. Note that this only applies to hiring an ex-offender, but the benefits are pretty significant. Thanks to the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, employers who hire a qualified ex-felon can claim a tax credit of up to 25% of their first year’s wages if the employee works at least 120 hours, and 40% if they work over 400. If you’re a small business owner, your state or municipality may also offer additional incentives.

How to make it work: Set them up to succeed. 

Just throwing someone into a new job and letting them sink or swim is a recipe for disaster. Here are ways you can have the greatest possible chance of success:

• Give clear guidelines and expectations. Everyone needs a well-defined job description and clear targets to hit, and this is particularly true for ex-offenders and those recently out of rehab. 

• Make sure there’s a true pathway for growth so they don’t feel stuck in a dead-end job or that they’re being patronized with menial tasks.

• Pair them with a mentor who can offer guidance and answer questions.

• Encourage them to continue their education, and/or provide workplace training that can equip them for increasing responsibility.

• Schedule regular one-on-one conversations to hear how it’s going and to give feedback.

Giving someone a second chance doesn’t mean doing them a favor. It means seizing a great opportunity that has huge potential benefits for both sides.

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