How to Get a Job With a Criminal Record

March 16, 2016


While it is hard to find work if you have a criminal record, it can be done. Following are some tips that can help you find gainful employment after you have finished your sentence.

Start Small

Don’t expect to land your dream job as soon as you get out of jail, even if you have the right educational qualifications and/or past experience. Start small and build up your resume first. Freelance work can be a good way to use your skills and earn money without having to explain your past criminal record to a potential employer. Engaging in volunteer work related to the type of job you want to obtain is also a good idea; it gives you experience and helps you build a network. You may also want to consider part-time employment or a paid apprenticeship; these job opportunities could lead to full-time employment if you prove yourself.

Get Help

You can get free help with finding a job from non-profit organizations such as the National Transitional Jobs Network and America Works. These NGOs and other, similar organizations specialize in helping job seekers with criminal records find part or full-time employment. They offer workshops and rehab programs and are likely to know of employers who are willing to hire people fresh out of jail.

It is wise to start considering your job prospects as soon as you get out of jail. See what job opportunities are available, be realistic about what type of work you can do and then actively look for gainful employment in the field of your choice. Your first job may not be to your liking but you can work your way up by either getting promoted or using the experience to fill in your resume so you can find a job that is more to your liking at a later date.

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