Career Information for Ex-Offenders

Part of a successful life after prison is getting and keeping a job. Besides being paid, having a steady job can also give you:

  • An employment history that can help you find even better jobs down the road.
  • A feeling of pride.
  • The time to learn about different ways of thinking and doing things.

There are job training programs and opportunities available to you even if you have a criminal background. There are multiple resources listed below to help you transition to the world of work.

Tips for Job Search Success
Don't job search alone. Find a state program to help you. For example, learn about employment laws before you talk about your criminal background.
Be positive. Don't get defensive about your past. Focus on how you can handle difficulties. Also, point out what you can do for a potential employer. Talk about new skills you have. For example, some people get job training while incarcerated.
Set short-term and long-term career goals. Go to the Create a Plan and Set Goals section for more information.
Make a resume that is honest and shows your work skills.

Federal Bonding is a business insurance policy that protects the employer from any loss of money or property from dishonest workers. It covers any full or part time position for any employer. Individuals must have a job offer AND a starting date before the bond can be issued to the business

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) encourages businesses to hire those with barriers to employment (including those convicted of felonies). WOTC provides a tax break to businesses that hire those with barriers to employment

Network so that more people will know you and can recommend you to employers.

Know which careers match your skills, interests and work values. Review your work from the Assess Yourself section.

Fill out a copy of an application form. Learn how to answer questions on it. Find help if you need it. Usually, there is a section on an application asking for criminal background information. Consider stating that you'd like to talk about this in person. If they insist on written answers, get help on how to respond. 
Get a copy of your criminal record and review it with a legal professional or someone from the probation or parole office. You should understand what information is on your record and how it affects your employment options.

Manage Your Career Create A Plan & Set Goals Expand Skills Explore Careers Assess Yourself Find A Job