Ex-Felons’ Basic Guide to Kickstarting the Job Hunting Game

4 min read
two chairs in a room for an Ex-Felons job interview

After serving your time, you might be wondering what you can do with your ‘second life.’ If you’re still under the supervised release program, then it is best to follow the direction and assistance set by your parole officer first. Since at this point, your goal is to complete your probation or parole, it is necessary to make sure you do things correctly so you can begin a new life.

However, though this new life may seem promising, there are still limitations that will prevent you from obtaining a certain type of jobs. For example, you can’t get a job that is related to firearms and explosives. This also goes for highly-regulated positions and licensed positions

While there are positions where you are not allowed to work, you can still find a fruitful career elsewhere. For instance, you can work for small companies where you are going to work closely with the owner.

You might be asking why small companies only when there are a number of medium scale companies out there. Although it’s disheartening, we had to admit that most medium firms to large companies shrink back from hiring ex-felons for fear of being involved with any real or perceived liability once they hire you. Nonetheless, if you really wanted to venture to this field, you can always do that.

Before applying to these firms, you need to ensure that you equip yourself with commendable skills and additional proficiencies that can boost your suitability for the position. However, don’t lie on your resume, as this can be a ground for you to be fired. So how do you tailor your resume? Here are some basic things that ex-felons can do to increase their chances of obtaining jobs:

an ex-felon ready to conquer the job hunting industry'

Six Basic Guides for Ex-Felons to Step up Their Game in Job Hunting

1. Make sure that you have the needed education

Before anything else, you must to have the required or needed skills for a certain job. Remember that education is very important especially for your status. If you need a General Educational Development (GED), get one. Moreover, try improving your knowledge by enrolling in community college classes. You can also harness your skills by taking up various courses and training that are intended to develop your proficiencies.

2. Gather enough experience

After securing the necessary education that you need, you can now start gathering experience. If for some reason, you cannot obtain a job, the best alternative that you can do to gain experience is to do volunteer works.

3. Volunteer

Serve as a volunteer for community services and outreach programs. Aside from making your resume look good and attractive, it also gives you an opportunity to network and rub elbows with potential employers.

Moreover, volunteering keeps you busy and away from unpleasant crowds. It also gives you a feeling of fulfillment and makes you feel better about yourself.

4. Tailor your resume in a format-wise and attractive way.

After building yourself up, the next thing that you need to consider is how to tailor your resume. It is important that you render close attention to the overall visual appeal of your document. Since there are hundreds or even thousands of people seeking for employment, the last thing that you want to happen is to have your resume singled out because of its appearance.

5. Gather relevant references

It is important that you gather appropriate references for your application. You can get your parole officer to give you a good reference as well as people whom you have worked with during volunteer programs. If you have stayed with the church, you can get the church leaders to serve as your reference.

6. Join job fairs

Keep a close eye on local job fairs in your area. Also, try searching for job fairs that are intended in helping convicted felons find employment. Moreover, make sure to check on companies that hire ex-felons. Make a list of the companies that you were able to find and check if they have any vacancies available.

But the real key ingredient in getting a quality job is to be persistent. Yes, persistence can help you get the job that you want. Though the first job that you can get might not be the one that you really want; nonetheless, it can help you improve yourself professionally. Remember, before your records are covered up, you need to let 10 years to slip.

It may seem felons are not capable of getting new jobs along with a new life once they got out of prison. But don’t let this get in the way. With proper research and a good resume, you can surpass this kind of test. After all, you are given a second shot for a new life. So grab it.

Pam Montero is connected with an international manpower recruitment agency headquartered in Singapore.

a man walking towards his first job interview

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