People who have felonies on their record know that applying for a job can be one of the most embarrassing and humiliating tasks that they can do. Not only do some companies flat out reject ex-felons, but also having to go through one of the worst moments of one’s life can be a nerve-wracking experience.
Getting The Records Expunged
In the recent years, the government has made employment opportunities available to ex-felons so that they can be reintegrated into the society. The first thing that ex-felons should look into is getting their records expunged (steps by steps here). If that doesn’t work out, they shouldn’t lose hope as there are organizations that knowingly hire ex-felons.
The author of ‘Jumpstart Your Online Job Search in a Weekend’ i.e. Pat Kendall says that people should take whatever job comes their way and start rebuilding their credibility. This applies doubly to ex-felons. They already know that their employment opportunities are limited, so they cannot pick and choose. Whatever job they can get their hands on, they should accept it and start putting their lives back together.
Avoid Using Negative Words
Online surveys and questionnaires also help these convicted felons improve their chances of getting hired. These websites instruct the felons to try and paint the best version of themselves while always being honest. Therefore, if the interviewer asks, ‘Why did you leave your last job?’, they should avoid using negative words like, ‘Because I got sent to jail,’ and should say, ‘End of contract,’ which is technically accurate.
Seeking Small and New Companies
Convicted felons can also try and get their lives back on the right track by seeking employment with small and new companies (check out this list here). These organizations are desperate for good and loyal workers, and here these remorseful felons should fill the bill perfectly. They should not say that they will probably be making minimum wage for long hours, but they should accept these jobs anyway.
Moreover, Pat Kendall advises convicted felons not to put their convictions on their resumes as this creates a negative impression on the interviewer. He recommends them to display it in a cover letter and staple letters of recommendation from trustworthy and respectable law-abiding citizens. This creates a less negative impression on the mind of the interviewer.
What your interviewer thinks of you can often be the deciding factor in the success or failure of a job interview. Thus, when asked about a criminal record, the convicted felons must always be honest and upfront about it. They should answer the question truthfully yet with a degree of remorse. This makes the employer see that a person is truly sorry for their crime and is looking for a way to rebuild their life.
More importantly, convicted felons should not harbor false hope as it does more harm than good. If a potential employer rejects a felon because of their past criminal record or any other reason, they should not let the disappointment consume them. It is important to never give up and keep soldiering on because only then will they ever find an employer who is willing to hire them.