Are you looking to reenter the workforce with a criminal record? You might feel overwhelmed and nervous about finding work again, but getting a job is an important part of re-building your life. It will give you purpose, a strong social network, and financial security. Yes, having a criminal record might make job seeking more difficult for you, but it is a problem that can be overcome with a good attitude and the right approach.
Have a positive attitude.
Finding employment with a record will be tough, but not impossible. It’s important to stay positive during your search. If you go into it thinking you won’t be able to get a job, you probably won’t. Instead, know that you will have to put in effort, but that in the end it will pay off. To ease your nerves, keep in mind that ultimately the employer wants to hire. They need a worker; you need a job. You both want the same thing.
Be honest about your criminal record.
If an employment application asks if you have been convicted of a crime, you have two choices. You can say yes directly, or you can write that you will discuss in the interview, which would give you a chance to explain your situation. Don’t write “no” as you want to make sure you’re completely honest on your application. For some more basic jobs, the subject of a criminal record might not come up. If no one asks you about it, there is no reason for you to bring it up.
Learn how to talk about your history.
When an employer asks you to discuss your criminal record, be honest about it, but emphasize that you have changed. Discuss it by saying something like, “I made a mistake in the past, but I learned from it. I won’t make the same mistake twice,” or “I’m trying to make a new life for myself and I hope this job can be a part of that. I did well in my rehabilitation program, and can give you references.”
Know what resources are available to help.
Keep in mind that your probation or parole officer is there to help. They have experience in helping individuals with a record find employment, and they want you to succeed. They will also know what the community has to offer. Many towns have transitional employment and reentry programs that can help you get back into a workforce. Penmac often does work with employers who will hire job seekers with a criminal record.
Overall, be patient and persistent. Eventually, your determination and hard work will pay off. Feel free to visit your local Penmac Staffing for help with creating a resume, interview tips, and more.