While some employers may not be as willing to bring on former inmates into their workforce, there are a variety of options available that can help you to improve the chances of getting hired.
There are agencies and programs that were set up specifically for helping former inmates gain relevant skill that can help improve the prospects for getting a job. Not only that but there are also certain incentives in place for businesses who are willing to give ex-inmates a fresh start and a chance to reintegrate into society.
So as a former inmate, how can you improve the likelihood of getting hired somewhere?
There are some key agencies and programs available to former inmates that are designed to increase their chances of finding employment. Certain local agencies in most cities provide re-entry services to former inmates.
These agencies and companies provide things such as skills training, resume creation, and clothing for interviews. Another option is America Works, which is a staffing agency created to find jobs for hard-to-place populations such as former inmates.
Utilize your re-entry counselor, parole officer, or JobLink contact to find an agency in your community that is trying to help former inmates find a job and better their lives.
Offer The Federal Bonding Program
It may be difficult to convince some employers to give you a chance with a criminal record. One option that can help improve your chances is to offer to become bonded through the Federal Bonding Program.
This program allows former inmates to be bonded and insured by the federal government to protect against theft, damages, and embezzlement, among other things. Most bonds are free of charge and stay in effect for six months, after which inmates are eligible for a regular commercial bond if the employer requires one.
Utilize Tax Credit Benefits
Informing your potential employer of the tax credit benefits can go a long way for your chances of getting hired.
Helping your employer understand these benefits can not only increase your chances but shows that you are educated on the reality of the situation.
Demonstrating this info and highlighting the advantages will show your dedication to getting hired and that you are self-educating on how to improve your chances of success.
Work on Clearing Your Record
It is completely legal for employers to turn you down based on your criminal record. This makes it helpful to start taking steps to clear up your record.
If you meet certain requirements in your state, then you can begin to take steps to clear up your record and improve your resume. Depending on the crime you committed, how many offenses you have committed, and your state’s laws, this process will differ.
How To Deal With Your Conviction
One important thing to understand is that your conviction and criminal past will most likely come up during an interview, so how do you handle this properly?
For one, try to be as honest as possible. Try to keep things simple, answer what you’ve been asked, and keep your answers positive. Steer the conversation to focus on your skills and abilities and the value you can bring to the company rather than the shortcomings of your past.
If this does come up, shift to what you learned and where you are at now. Share your career goals, maintain good eye contact, and demonstrate an interest in the interview and what your interviewer is trying to do.
By following these steps, you will genuinely increase the chances of finding an employer who is willing to give you a chance. There are employers out there who believe in hiring former inmates, so don’t give up and stay positive!
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