Even if you have a felony conviction you can still move forward and build a career -- it's just a bit more difficult. Create a resume and a cover letter that portrays you as a skilled professional, but don't lie about your past. If you're questioned about it, be honest and positive.
If you wish to keep your criminal past a secret, you must avoid employers that perform background checks. Certain jobs and professions may be completely out of your purview with a criminal record, especially jobs that require licenses such as nursing. Small companies, factory jobs, temporary and job contractor agencies are good bets for people with criminal records. Many of these jobs give you a chance to prove yourself and get your foot in the door at a job.
Don't lie about your past if you must discuss it during an interview or on a job application. If you lie and get the job, chances are the employer will find out about your past which could result in you getting fired. The best way to deal with the question about your past is to be honest and turn it into a positive. Describe your past as a learning experience. You made a mistake and learned a painful lesson that has made you a better person. Your ability to handle a difficult question, keep it positive and be honest may very well impress an employer who is looking for someone who can be graceful under pressure.
Work with an offender re-entry program and take advantage of all resources available to you through this program. Many of these programs offer job leads, resume writing help and interview preparation. Some programs have connections to local employers who are willing to hire convicted felons.
Create a resume that is professional and emphasizes your skills and abilities. Make your resume relevant to the positions for which you apply. Don't refer to your conviction on the resume just as you wouldn't refer to being fired from a job on your resume.
Work hard on the job and prove yourself. This is the best way to get hired full time and convince employers that you're a worthy and capable employee.
Tips & Warnings
- Have people on your side who are willing to serve as your references and speak for your trustworthiness and ability to change.
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