Tip on Employment and Ex-offenders


Good info to share with those who are ex-offenders and are seeking gainful employment!

Although your client has a record, there are laws which prohibit employers from asking certain questions. However, your clients should be honest about their criminal records if the job application asks about conviction history specifically. It is becoming more common for employers to look into the criminal history of all job applicants. If your client is hired but is later found out to have given false information on an application, he or she will almost definitely be fired.

It is important that job developers help ex-offenders discuss their rap sheet so that they are prepared to explain it during an interview. Job developers should practice role-plays with clients using questions about their convictions that may appear on an application or may arise during an interview. Although every employer is different, several have indicated that they do not want to hear an �explanation� for the crime. In general, a positive response by the applicant includes:

    1. acknowledgement of the conviction, when and for what;
    2. comment that he or she has successfully completed the terms of the sentence;
    3. how he or she took advantage of programs or opportunities to work while incarcerated; and
    4. a promise of readiness to work as a team player without conflict.

Please note that an ex-offender does not need to reveal his or her criminal record on a resume, but should be prepared to discuss employment gaps honestly and positively. RESP has developed several tip sheets that can assist with your clients’ interactions with employers.

#1 – Cover Letterpdf
#2 – Resumespdf
#3a – Rap Sheet Informationpdf
#3b – FBI Rap Sheet Informationpdf
#4 – Application Tipspdf
#5 – Answering Hard Questionspdf
#6 – Telephone Etiquettepdf
#7 – Interview Checklistpdf
#8 – Employment Hurdles pdf
#9 – Dressing for a Job Interviewpdf
#10 – Good Weaknessespdf
#11 – Potential Interview Questionspdf
#12 – Questions to Ask Interviewerspdf
#13 – Post Interview Assessment Formpdf
#14 – Thank You Letter Formatpdf
#15 – Your Attitude and Youpdf
#16 – Are You a Good Employeepdf

Job Readiness
PowerPoint Presentation for formerly incarcerated job seekers
Your Workforce Choices – PowerPoint Presentation for use in outreach to employers


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