Do you know the words an employer wants to hear before hiring
someone with a criminal record?
Are you confident about the correct way to disclose your conviction
in an interview?
Can you discuss the federal programs that make employers
feel better about hiring someone with a record?
If you're not 100% clear on the answers to these questions then you're making it much harder to get a job with a criminal record than it has to be.
Some people make the mistake of believing that having a criminal record is not going to affect their ability to get a job. By the time they realize that this is not the case, many have lost the enthusiasm about doing legitimate work to earn a living.
This is the attitude that lands many people behind bars again.
It's important to remember that you're competing with people with stronger resumes who don't have a criminal past.
What does this mean?
It means you can't take any shortcuts when it comes to the steps of applying for a job and interviewing for positions.
It also means you understand that to get a job you need to ace an interview. But before that can happen your resume has to be strong enough to get you invited to that interview. Once there, you then need to hit all of the right marks to be offered the job.
Let's look closer at each of these components:
Don't sabotage yourself by using the same resume to apply to different types of positions. You're sending out a weak version of yourself when you do this.
A cover letter needs to accompany every resume you send. If you're not sending a cover letter with your resume then it's doubtful that it's getting very far. Some companies even put in the ad that resumes without cover letters will not be considered. The biggest waste of time is ignoring this protocol.
If you expect to be offered a job you must be able to give a good interview. You must be prepared to answer typical interview questions in a way that makes you look your most appealing. Your answers should demonstrate how your past experience has prepared you for the position.
Interviews are hard to come by. The last thing you should do is waste an interview by saying things like, "just give me a chance, you won't be disappointed." The whole point of the interview is to demonstrate through details and examples that you are the right person for the position, and that hiring you is a wise decision. Anyone who needs to resort to begging for a chance should have spent some time studying what goes into giving a good interview before they sat down in the big chair.
It's no secret that it's much harder to get a job with a weak resume than with a strong one. But what constitutes a weak resume? Here are a few issues:
IS GETTING A JOB WITH A RECORD REALISTIC?
Getting a job with a record and a weak resume is a tough road, but many things worth having don't come easily. The key is to make the decision and to vow to yourself that you will not do something illegal for fast cash until a job comes along. This has disaster written all over it.
The truth is, people with criminal records get hired every day of the week. Many of them succeed because they reach out for help. They find an organization that helps them with their resume, cover letters, and interview preparation.
If you have an organization like that in your community you owe it to yourself to take advantage of the classes they offer. Go online and do a search for "prisoner reentry organization" and your city, for example "prisoner reentry organization" Baltimore, to see what you find.
If you don't have an organization nearby that can provide you with the knowledge you need, it doesn't change the fact that you need the help. It just means that you may have to invest in yourself in order to get it.
FROM PRISON TO PAYCHECK
I'm the author of the book From Prison to Paycheck: What No one Ever Tells You About Getting a Job. I wrote this book for the person with a criminal record in need of a job who has limited work experience, few marketable skills, basically the weak resume just described. I've personally trained thousands of individuals with a record, and my materials have reached thousands more.
Like I said, job seekers with a criminal record get hired every day of the week, week in and week out. But you need to be smart about it if you want to get a job sooner rather than later. Let me give you a glimpse at what successful job seekers know, and what you will know too once you read From Prison to Paycheck:
Did you know that without a job you are three times more likely to go back to jail. That's like playing Russian Roulette with three bullets in the chamber instead of just one. Those are pretty bad odds. Don't gamble with your freedom. Get the help you need.
From Prison to Paycheck is available in libraries across the country. If you can't find it at your local library ask a librarian if a copy can be obtained through the interlibrary loan program. Otherwise, ask if they can order a copy: ISBN: 978-0-9794294-9-1.
In addition to reviews, as shown below, you will find used and new copies of the book at Amazon.
You can also purchase a copy of the book directly through this site, either with a credit card or a check or money order. If you would like an autographed copy make a note in the Comments Section beneath your credit card information for online orders, or enclose a note with mailed orders.
SHIPPING TO FACILITIES
We can ship books to your loved ones inside correctional facilities. Simply provide the full address, including their inmate number. Let us know if you want the copy autographed.
CHECKS AND MONEY ORDERS
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Pam Hogan Productions
San Francisco, CA 94131
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Don't go it alone.
Get the help you need to get the job you deserve.