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10 Tips to getting a Job with a Felony

how to get a job as a felon tyro blog

You might have heard that you won’t be able to get a job if you have a felony.

Ridiculous!  Of course you can find a job with felony! Your path to employment will be a little different than others, but there are many, many, many jobs available to you.  You just have to know what to do and where to look.

I have found that the biggest problem to finding a job for people with felonies is that they do not know where to look for the jobs OR they do all of the wrong things once they find a job opening they are interested in.  Ron and I have opportunities to help people with a felony on their record get jobs all the time.  It is one of our favorite things to do—and because we do it often, we have learned a lot!

You might have heard that you won’t be able to get a job if you have a felony.

Today, I am going to share our top 10 tips for getting a job with a felony.  These strategies have worked for thousands of men and women who served time for a felony, transformed their lives, and returned home intimidated by getting a job.  Now, they are earning their own livings, paying their own bills, as well as planning for their families’ futures.  If they can do it, so can you!

Here are our best tips for getting a job with a felony-

1 - Only apply for jobs you can actually do.

Sounds obvious, but it isn’t. Many people with felonies, apply for jobs they can’t actually do. Sometimes the laws stop people with a felony from working in certain occupations, but most of the time it is other barriers they have. Maybe you don’t have transportation, or a specific skill yet. Do not apply for a job that you cannot get to or cannot perform.  Take care of the details first!

ron tijerina get a job as an ex-convict

2 - Show up CLEAN.

This means sober, showered, teeth brushed, and especially clean clothes.  Smell good, look good every time that you look for a job or go to an interview.  You would be surprised how much this means to a prospective employer.

3 - Take a list of your references with you.

Make sure you have asked at least 5 people if you can use them as a reference and have their name, phone number, address and email with you when you complete a job application.  It is a huge plus to have references ready when you apply.

The first thing to settle in your mind is this: it is not IF you should get a job, it is HOW to get a job. As difficult as it may be to accept, you need to find a job. I have worked with so many ladies from such diverse backgrounds, whose husbands are in prison.

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4 - Visit your local Jobs Center and get all the help that you can get.

These centers provide resume building, soft skills, computer skills, job connections, and connections to training for job placements.  This is a job-seekers heaven as they exist to help YOU find a job.  They will know which employers are most likely to give someone with a felony in their past an opportunity.

5 - Stay sober.

You need to stay sober all the time. Your reputation will precede you and you already have a past to overcome. Do not add an obstacle to your “now” or your future. Staying sober builds your network of trust and also prepares you to be a great employee. Your future is worth it!

6 - Get skills training.

 I mentioned this in #4 above as one of the services the Jobs Centers provide. Having a certificate for a skill puts you in higher demand than others for open positions. It shows a prospective employer you are willing to learn, you can finish what you start, and you are qualified for the position.

7 - Tell your story.

Tell the truth about your past. An employer never wants to be shocked or surprised by something in one of their employees past.  Telling the employer what happened, and how you have changed may be the thing that opens up a door for you.

8 - Don’t dismiss a first job.

To be sure, your first job offer probably won’t be your dream job.  That is totally normal.  Typically, people start at their first job to gain work experience and build their resumes to move toward their dream job. Do well here and you are a step closer to where you want to be!

9 - Don’t dismiss a first job.

Find a cause that is important to you and serve as a volunteer.  You will meet people in the field you care about who are connected to prospective employers.  Not only are you building your resume—you are building your sphere of influence as well.

10 - Smile and shake hands.

Everywhere you go, take time to smile at people and then greet them. You never know when you might meet someone looking for a new employee!

Finding a job is stressful for everyone.  Do not believe the lie that no one will hire someone with a felony.  You have an opportunity to reinvent yourself!  This is an exciting season – with support and determination, you will find a job.

I am rooting for you!