5 Tips for Ex-felon Applying to an Internship or Job
An internship or entry-level job is an excellent starting point to a promising career, especially if you’re an ex-felon. After all, what ex-felons simply want is an opportunity to start again. Luckily, some companies support people with criminal records wishing to jumpstart a new life. All you need to do is be confident and approach your internship or entry-level job interview with trust and self-assurance that everything will go well.
Here are some helpful tips on how you can approach the situation and walk away with a new internship or job!
1: Know What You Have to Learn About Your Situation
People with criminal records lose their confidence because of that one thing: you were arrested or have done wrong in the past. Even so, do not forget that all people have rights. Hearing this straight from the Department of Labor itself might help you garner more self-confidence and better understand your position, so consider calling your state’s DOL and asking them about your rights as an ex-felon.
Ask about the pre-employment screening laws for people with criminal records in your state. Doing so will help you better understand how the process works. If you are still uncomfortable with the idea, ask for other options that you can take. Some might allow record erasure or sealing, depending on the number of years and nature of the crime.
If they allow that, a mindset shift will help you considerably. Confidently say ‘No, I have no records, but I’ve left that life behind and I’m ready to contribute!’ if your potential employer asks about your criminal records. The law varies from state to state, so your local government can help you better regarding your concerns.
2: Double-Check Your Criminal Record
Being aware that you have a criminal record is one thing, but knowing what it is about is another. Make sure that you have reviewed your record carefully. Some people have theirs corrected due to errors they contain, making their case worse than it should be. Take the time to check out what your record contains and ensure that it only states facts about your committed crime.
3: Seek Out Non-Discriminatory Jobs
As mentioned, many companies nowadays give a chance to ex-felons. You only need to find them. Our site has a list of employers that provides opportunities for ex-felons like you. You can browse them per state and find companies and industries looking to add you to their team.
4: Gain More Skills
People look at records as part of the recruitment process, but if you have the skills they are looking for, you still stand a chance of landing the job. Companies are always on the lookout for people who could help them grow. Instead of sulking in one corner, challenge yourself and improve in ways that others cannot. Choose one skill you are interested in and cultivate that until you become the best around.
5: Ask for Help
There is nothing wrong with asking for help, may it be from individuals or organizations. There will always be people who are willing to offer assistance to others as long as they ask. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask organizations that have program initiatives for ex-offenders like you.
Finding a job is never easy for anyone, especially for those fresh graduates, beginners, and ex-felons. Having that criminal record can feel like a heavy burden to carry, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Always keep in mind that you already have served your sentence and if it is a wrong accusation or arrest, you’ve proved you’re ready for a fresh start—and that should give you enough confidence already to believe in yourself again.
If you are an ex-felon or a loved one who wants to find jobs for convicted felons, you are on the right page. We dedicate Fallen Valor to ex-felons who want to get a new chance at life. Check our helpful articles regularly, or our list of active employers can be a great first step.