3 Job Hunting Realities An Ex-Felon Should Know About

Finding work is not always easy, but it is not impossible. There are a lot of opportunities just waiting for the right people. If you are an ex-convict looking for work, the job-hunting journey can be a bit intimidating. This article will tell you some job hunting realities you might encounter. By the end of the article, we hope you keep trying until you find the right job for you.


Reality 1: The Majority of Employees Require Record Searches


According to a report, 93% of employers refer to criminal record searches when conducting candidates' pre-screening. It is a reality that you should know beforehand. HR employers usually conduct these to protect themselves against possible lawsuits for negligent hiring. They also ensure that the potential employee will not be a danger to anyone in the company. For example, they are more likely not to hire a person convicted of embezzling money in an accounting position.


You do not have to feel discouraged. According to a study, more than 80 percent of HR professionals interviewed believe that people with criminal records could also provide the same value that other workers can provide. The same study states that the top reasons for employers to think this way are:


  • Their desire to find the best candidate for the vacant position
  • Their attempt to make the community a better place
  • Their willingness to give people second chances


Reality 2: The Facts That the Companies Can Check and How


If you are curious to learn what information and how HR employees obtain your criminal record, here is what you should know:



There is no one database that HR employees can refer to when checking criminal records. Usually, they secure the information from the state. Some states in the US allow information access to these details via the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). Your employer could learn about any criminal or civil court cases you have been involved in.


  • On Arrest Details


If you are never convicted but arrested at least once, this record could appear in your FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) record. In some states, some laws prevent companies and other entities from using these records against you.


  • On Your Driver Record

    Your employer could also access your driving record, allowing them to see if you have road violations and speeding tickets.


Reality 3: The Existing "Ban the Box" Law


In the US, 36 states and more than 150 cities and counties have already adopted the "Ban the Box" legislation. This law applies to private employers, encouraging them to provide a fair assessment to all applicants. In this law, they are encouraged to evaluate the applicant's qualification first and only conduct a criminal background check during the latter part of the procedure. It prevents any discrimination against applicants during the initial hiring process.




Fair-chance policies have gained a lot of support and momentum over the past years, so use this as inspiration to keep moving forward with your life. There are still many companies providing job opportunities to ex-felons. What you can do for now is to prepare yourself. Consider taking a criminal background check of yourself and look for possible errors to correct them. Make sure also to highlight the rehabilitation you have completed and the desire to make positive changes in your life whenever applying for work.


At Fallen Valor, we partner with more than 3500 employers who are willing to employ people who are ex-felons. To learn what kind of jobs an ex-felon can get, join us on our site and discover available opportunities for you.

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