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Advice for Ex-offenders Looking for Jobs

by Eric Mayo

Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Crime?

This question is the most agonizing part of any ex-offenders job search. Some believe by being honest they don’t have a chance at getting a job. The fact is an employer cannot legally refuse to hire you because you have a criminal record unless the conviction is directly related to the job for which you are applying. I have spoken with former inmates who have lied on applications and gotten jobs, only to lose them later when background checks were done. Some have been encouraged to use the response Will discuss at interview. In my opinion, these are not good practices. The best advice I can give is BE HONEST! Employers have a responsibility to know as much as possible about prospective employees. There have been employers who have been found guilty of negligent hiring when employees who have criminal pasts committed acts that resulted in harm to others. Those situations could have been avoided by careful screening through background checks. Employers will ask directly on applications about criminal convictions as a means to protect himself, his business, and others.

In many states prospective employers may not ask about arrests that do not end in convictions. Pay careful attention to the wording of this question. It may vary from application to application. Typically the question will ask about convictions of crimes and/or felonies and not misdemeanors. If you are unsure about the type of convictions you have, you should obtain a copy of your record.

Many applications have a Certification/Release Statement that the applicant must sign before the application is considered. This statement may also be called an Authorization. The wording may vary but the employer is asking you to certify with your signature that all of the information you have given is correct. Part of this certification is a release that gives the employer access to information provided by past employers, law enforcement agencies, educational institutions and other organizations that may have information about you.

In reference to criminal records, it is necessary to list all relative information. Include the name of the conviction, date, location, and the disposition (time served, fine and/or probation.)

Example:

Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance 8/12/02 Houston, TX Time Served (18 mos.)

You may have to practice to fit your response into the space given. For those who have more than one conviction, list your convictions on a separate sheet of paper, make copies, and attach a copy to each application you complete. In the space provided, write see attached sheet. Be sure to list each and every conviction. I have seen individuals that had been working on jobs for months, suddenly lose them because of failing to list one conviction. That is why it is so important to get a copy of your record.

Properly completing employment applications will be the difference between being hired and not being hired.

Get more great advice on ex-offender job searching at http://www.Jailtojob.com

Eric Mayo specializes in professional and personal development with special emphasis on life skills and job readiness training. Eric has over 20 years of corporate and educational experience which he uses to help people improve the quality of their lives.
Mr. Mayo has a degree in Business Administration from Seton Hall University where he was a standout member of both the Pirate football and wrestling teams. An author and lecturer, Eric is the author of the books, “From Jail to a Job", “The Teenager’s Guide to Getting a Job" , “The Secret to Getting Better Grades", and has addressed, among others, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Charles Hamilton Institute for Race and Justice of the Harvard School of Law. He is an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and has spent his life committed to community empowerment.

Eric has been studying, learning, applying and executing the art of personal achievement and leadership throughout his career. It is truly his passion and his gift. He combines a straightforward approach and real-world perspective with a presentation style that is inspirational and motivational. His primary message is, “Independence through Self-Reliance."
You can contact Eric at http://www.Jailtojob.com

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