The Reality of Job Application Among Ex-Convicts

Second Chance at EmploymentBeing an ex-convict is an additional burden for people who want a second chance at employment after spending years of being socially unproductive. Convicted or not, everyone deserves a second chance and start anew at employment, so they can earn an income to make an honest living and become a contributor to the community and society.


Getting a job is seen as their hope to rebuild their lives after falling apart. As they pour their efforts in job searching, they are confronted with certain limitation, if not outright discrimination, from background checks to unusual “interrogations” that demand explanations.

In addition, employers ask questions whether they have completed counseling program for drug, alcohol, or anger management. They want to feel comfortable by knowing what steps are you taking to lead a clean life.

Due to human resources policies requiring background checking in some companies, many ex-convicts are having a hard time to secure even an entry-level job position.

Most ex-convicts lack education since they threaded on a path of crime.

They are also more prone to arrests if they belong to a minority group.

Job Application Tips

If you are an ex-convict looking for a job, what should you do?

  • Take responsibility for your actions. Tell your prospective employer that situations and circumstances have changed since the time you were accused of a crime. Emphasize that you have changed for the better.
  • Develop your patience and perseverance. Cite concrete situations to show that you are vigilant and committed to remain on the correct path of life and contribute something to the society.
  • No matter how tempting, try to stay away from your old and negative habits, but rather look for opportunities to develop new skills and self-esteem.
  • There are government agencies or community organizations that provide assistance programs to ex-convicts to secure jobs, encouraging employers and companies to change their mindsets about them. Search and get in touch with these agencies and organizations.
  • If you are asked to answer questions like whether you are convicted of any felony or not, it will be better to answer honestly rather than tell a lie or give false information.
  • When you give a “yes” answer to your prospective employer, you can always hope for a time to explain your side, use it to win his trust.
  • Maximize the job interview to share details without frightening a prospective employer about your past sins. Take it as an opportunity to express your repentance. Share some steps or activities you have done to show how you moved on since then.

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