Everything Felons Should Know About Finding a Job

Finding a good job is not always easy. It is even harder for felons to find employment after they have finished serving their sentences. Some of the reasons why felons may be unable to find work are listed below.

– Employers may see the felons as dangerous people who could endanger the customers or clients.
– Some felons do not have the experience required to fill a position.
– Felons may be unable to acquire the necessary licenses.
– The felon may not have the academic qualifications needed.

If you have been unable to get a job because of any of these reasons, there is no cause for alarm. Each of these issues can be resolved with time, effort and money.

In this article, we will tell you all the things felons should know about getting a job.

First, we will explain nine tips that can help you as you search for a job. Then, we will answer the question ‘do colleges accept felons? ’. After this, the things that felons interested in working for the United States government should know will be explained. Finally, we will list the companies that employ felons and list 30 jobs that felons can do.

Tips for felons that are trying to get a job.


1. Do research. This step is an essential part that a lot of felons skip when they start looking for a job. Before you begin submitting your applications, find out what companies hire felons. Check for job positions that felons can fill. Find out if the company you wish to apply to supports ban the box or if they are signatories of the Fair Chance Business Pledge. Also, check if the company will run a background check and how far back the background check is done.

If you can afford to, run a background check yourself to know what information the company will receive. You should also research the type of job you want to do. Check if an individual with a felony can fill the position or if a grant or license is needed.

2. Do not apply for every job vacancy you see, be selective. A mistake that many felons make is ‘applying for every job’ they come across. Filling job application forms and answering online exams is time-consuming. Hence, applying for jobs that you will not get is a waste of your time. Narrow your application to companies that are known for employing felons. Apply for jobs that do not require you to have specific certificates. If you were convicted for serious felonies such as offenses, violent acts, and illegal substance distribution, apply for jobs where you will not have to be in direct contact with customers.

Apply for jobs that are unrelated to the felony on your criminal record. Furthermore, if you have just finished serving your sentence, apply for jobs in companies that have special programs for felons.

3. Do not behave like a felon. While you are a felon, you should not project that image or behavior. Do not allow ‘felon’ to become your identifier. Employers may avoid hiring felons because they believe that felons are criminals who do not respect authority or laws. Therefore, hiring ex-convicts would be detrimental to the safety of customers or clients.

To eliminate this perception of how felons behave, you should identify these stereotypes and work to eliminate any of these stereotypes that you may exhibit. You can assess yourself and correct any unattractive behaviors.

img source:

4. Always dress professionally. When you start your job search, one of the first things you should do is to acquire decent professional-looking clothing. Many individuals like to dress to fit their personality. However, when you are attending a job interview, you should dress to fit the occasion. Try to avoid clothing that would be better suited for a casual outing. Try to dress in a way that reflects the values of the company you want to work in. Use comfortable formal shoes that will not limit you if you have to walk around.

Apart from your clothing, you should also choose a conservative hairstyle. Your makeup (if applicable) should be simple and light. If you have tattoos that can be covered easily, we recommend that you cover the tattoos when you go for the interview. While most companies will not reject your application because of your tattoos, covering them will help you look like a professional. If you are applying for the position of beautician, tattoo artist, or bartender, you may not need to dress formally to the interview. Although even for jobs in which tattoos are allowed you might want to consider changing them if they are more extreme. Read more about it in this article on tattoo cover up.

5. Invest in education and training programs. Finding a job is not easy, but felons are at a disadvantage when looking for a job. To be seen as qualified or suitable for a job, a felon may have to be more qualified than the non-felon applying for the same job.

One thing a felon can do to increase their chances of being employed is to go to a college or university. While in school, the felon can gain knowledge about the career path they would like to follow. Furthermore, a felon who works already can take part-time or online classes. A college or university degree is an advantage for a felon who is trying to get a job.

If the job you want to get does not require a higher education degree, you can attend vocational classes and short courses. Vocational schools will help you improve your skills and ensure that your knowledge or skills are up to date. You can also attend shorter courses or programs that are organized by professionals in your field. These courses may last for a few days or weeks, and afterward, you will be given a certificate. Shorter courses or programs are ideal if you want to sharpen your skills and learn new techniques.

6. Volunteer for six months or more. One problem that felons face when they are searching for a job is a lack of experience. For this reason, we suggest that felons volunteer at nonprofit organizations that need help. While volunteering, you will gain work experience, make friends and form a rapport with your bosses. The work experience can be used when you are applying for a job.

Your colleagues and bosses can provide you with reference letters or letters attesting to your character when you are applying for a job. If you already have a job, you can still volunteer your services part-time. When you are applying for another job, the experience you have from volunteering will still be an advantage.

7. Consider self-employment. Despite following all the above-listed tips, you may be unable to get a job. This could be because you have a severe felony conviction or you are unqualified for the job. If you are in this position, you may have to create a job for yourself. Assess your skills, the services you will be able to offer and decide if you want to turn it into a business.


If you believe that you can sell your services, you will need to attend a business course to ensure your business is a success. You may be able to offer your services to an international market using platforms like Freelancer and Fiverr.

8. Do not give up. It is discouraging to receive rejection letters or to not get a call back after your interview. You may be tempted to stop applying for jobs. However, we encourage you to continue applying for jobs. If you stop applying for jobs and remain unemployed, you may be tempted to return to crime.

If you have been unable to find a job, you could try applying for a position that you are overqualified to fill. You should also apply for entry-level positions. While these positions may not be fulfilling, it will provide you with income. After some time, you will be able to advance in your employer’s company. You can also accept an entry-level position but continue to apply for other jobs.

9. Move forward. It is easy to dwell on the past, but it is not good. Do not allow your past mistakes to dictate your future.

Read more on companies that hire felons at:

About Peter Janos