How to Get a Job with a Felony

If you have been convicted of a felony, finding a job can be a very tiresome and demoralizing process. It is true that most employers are reluctant to hire people who have felony or criminal records. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind if you are going to look for a job with felony on your record:

1. Come Clean

Know what’s on your background check and be prepared to tell employers everything they need to know if asked. Never lie to your potential employer, because if they do a background check and you lied you won’t get the job. If it is likely that you will be asked questions regarding your record in the interview or if you have already been asked questions about your background, be able to explain your situation quickly and concisely. Walking into an interview without knowing what is on your background check is like driving a car with a blindfold on. You may be surprised what is there and even more surprised about what may not be there.

Coming Clean About Your Felony Charge2. Eliminate the non-starters

You should know what companies will immediately disqualify you for your felony record, so don’t waste your time applying to them. Apply to the jobs that you know you have a shot at. There are many organizations that are given a tax break by the government to hire ex-felons so look out for such organizations as you will have much less of a difficulty finding a job there. For example, don’t waste your time applying for school teacher positions or banking jobs.

Also, small local businesses will be more welcoming than large ones, who often need to comply with strict processes and procedures for hiring.

3. Don’t go at it alone

Whenever looking for a job as an ex-felon, do not go it all alone. Look for organizations that can help you. There are many workforce development centers that are there to help ex-felons secure a job for themselves. Check out the social services center in your city and see if someone there can help you. On the internet, resources like felon-jobs.org or xamire.

Team Work To Find Felons Jobs

5. Forget working for someone else, set up your own business

There are no limitations if you have the entrepreneurial skills to start your own business, freelance, or be a consultant. Nothing can stop you from starting your own business, you will face the common market threats that all entrepreneurs face on an even playing field. Your felony record will unlikely ever come up. Customers will not spend money to do a background check on a small business.

Be Your Own Boss If you cant find a job with a Felony

6. Work Online

Online freelancing is one good way to earn money. There are all sorts of jobs online, but make sure to not be sucked into any work from home scams that require upfront payments. The best way to get involved is by setting up quality profiles on freelancing websites and bidding on different jobs. You don’t have to mention your felony record anywhere.

It isn’t just tech savvy positions, potential jobs through online freelancing could consist of doing in person marketing, being a virtual assistant, or researching online. Online freelancing is a great option for those who are willing to work hard, but don’t have a world class Resume.

A few sites that broker employers, contract jobs, and online talent are www.odesk.com, www.elance.com, freelancer.com, and www.fiverr.com.  All of these companies do not charge freelancers upfront fees for finding them jobs and projects. Odesk Jobs-Optiosn for Felony Employment

7. Get back to your education

Another smart move would be to get back to your education. There is never a wrong time to improve your academic background and skill set. There are many jobs in technology, that care only about your skills and could care less about other limiting factors. If you can do the job you are hired. Start by trying classes at a community college (I suggest avoiding most for-profit colleges). Take classes to keep your skills up to date, take a training program, or complete your GED if you still need it. This carries weight, shows you are making  progress in a positive direction, creates lifelong skills, and will give you a boost of confidence.

Graduation Being Charged With A Felony

8. Clear your record

Depending on the state and type of crime, you may have the right to get your felony removed from your records in a legal manner. Do some research, find a lawyer, and discuss with him or her how you can get the felony deleted from your records. Is it expensive? Most will do a free consultation, ask as many questions as possible! The answers along with internet research may help you file this yourself.

9. Get references

Landing a job offer is much easier if you have solid references that can vouch for you. Select references that will be strong advocates for you and communicate your value to potential employers. They should be able to explain that you worked very well on previous jobs or projects and that you can perform this potential job. By using references you are borrowing the creditably of the other individuals character as well as yours.

Joke About References

– By Jeremy Coleman

Avoid the Biggest Job Search Mistakes and Land a Job

17 thoughts on “How to Get a Job with a Felony

      1. Hassan on Reply

        What about people with misdemeanors? I had a squeaky clean record until I got hit with a DUI earlier this year. I had no idea a misdemeanor would ruin my life so completely. In the past few months I’ve come SO close to getting a job so many times, but the second they see the DUI, they show me the door. This is so frustrating. I held onto my last job for nearly a decade, and I’m a hard worker. I want nothing more than to get back to earning a living, but no one’s giving me a chance. What do I do? It all just seems so hopeless.

    1. Johnny on Reply

      There are many things to utilize on the web to find a job as a felon. For starters places like felonyfriendly.org list all the services that you can use, and xamire.com is a pretty large felon to job matchmaking places online. Check with your local one stop career centers, and also with unemployment centers near you.

  1. samantha on Reply

    My fiance is haveing a hard time finding a job. He has numerous felonies. I’ve had a chance to work with him at a job that’s where we met accually. Hes a very hard worker and will strive to reach new levels but no one will give him a chance. Where we met it was seasonal. He trys so hard and I feel really bad I see it in his eyes he feels like a failure. I know everyone says they’ve changed and very few people do but my fiance really has. His crimes were done in 2009 and was charged in 2010. He spent time in jail. And since he’s been out 2 years he’s been strugglen. It kills me to see him upset. I just wish someone would give him a chance and soon he’s going crazy.

    1. Joe B. on Reply

      Samantha,

      I’m in the same boat as your fiancée. I have a Felony (theft) conviction and it’s quite difficult finding work. Encourage him to volunteer his time, educate himself further, and to forgive himself. Staying active is key. I am beginning to follow these steps and creating new opportunities for myself. I will keep him in my prayers. God Bless and best of luck.

  2. Lurenda on Reply

    Hello! I am a college graduate and I am looking for employment. I have an Associates degree in General studies and I will have my Bachelor degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Human Resource Development on December 13th, 2013. I am a convicted felon (non-violent) & I live in the mid-West. I am willing to relocate. If anyone knows of any organizations who are willing to hire ex-offenders, please let me know. Your input will be greatly appreciated. – Thanks
    (ps. I am currently filing to receive a pardon from one state and I have expunged some of my record in another. While I will not be eligible to expunge my last felony in that state until 2015, I do plan to do so at that time)

  3. Shawn Hutton on Reply

    I have worked for thiss company for 8 years in this time i worked my way into middle management and along the way aquired a felony conviction. This meant nothing to my employer till they got bought by a larger corp. Now i cant pass background test for transitional hiring process and i am facing a layoff. Im depressed and very frustrated. Iam a single father and i have an 8 year old son to raise. Im lost.

    1. Marie on Reply

      Shawn,
      How did it work out for you? Did they lay you off, or were you able to keep your job. I am just curious as I think I am about to go thru the same thing. My company just got bought, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen.

  4. Q on Reply

    I am not a felon but could easily be. My brother is though. He was and still is a good guy. Back in the day some guys jumped him and he went out and guy a gun. They saw him again and attempted to jump him again and he shot one in the butt. Sence then things have been all down hill for him. The laws are so messed up. I think all felons to include non felons should come together and protest. And don’t stop in-til something in done.Its a lot of good people out there that is willing to work but cant because of there record rather he be a simple mistake or I did it and did the time, now I wont to move on and better myself. And whats sad is while in prison as a felon you can work for a dollar or less a day with the local Department of Transportation conducting public safety ext. out amongst the regular population.But when I get out and come apply for a job getting paid regular pay and not slave labor pay you wont hire me because I am a felon. That’s so twisted and something needs to be done.

  5. amanda s. on Reply

    I have a ten year old felony and still struggle with getting a job. Thank God i have a wonderful boyfriend that supports me. I recently applied to Target for a cashier position.. I have 20 years experience… and I was turned down due to my felony. Its not a theft charge either! I am currently working as a cashier. I need out of this rut and into a new field.

  6. Amy on Reply

    I had not been convicted, but have been arrested with a felony theft by taking. I cannot find a job now even though it will be expunged from my record. I need a job now though and do not know what to do. I leave a great first impression with the managers when I have an interview but once they see my record is not clean, they turn me down. It really puts me down and gives me no motivation at all..

  7. Tiffany on Reply

    I’m at my witts end. I never had a felony or had even been arrested until august of 2012. My kids father was in a huge gun purchasing arena and was threatening to kill me and my kids if I didn’t participate. Needless to say I was indicted by the federal government and now I have a class c felony on my record. I am told that it will never be able to be expunged and I am so depressed. I was laid off my job and have been in the search for one for 6 months. No leads. The only thing I know how to do is clerical support and I am not physically able to work at a warehouse. Is there any hope or should I just throw in the towel?

  8. Christopher on Reply

    I W’s convicted of a felony 2 years ago and served my time in Arizona. I’m moving back to Michigan closer to family and friends. I have done tile work as a helper for a few months in az. I am having a difficult time finding any work or an apt that with deal we the offense. I have researched websites for felons but I can’t t find anything here:( please help. Thanks chris

  9. brandon on Reply

    heck I got convicted of a felony in Illinois for riding and atv without a valid drivers license. they charged with fleeing and eluding. I cant get a job over some bs like that. be different if it was a drug charge or murder even thief i am an industrial electrician. i get plenty of interviews and go to them. up front with the place interviewing me. i have 12 yrs experience. i get emails back saying we have found someone that better fits our job. then you go back to job board or paper a couple days later new job posting for same job i applied for. oh and my favorite. we would like to thank you for your time and sharing your work background with us. we encourage you to keep applying for jobs with us. i hate that crap when human resources lie. just come out and say we don’t hire felons don’t waste my time or yours. makes me so mad when i get an email like that.

  10. Dayna on Reply

    My husband is a felon and can’t seem to get hired anywhere. I was wondering if you knew how someone could look at their background check? Like you said earlier, you would be surprised what ISN’T on their sometimes. We would just like to know exactly what it says. Thanks so much! Dayna from AL

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