What can formerly incarcerated persons do to help connect with employers?

Searching for a job can be stressful, especially after a period of unemployment. Any time out of work can make it harder to find a position. If you served prison time, it’s even more difficult. But, don’t lose hope. There are resources to help you find a job.

Here are a few job search tips for those re-entering the workforce:

Hope 2 Hire
The first important step on the way to employment after incarceration is to participate in a workforce development program, like Hope 2 Hire, prior to your release. These programs prepare people to re-enter the workforce and community by providing life skills development and job training, including interview and resume tips, filling out job applications, or how to effectively collaborate with coworkers and communicate with employers.

Prepare a Resume
Through what you learned during your workforce development program, you should create a resume with your work experience, special skills, personal attributes, educational history, as well as contact details and references. It’s important that you keep your resume up to date, even if you have a job, so you’re always ready to send out resumes if an opportunity arises.

Even if you didn’t go through a workforce development program, you should still work on your resume. Many public libraries have resources that can help you as you jot down your experiences.

While looking for a job post-release, seek out programs and organizations that will continue the education and development you began with Hope 2 Hire, such as the Workforce Investment Network (WIN) or HopeWorks. Programs like these will equip you with resources and assistance needed to land a job. For example, WIN provides tax incentives to employers open to hiring formerly incarcerated persons, as well as free training programs. HopeWorks offers personal and career development classes that give participants spiritual support and educational opportunities.

Don’t Get Discouraged
Looking for a job isn’t easy, and it can oftentimes be a long process. Don’t give up hope. Continue to use the resources and support available to you until you’re able to find employment.

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