Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

How to find a job after prison

Being released from prison can be stressful. You may start worrying about how you will support yourself or your family. Even for highly qualified applicants with a clean background, well-paying jobs can be difficult to find.

The anxiety you feel over finding a job is valid and the process may be difficult. The good news is that you will find something. Even if you take a low paying job for a while, you will be able to earn an income.

If you were employed at the time of your incarceration, contact that employer. Explain to your former employer that you have just been released, and would like to come back to work if possible. If the employer declines, ask him if he could write you a letter of reference. A letter of reference will show other employers that you have the ability to satisfy a position with their company.

Look in the newspapers. The help-wanted ads in the newspaper will show you which companies in your area are actively hiring. Look at every ad and ask yourself, "Am I qualified for this job?", "Can I work during the required times?", "Can I afford to commute?". Highlight the ads for which you answered yes to all three questions, and call them.

Have a resume. Your resume displays your education, experience, skills and personal statement of intent. Your resume is not for your criminal background information. Criminal history should be given only if asked on an application form.

If finding a job is proving to be more difficult than you expected, don't panic. If you need help finding employers who are known to hire workers with a blemished record, contact your parole officer. Your parole officer has a case plan that he must follow for your case, and one of the tasks is to help you acquire and maintain employment. Your parole officer may verbally suggest a few companies, or give you a list. Apply to every company on the list.


  • Your job experience, education, and skills will affect how long it takes to find your job. Consider formal training for a specific trade. Visit your local college and talk to the admissions counsellor about your educational options.


  • Omitting a felony conviction on a job application may result in termination of your employment with that company once it is discovered.

Things Needed

  • Vehicle or other transportation
  • Newspaper
  • Highlighter