Starting your life again after being released from prison can be daunting. It can also be challenging when employers don’t hire you because of your criminal record. Without a job or income, many people are at risk of doing the same things that resulted in their incarceration in the first place. Fortunately, having a criminal record doesn’t have to mean you’ll never be a successful job applicant. You might have some luck when you try some of the suggestions in the article below. 

Doing a Background Check On Yourself

It might seem absurd, but performing a background check on yourself using a provider like Public Records might be a good idea before applying for jobs. Having a copy of your own background check enables you to create a plan of attack for how you’ll respond to potential questions. 

Many employers perform background checks before inviting applicants for interviews. As a result, they’ll have much of the same information as you. If you can produce mature and well-thought-out answers to their questions about your criminal past, you might not have any trouble being hired. 

Learning Your Rights

Employers can be unfairly harsh on people with criminal records. Learn your rights to know what prospective employers can and can’t ask of you. For example, many states have introduced ‘Ban the Box’ policies. These policies stop employers from being able to request conviction and arrest history on job applications. 

There have been some surprising benefits associated with these policies. The National Conference of State Legislatures published studies showing that they raise the probability of public employment by people with convictions by about 30%

Building a Network

You don’t have to navigate the new and scary world of job hunting on your own. Build a support network, and other people can help you. Contact friends, family members, former colleagues, and your parole officers for help. As they know you personally and can attest to your work ethic, they might be more than happy to recommend you to people and business owners they know are looking for new employees. 

Learning New Skills

Being in prison gives you a chance to decide who you want to be when you get out. Most prisons also offer educational programs and employment opportunities to help you obtain a broad range of new skills. 

If you didn’t take advantage of these while incarcerated, consider exploring learning opportunities once you’re released. For example, the construction industry is screaming out for workers. Upskilling in construction might make it much easier for you to find employment opportunities. 


Job opportunities in certain parts of the United States can be scarce enough without having a criminal record as an obstacle. If you’re struggling to secure employment because of how people perceive you, consider volunteering with groups or organizations. When you can prove your reliability and work ethic, you might find many new employment doors being opened for you. 

There’s no denying that many people struggle to secure employment after incarceration. Employers can be scared about the risks. However, when you take some of these actions above, you might be in a much stronger position to re-enter the workforce and turn your life around.