Ex-offenders typically face several barriers when looking for work – obsolete skills, broken work history, and employers who simply screen them out. But finding quality employment is a vital part of community reintegration. Virginia Career Works regularly offers re-entry assistance to job seekers to teach them the tips, tricks, and methods of regaining employment.
Job Application Tips
It is legal for an employer to ask if you’ve been convicted of a felony.
You do not need to mention any arrests that did not lead to conviction.
Any convictions while you were a juvenile are part of a sealed-record and do not need to be revealed.
Employers will be curious about your criminal record and what happened. Remember, their job is to eliminate risk that could negatively impact their business and their assets. They want to know if you’re going to help or hurt the company if they hire you. Make it clear in an interview that you’ll be a positive addition to their workforce.
Be direct and honest in your answers
Explain what happened
Take responsibility – don’t make “victim statements”
Explain why you’re different today
Be sincere and real – people can tell when it is forced or fake
Offer to submit to a drug and alcohol screening or to get federally bonded to further help the employer minimize risk
VIRGINIA BONDING PROGRAM
The Virginia Bonding Program is our state’s version of the Federal Bonding Program. It is available to anyone living in Virginia – adult or juvenile of legal work age – with a previous conviction, even if you did not serve any time.
It provides any employer that offers you a full- or part-time job business insurance for your first six months of employment, including temporary agencies. It is completely free for you and your employer.