With the current economic climate, it has become increasingly difficult to find a job. This is especially true for former felons who have been convicted of crimes that are not eligible for expungement. This article will provide you with an overview of the process and what you need to do in order to get your foot in the door.
The sample resumes for ex offenders is a guide that will help you make an incredible resume for former felons. It includes tips and tricks to help you get your foot in the door.
Without the proper advice, building an outstanding CV for former criminals may be very difficult. When searching for a new job, a professional CV that emphasizes your finest skills is critical to your success. Investing a little effort in creating a high-quality resume may have a significant effect on the number of job interviews you get and the job offers you get.
In this video series, we’ll walk you through the resume writing process step by step so that you have the greatest chance of landing a job, regardless of your past errors. There are many videos in this tutorial, so scroll down as you finish each step or click on the link below to go to that area right away.
In this tutorial, we’ll go through the following topics:
Section 1: An overview of how to write a CV with a criminal record.
Section 2: What to Consider When Writing a Fantastic Resume
Section 3: Hiring managers’ perspectives
Section 4: What Employing Managers Want to See
Section 5: Applicants with crimes must answer additional questions.
Section 6: An example of a high-quality resume (including templates you can use)
Section 7: A step-by-step approach to putting up an outstanding CV for ex-offenders
Writing a Resume for Ex-Felons: A Step-by-Step Guide
For whom is this video series intended?
To begin, consider who this video is intended for and who would most benefit from it. We put this together especially to assist ex criminals who are now searching for work or will be in the near future. Whether you were sentenced six months ago or sixteen years ago, our guidance can help you. We’ll particularly point out suggestions for individuals with shorter sentences or longer sentences where it makes sense as we go through the various stages of building a resume.
Next, we take great effort to offer step-by-step instructions throughout these videos so that you can create a professional resume even if this is your first time. It may be a daunting job if it’s your first time, but we took great effort to answer most of your questions along the process.
Finally, the information we provide will be extremely useful for individuals who have previously put together a professional CV, particularly if it was written before you served time in jail. I’ve acquired a lot of ideas and tactics over the years that are unique to assisting individuals with a criminal record obtain work. Few other resume-writing tutorials or books even mention this.
If any or all of these three scenarios seem familiar, I highly advise you to devote some time to viewing this video series. You’ll be happy you did, I think.
What you’ll learn about writing a felony resume
There are five essential topics you’ll learn throughout the course of this video series. First, we’ll discuss what a resume’s real objective is. This is critical since many individuals do not realize what they should be attempting to do with a fantastic resume.
Second, we’ll go through how to put your CV together in a way that highlights your greatest qualities while minimizing the effect of your criminal past on your ability to get work. When you have a criminal past, doing all you can to keep it hidden on your resume can greatly improve the number of interviews you get.
Third, we’ll go into how businesses and recruiting managers think, as well as how many companies’ hiring processes operate. The more you know about the recruiting process and what many hiring managers are searching for, the better your chances of landing a job will be.
Fourth, and here is where we spend the most time, we’ll walk you through the whole process of producing a resume from start to finish. We’ll walk you through the whole process and provide you a fantastic resume template that we designed and that has been shown to work for ex-felons.
Finally, we’ll discuss what you should do once you’ve finished your first draft of your resume in order to be more effective.
What isn’t included in the package
Now that we’ve discussed what will be addressed in this video series, there are a few topics that will be left out.
Cover letters will not be discussed. Cover letters are crucial, and we’ll be doing a separate video in the future to go through them in detail.
Second, we will not discuss references. Finding individuals who are prepared to recommend you to jobs or serve as references for a new company may have a significant beneficial effect on your job search. We’ll be putting up an in-depth guide on references in the future since it’s such an essential subject. For the time being, we’ll just be skimming the surface of the topic.
Finally, we’re not going to go into detail on how to locate real job openings. This is yet another big subject that requires special consideration. We wanted to concentrate on resumes for this video series, but we will certainly be doing more films in the future about how to locate employment possibilities with a felony record.
What to consider while putting up your CV
When you’re putting up your professional CV, it’s a good idea to keep a few important concepts in mind to help you get started. You’ll want to revisit these ideas while you work on your resume to ensure that what you’re generating is in line with what a resume may really help you accomplish.
What do you want to achieve with your resume?
The first concept you should think about is what your resume’s immediate aim is. Many people believe that the purpose of a resume is to help you get a job. While a resume is an essential tool in the job search, the aim of a well-written resume is more specific.
Your resume is intended to bring you to the first step of the recruiting process, which is an interview with a prospective employer. Your resume must stand out enough so that it is not tossed away with the rest of the resumes that have received no response from the company. There are a variety of statistics on this, but on average, only around 20% of individuals who submit a CV get interviewed… and it’s usually a lot less.
The main purpose of a well-written resume is to ensure that you are not among the 80%+ of individuals who are rejected without the opportunity to speak with the company. We’ll go over this in more detail later, but being able to give a succinct and compelling overview of your talents, abilities, and achievements is critical if you want to stand out.
Most hiring managers scan your CV for less than a minute before choosing whether or not to interview you or tossing it in the garbage. If you want to obtain an interview, you must create a strong first impression as soon as possible.
The good news is that the overwhelming majority of individuals out there are unaware of this and have dull, uninteresting resumes. A weaker CV, with fewer experience or abilities, but well-crafted, may frequently outperform a better résumé that fails to highlight the owner’s best qualities.
You want to be the most qualified applicant they encounter.
The second point to remember is the need of professionalism. You must seem as professional and mature as possible, regardless of the job you are seeking for, whether it is a position working in a high-rise office building or digging holes in the ground for road construction.
You don’t want to provide any signal to prospective employers that you have a criminal record, and you must demonstrate that you can be a productive and reliable employee who will always obey the rules and perform the work correctly.
By presenting a properly designed, professional-looking resume, you can quickly show a high degree of professionalism and expertise that sets you apart from the competition. This is particularly true for blue-collar professions, where great-looking resumes are more rarer.
You must not offer employers any reason to associate you with negative preconceptions about ex-offenders. You must demonstrate that you are one of the “good ones” who has made a few errors in the past but has learnt from them and is now more equipped and determined to perform a fantastic job than other applicants.
You must be truthful, but in the best possible manner.
You also want to make sure that your resume is truthful while yet portraying you in the best light possible so that you may put your best foot forward. It’s tempting to add a few items on your CV that aren’t entirely accurate. You want to improve your overall appearance and enhance your chances of obtaining that interview. I mean, what’s the harm in that?
In fact, this is very dangerous and often results in a major blunder. As a convicted criminal, you can’t expect employers to give you the benefit of the doubt. Any hint of dishonesty will very certainly be taken seriously, and if they find you were dishonest, your application will most definitely be terminated.
If an employer contacts you after reviewing your CV, you are being seriously considered for a job. The last thing you want is to go through the whole application process just to get turned down because of a few minor inaccuracies on your CV.
A better strategy is to be truthful about the facts you put on your resume while also being selective about what you mention. You’ll very certainly have to inform the recruiting manager about your felony past, but you don’t have to do so right now.
Your CV should highlight all of your positive qualities while simultaneously downplaying your flaws. Later on, we’ll spend a lot of time going through how to accomplish this.
Don’t make your criminal past too apparent.
This leads us to our last principle: don’t disclose your criminal record until you’ve had a chance to speak with someone in person at the business you’re interested in.
Informing a prospective hiring manager that you have been convicted of a felony on your resume has the lowest probability of getting employed. It is much simpler for them to disregard your CV and concentrate on other applicants if they find out before you have had an opportunity to speak with them in person.
A better strategy, which we’ll go into in detail later in this video, is to do all you can to keep the fact that you’re a felon hidden as long as possible, preferably during a face-to-face interview. Once an employer has had a chance to see you in person and see that you are professional and prepared, they are far more likely to hire you regardless of your background.
Instead of viewing you as a faceless candidate, they will have a lot greater knowledge of who you are, making it much more difficult to reject you down.
You are not condemned to failure if an employer discovers you are a past criminal early in the process, but it may harm your prospects. If you’re interested in the position, you should apply and see what happens.
When it comes to putting up your CV, these four concepts are crucial. Take a minute to go over them again and again while you’re creating and updating your CV.
What hiring managers believe
Now we’ll put you in the shoes of a recruiting manager who is looking to hire a new employee. You will have a lot simpler time putting your CV together in a manner that increases your chances of obtaining an interview if you have a better understanding of how hiring managers think. This will also come in handy during the interview so you can respond to their queries as thoroughly as possible.
Hiring is a grueling process.
The first thing you should understand is that for most companies, recruiting new workers is a big pain in the neck. Most managers only employ new people when they absolutely have to, which means they are operating on a shoestring budget until they can bring someone new aboard and train them.
In addition to their regular duties, they are likely performing a lot of the work that the person they are recruiting will undertake during the hiring process. That means they’re effectively doing two jobs, plus the additional effort of recruiting. For anybody, that’s a lot of effort.
It’s much more unpleasant to hire the incorrect individual.
While the recruiting process is inherently difficult for a manager, employing the incorrect individual may be much more difficult. The last thing a manager wants is to go through the recruiting process just to have the candidate leave or not be able to perform the job effectively.
We’ve all had to do something with someone who isn’t helpful or driven, whether it’s a job, a project, or an activity. In situations like this, you’d be better off if they didn’t come up at all! Hiring and paying someone who makes the team worse is a manager’s worst nightmare.
Hiring is costly.
Hiring is often prohibitively costly, particularly for small businesses. Bringing on new workers and paying them a reasonable salary without knowing whether they will be worth their pay may be a huge risk. It may easily cost thousands of dollars in time and money to promote an open job, go through the whole recruiting process, and train someone without knowing whether or not they will be a good match or be helpful to the business in the long term.
It’s difficult to choose the proper individual.
Now that a hiring manager has a stack of applications in front of them and is interviewing candidates, they are faced with a new, even more difficult problem: how do you know who the best candidate for the position is? This is a very tough issue with a lot at stake if it fails.
To choose the best candidate for a position, most managers use a one-page résumé and perhaps an hour-long interview. This is a difficult task, and a lot of it depends on how a manager feels about a candidate. Is it safe to trust them? Do they seem to be professionals? Will they have the dedication to perform a decent job on a daily basis? They must make a major choice based on just a few bits of information.
Understanding what they’re looking for on a resume or in an interview and being prepared to provide that information quickly and simply may make their work a lot simpler. When it comes to resumes, those that are difficult to read, too lengthy, or too complex will be discarded in favor of those that make their lives simpler.
It takes a long time to hire someone.
Last but not least, think about how long the recruiting process may take and how much time it takes away from the hiring manager’s day. Even for basic tasks, finding and hiring a competent worker may take weeks or months. The management would much prefer spend this time on their real work.
They want to recruit an excellent employee as soon as possible, so anything you can do to help would be much appreciated. That includes putting together a professional and easy-to-read résumé, being on time for any meetings or interviews, and being prepared to answer any questions they may have.
Following that, we’ll look at what hiring managers are searching for and the main questions you’ll need to answer in order to get hired.
What Hiring Managers Want to See
You should think about what hiring managers are searching for when you prepare your CV and prepare for interviews. We recently talked about how they think, and now we’ll talk about the specific questions your resume should answer in order to get chosen for an interview.
Every hiring manager and position are different, but there are five questions your CV should answer in general:
Do you see what I mean?
The first thing your CV should address is if you comprehend the recruiting manager’s requirements. Do you understand what the work entails and do you have the required skills and experience? There are a few things you should do with each job you apply for in order to achieve this:
To begin, read the job description attentively to ensure that you completely grasp what they are seeking for and that you are fairly confident in your ability to do the responsibilities. But don’t become disheartened. You don’t have to be flawless to be considered!
Job advertisements often specify criteria for the ideal candidate, but seldom, if ever, does someone who perfectly matches that description exist. It is worth applying if you are even slightly close to what they are seeking for or believe you could perform the job.
Do you have the necessary qualifications?
You need to edit your resume especially for that position now that you know what they’re searching for. This entails emphasizing the particular abilities or expertise required for the position and ensuring that this information is prominently shown. You will have considerably more success if you are able to showcase your finest experiences linked to that profession.
Once the hiring manager is certain that you understand their requirements, they will check to see whether you have the required skills or education to perform the work effectively with as little training as possible. As previously said, hiring managers want new employees to be trained and functioning effectively as soon as feasible.
They’ll have a notion of how much experience or education is required to perform the work effectively, which is typically included in the job advertising, and you’ll need to be able to swiftly check that you have it on your CV. You’ll be OK if you emphasize that experience and education and make it simple to locate.
Are you capable of doing an excellent job?
The following question is about outcomes once you’ve checked the boxes for talents and education. It’s wonderful to have expertise performing a certain task, but it’s much better to be able to demonstrate that you performed a fantastic job. This is typically what differentiates those who receive interviews from those who are hired, so do everything you can to demonstrate that you are a person who gets things done on time and to a high standard.
Consider the recruiting manager’s perspective on this once more. You have two individuals who have worked as fast food cashiers before. One individual just states that they have worked as a fast food cashier for four years. The other includes three years as a fast food cashier, with one promotion, two customer service awards, and 100 percent accuracy in all money counts.
Which of these candidates do you think will perform better? It is critical to be able to demonstrate not just what you accomplished, but also how you did it, since this will have a significant effect on your chances of getting an interview.
Is it worthwhile for them to spend time training you?
When a recruiting manager thinks you have the potential to perform a great job, they begin to consider how long you would stay if you were employed. No business wants to have to go through the recruiting process again anytime soon since it is so costly and time-consuming. They want workers who will stay with them for a long time and regularly perform well.
You may demonstrate your dedication by stating on your CV that you are not a “job hopper,” or someone who changes jobs every few months. Don’t worry if you’ve only been able to obtain short-term tasks up to this point. This isn’t a deal breaker, but you’ll have to explain it to a potential employer.
In your resume, you can demonstrate your commitment in a variety of ways, such as highlighting the jobs where you stayed the longest, excluding really short-term jobs unless you have no other experience, and demonstrating (through education or work experience) that you have a long-standing interest in the type of work you are applying for.
Are you an expert in your field?
Finally, you must show that you are a responsible and professional person. In the end, this is a matter of trust. Can you be trusted to show there, perform well, and not jeopardize the hiring manager’s or company’s reputation?
Employees may cause a lot of harm to a company’s image and financial success by making errors or performing poorly. Even little infractions, such as skipping work or not getting along with coworkers, may have serious repercussions.
Former criminals are particularly concerned about the issue of trust. Because you won’t be given the benefit of the doubt if you have a criminal past, you must seem more trustworthy than the next man or lady.
A hiring manager may not want to take a risk on you until you are more professional and prepared. You can definitely conquer this obstacle, but you’ll have to work a bit harder and be more tenacious to do so.
Following that, we’ll go through a few more questions that all criminals must answer before being invited to an interview.
Additional Concerns Former felons are required to respond.
When you have a record, there will be some extra questions that a hiring manager will need to address in their mind before inviting you in for an interview. It’s unfortunate that things are the way they are, but if you know what you need to do and are prepared, you can overcome the obstacles.
You must understand that many hiring managers have minimal experience dealing with ex-offenders and have been swayed by the news, television, and movies. They may have a bad attitude about criminals, and you must do everything possible to change their minds.
Do you pose a threat to others’ safety?
The first worry that recruiting managers have is for their own, their workers’, and their customers’ personal safety. Even if you have never been convicted of a violent crime, they may believe you pose a greater danger of harm than other candidates.
Professionalism, as well as avoiding expressing your belief until you’ve met someone in person, go a long way toward overcoming this. A well-written CV, particularly one that includes relevant experience, may help you get off to a good start.
Are you a potential property hazard?
Aside from personal safety, there will be concerns about company or property security. Even if you have never been convicted of a property crime, they may still see you as a risk or riskier than the average applicant. You can deal with this in the same manner that you dealt with safety issues.
Will you pay attention?
After the first issues have been resolved, recruiting supervisors will be concerned about your authority respect. They may consider someone with a record to be a renegade or someone who refuses to listen to others. They will not interview you if they do not believe you will follow their orders and respect them as your boss.
It is essential to your success to be able to show that you have excellent listening skills and are willing to learn. Professionalism is important, but so is following instructions. Make sure you read the job description and application requirements thoroughly before proceeding.
They want to see that you’re a regular person who has made a few mistakes, not a motorcycle gang thug who only listens to himself.
Will you be there?
Finally, they must be certain that you will be a trustworthy employee. They need to know that you will show up every day, that you will perform a decent job on a regular basis, and that you will not do anything unexpected or wild. Professionalism, as well as your CV, are essential here.
If you have any professional experience, particularly after you have been released from jail, it will be very helpful in demonstrating that you can be trusted. You may also obtain letters of reference from previous employers or program leaders to assist you with this.
Finally, as we’ve stated before, it comes down to showing that you’re more serious about this than the other applicants, that you’re more driven to perform a great job, and that you’ll express your gratitude for their willingness to employ you by staying around and making their life simpler.
In our next video, we’ll look at what a successful resume for someone with a felony record looks like and compare it to a standard resume.
What does a good résumé look like?
Now we’ll take a look at two different resumes for the same person. This is a résumé for a guy called John Smith, who was just released from the state jail of San Quentin. He worked as a dishwasher in the kitchen while in jail and earned an associate’s degree.
Prior to going to jail, he worked as a dishwasher for six months at KFC and for a little over a year at a warehouse. Overall, this is a pretty common scenario for many individuals. John has started applying for dishwashing jobs in his neighborhood.
First, let’s take a look at a typical CV that John could create on his own.
How to Write a Professional Resumé for Ex-Convicts
A high-quality resume is a really strong weapon, and we’ll take you through every step of the process right now. As you can see from our previous videos, correct formatting and a little care can make a huge impact.
What a high-quality CV for ex-offenders looks like
Make sure to take notes while you watch our following video. We cram a lot of useful information into a short film, but you can always return to it if you have any more questions. Below the video, you’ll find links to the resume template we developed as well as short references to key topics in the film.
If you found the video helpful, please share it with anybody you think may benefit from it and click the “like” button above to help spread the word!
- Click here to get the Google Docs Resume Template (you’ll need a free Gmail account).
- When prompted, just choose “Make a copy”).
- Click here to get the Microsoft Word Resume Template.
Step-by-step instructions on how to make an excellent resume with a record.
We’ll take you through the process of producing a professional-looking resume using all of the material from the prior videos. We go through the whole process live and discuss our thoughts on each step, from ideation to final resume production.
The length of this video may make you feel a little overwhelmed. Don’t be that way! It takes some time and effort to write a fantastic resume, but it is always worthwhile in the end. We’ve provided time markers for each part below so you don’t have to watch the whole movie if you just have questions about a single topic.
If you like these videos, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook, and share this tutorial with anybody you think might benefit from it.
If you wish to go to a certain portion of the resume, the beginning of each section is shown below:
- 3:15 p.m. — Contact Information
- Summary of Qualifications — 6:50
- 31:07 — Relevant Skills
- 47:41 Professional Experience
- 1:04:45 — 1:04:45 — 1:04:45 — 1:
Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook, and share this tutorial with anybody you think might benefit from it if you found it useful. We’d love to hear from anybody who has found this helpful, as well as receive ideas for future subjects!
The functional style resume is a guide that provides information on how to make an incredible resume for former felons. It includes advice and tips on how to use the functional format.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you write a resume for a convicted felon?
How do you make an incredible resume?
I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.
How do you write a resume if you were out of work for years?
If you were out of work for years, it is best to explain this in your cover letter.
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