Career and job search for people with criminal records

Did you know the U.S. Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop offers online resources for people who are incarcerated or have a criminal record?

It’s well documented that justice-involved individuals face barriers to employment, and yet it’s also true that many employers are willing to hire employees with criminal records. CareerOneStop’s targeted tools and websites for both the currently and formerly incarcerated can help ease the path to employment for both groups.

CareerOneStop ReEntry website

For currently incarcerated individuals preparing for release, the CareerOneStop ReEntry website offers key resources, job search tools, and guidance to plan for job search and employment success. The website offers instructors and other workforce intermediaries access to the full range of CareerOneStop tools, resources, and information without active Internet links. This allows incarcerated job seekers to access job search resources with no active links to external websites, and no social media sharing or other external functionality.

For example, the Job Finder tool on the ReEntry site offers access to job postings across the United States. ReEntry users are able to enter job titles and locations to search for current openings and can access a detail screen about each job that they can save for later, but they are not able to go out to the company’s website or complete a job application.

CareerOneStop ReEntry is typically installed on tablets that are pre-loaded with resources. Interested instructors or other workforce professionals can email for more information. A comprehensive PDF of all pages in the website can also be downloaded and printed on paper for use in facilities or other settings.

Job Search Help for Ex-Offenders website

Job Search Help for Ex-Offenders provides tips, information, and resources for job search, job applications, and job success for anyone with a criminal record. Learn how to best use the website with either of these resources:

There are three main sections of the website:

  • Explore Careers offers information on job skills, interests, work options and goal setting
  • Get Training provides ideas on gaining basic skills, earning job credentials, and paying for training
  • Find a Job includes tips for job applications and resumes, how to find job openings, and ideas about how to talk about your conviction in interviews

In addition, the website’s State Resource Finder allows users to search for local assistance and information, including:

  • Reentry programs that specialize in helping people overcome the barriers caused by having a criminal record. Services often include help with employment and training. Program offerings vary, so it can be helpful to contact several programs to learn details about their services.
  • Basic needs like housing, food support and medical care
  • Finding legal assistance
  • Getting a driver’s license and your vital records

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