Job Search for Felons – How Can a Felon Get a Job

Getting a job with a criminal record can be challenging. Most employers won’t consider your job application or might reject you after knowing that you have a criminal record.

But you don’t need to be disheartened. It’s not the end of the world. And since the time is changing, recruiters are now willing to give felons another chance to show their best at work.

If you have been convicted of a felony, read this article to know everything about how to get a job as a felon.

The Comprehensive Guide to Jobs for Felons

A felony conviction acts as a huge barrier in your career path. You must prepare to handle rejections and consistently apply for jobs to begin your new career.

We know this is easier said than done, but this comprehensive guide will help you get ready to start your new journey! We have broken down this post into the following sections:


Not all companies will be ready to hire people with a felony conviction. So, you need to research companies and apply to relevant jobs. This section covers factors affecting your chances of getting hired and tips to convince the hiring manager.

Finding Work

Finding a new job is never a child’s play! This section shows the exact process for applying to jobs as a felony.


The final section of this post has helpful resources to help you look for your dream job. These resources will help you land your ideal job faster and effortlessly from the comfort of your home!

Why Is It Hard to Get Employed with a Felony Record

Getting hired after being arrested or having a criminal record can take longer than usual. Most companies don’t hire felons to protect their reputations. Other common reasons for not hiring felons are as follows:

Bias and Stereotype

Some companies think that felons shouldn’t get a fair chance for employment. Companies think they would remain the same. Some believe that “once a felon, always a felon.” So, they don’t prefer hiring felons.


Some companies reject felonies to protect their company image. They believe hiring a felon would damage their reputation or cause loss to their business.

Legal Liability

Companies may be answerable to the court and public if the felon causes issues after being hired. The company is also responsible for checking that the felon is clear of all charges ad telling the truth. If that’s not the case, and the company knows the truth in the future, it can cause legal issues.

Risk Factor

Hiring a felon can be riskier, specifically if the felon is lying. Most companies won’t want to put their reputation and employees at such risk. So, they avoid hiring felons.

Employee Morale

Other employees in the organization should also feel safe and secure while working amidst a felon. Companies must ensure that the felon is non-violent and won’t repeat the same mistakes in the future. But if the felon fails to convince the hiring manager, it will lead to rejection.


Most felons might not have the latest skills and knowledge required in the current industry. So, companies will have to spend time and money to train felons, making them ideal for their company.

The Process You’ll Go Through as a Felon Looking for a Job

A felony conviction makes it hard to land your dream job. But you can still make a fresh start by looking for employers willing to hire people with criminal backgrounds. Following is the process to get a job as a felon:

1. Determine Your Job Field

You can get jobs in various industries with a criminal record. But you need to identify the career path you want to take. So, decide which field you want to join—for example, business, technology, marketing, engineering, etc.

2. Job Search

Start looking for jobs of your interest. You can use online or offline resources to search for a new opportunity. Online portals like LinkedIn, Naukri, Upwork, etc., can help you get a job.

Alternatively, you can ask your friends or relatives to refer you to their hiring managers.

3. Background Check

Employers conduct background checks to ensure a safe and secure workplace environment. You must prepare for background checks and give satisfactory answers to your employer.

Don’t try to misguide the interviewer by telling different and irrelevant stories. Give honest answers and leave the rest up to the recruiter.

4. Interview

Prepare for the interview rounds. Different companies have different interview processes. But you need to prepare yourself to answer the standard interview questions and questions related to your background. You need to learn interview etiquette to boost your chances of getting hired.

5. Evaluation Period

Finally, wait for the employer’s response. If it’s a rejection, learn from your mistakes and appear more confidently for your next interview.

Tips for Felons Looking for Jobs

If you want to get a job as a felon, here are a few tips to get you sorted!

1. Be Honest About Your Felony Record While Applying for a Job

Don’t ever try to lie about your felony conviction from your recruiter. No matter how bad it is, tell the truth to your employer. Also, don’t try to build stories to distract your employer.

Tell the recruiter the truth and be direct. This will show that you are honest and wish to start afresh.

2. Be Prepared to Answer Questions About Your Offence

Your recruiter will ask you about your crime during the interview or call. Be prepared with a convincing and honest answer. Remember that your employer will run a background check on you.

So, you can’t lie or hide anything from your employer. Otherwise, it will affect your chances of getting the job.

3. Look Out for Scammers

When looking for jobs online, be aware of fraudulent job postings. Most companies cheat candidates by giving them false hopes. Some even ask candidates to pay fees upfront.

Never do that. Instead, be alert while looking for a new job. You can also cross-check the company and talk to existing employees for more details.

4. Get a Reference

References are the game changers while looking for a job. They help you get noticed by employers and add to your honesty. Employers mostly trust references from their existing employees and wish to hire referred candidates over others.

So, contact your friends, relatives, or former recruiters for references. You can also tell them to inform you when a company is hiring.

Things to Avoid When Searching and Applying for a Job

You might be desperate for a new job, making you do things that would lead to rejection. Here are a few things to avoid before beginning your job search as a felon:

1. Dishonesty

Lying your employer about your offense labels you as a dishonest and non-trustworthy person. So, never hide the truth from your recruiter.

2. Desperation

It’s normal to be desperate while searching for a new job. But your employer shouldn’t know that you are desperate for the job.

Control your words and behavior in front of your interviewer. Be confident, calm, professional, and polite throughout the interview. Try to convince the recruiter that you are eligible for the job.

3. Low Self-esteem

Your confidence level and self-esteem might be low while looking for a job as a felon, mostly because some companies and recruiters might not appreciate your efforts or wish to hire you.

But you must keep your spirits high and look for the ideal opportunity. Don’t think that you are less than others.

Self Employment Resources

If you think you are not ready for a full-time job after a felony conviction, you can take some time to prepare yourself before applying for jobs. Use online learning platforms to learn new skills. You can also begin freelancing until you get a full-time job.

Udemy is an online learning platform with millions of courses across different categories. You can learn marketing, software development, business, entrepreneurship, accounting, designing, and much more.

Most courses are available for free. But you’ll have to purchase some courses. Also, certificates are provided for paid courses only.

Upwork is one of the most popular freelancing platforms. After getting approval, you can sign up as a freelancer and start providing your services. Upwork has thousands of clients looking to hire talented professionals.

You can set your work hours and price for clients to contact you directly. Alternatively, you can directly apply for jobs by sending proposals to clients.


Craigslist is another reliable platform to look for self-employment. The website has several separate sections for jobs; gigs, resumes, etc. You can look for your ideal opportunity worldwide using this website. It also has a discussion forum.

Final Thoughts

You might need to put in a lot of effort to get a new job as a felon. But don’t give up. Keep trying. Most employers give a fair chance to felons. So, apply for as many jobs as possible and keep learning new skills. This way, you’ll get qualified for high-paying jobs.

Additionally, use the tips mentioned in the above guide whenever you are stuck.

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