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ex-felon cant find work.

This post has 5 Replies | 4 Followers

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Points 76
scottswick Posted: Wed, Oct 10 2012 2:30 PM

I am an ex-felon living in the Danville< IL. area. I paroled out of I.D.O.C. over 4 months ago and can't find a job. I have a wife and two beautiful little girls that i need to help support. If anyone has any suggestions for this area that might help me please reply.

replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 8:12 AM

It can be difficult to find programs that are located in Downstate Illinois, or even just outside of Chicago quite frankly.  A quick search led me to a website with several resources: I also found this agency, however, I have not heard anything about them so this is just as an FYI: Vermilion County Job Training Partnership, (217) 442-3044, 407 N Franklin St. Danville, IL

You may also want to check with your parole officer and see if s/he is aware of transitional programs located in your area. Goodwill Industries is another resource as well.


Best of luck to you on your  search!

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Points 27
Heather replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 9:02 AM

Unfortunately I don't have an answer as I'm in Denver, but I would like to wish you luck. I know how hard the job search can be with a felony conviction. I have worked with people here in that situation.

Best of luck to you.

replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 9:07 AM

Good morning.  I am a probation officer in Washington, DC, and I specilaize in assisting individuals conduct job searches after their release from prison.  As an initial matter, four months of job searching is not a very long time in the current economy, so please do not get discouraged.

Having little information on your background (e.g., education level, length of incarceration, criminal history, current supervision status, vocational training background, employment history, targeted employment industry, computer literacy, etc.), my response will be very general.

(1)  If you have a parole officer, please make sure that you tap into whatever resources they may have to provide employment assistance.

(2)  Visit your local one-stop career center, which is usually run by a government agency, and obtain a case manager to assist you in your searches.

(3)  Research the temporary employment agencies and identify the agencies that specialize in positions for which you are qualified.  Submit applications to those agencies, as they will be financially motivated to secure you a temporary position.

(4)  Look for a volunteer opportunity (perhaps 4 to 8 hours each week) near your home, as this will (a) keep your professional interpersonal skills up to date, (b) provide you with a work position that you can include in your resume, (c) give you an opportunity to expand your work experience, (d) demonstrate a concrete commitment to being involved in your local community, (e) build possible references for future prospective employers, (f) give you something job-search related to do that is different from the everyday grind of filling out applications, (g) possibly lead to a paid position for the same organization, and (h) allow you to network with other individuals who may be able to provide you with job leads.

(5)  Make a list of upcoming job fairs in your area.  When you attend job fairs, it is easy to focus solely on the employers that have booths in the fair, but remember that job fairs are usually less about finding jobs and more about building opportunities, by allowing you to network with others, share job leads were appropriate and receive valuable feedback about how you are presenting yourself.  It also allows you to learn about the competition out there.

(6)  Write down, memorize and practice delivering what you are going to say about your criminal background.  You should time yourself and keep it under one minute if possible.  That is a lot longer than you think.  Also add a springboard statement at the end that will lead the conversation back to your qualifications for the job and what you can do for the employer.

(7)  Contact your state federal bonding office to see if you qualify for federal bonding, which covers potential employers from any acts of fraud, theft or embezlement by you while on the job. 

(8)  Prepare or review your current resume.  Is it up to date?  Does it target a specific job?  Does it highlight your skills that are relevant to that job? 

(9)  You'll notice that I don't even get to appliying for jobs until step 8.  That's because networking remains the best inroad to job opportunities.  However, that does not mean that you should ignore classified ads, online job announcements or anything like that.

(10)  Set a schedule for yourself everyday that includes everything that you are going to do toward your job search for that day.  It should include any breaks that you plan to give yourself, rehearsal time for your one-minute criminal history speech AND networking activities.  If you don't schedule it, life will interrupt your job search, so you should make job search a part of your life.

(11)  Keep a record of all of your job search activities and job applications.  Be detailed.  Include the names of everyone that you come into contact with (and make it a point to get those names, but do it professionally and politely).  And schedule a date for you to follow up on those contacts.

(12)  Always set SMART goals for each day.  SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.  A sample goal might be - "I shall submit fifteen online job applications by this Friday."  And measure your success not by how many job interviews or job offers that you receive (because that is not under your control), but how well you met the goals hat you have set for yourself.  And if you have met them, consider increasing those goals.

This is just a start.  Job searching is a marathon, so don't make the mistake of treating it like a sprint.

Not Ranked
Points 76

I want to sincerely thank you for your input, its nice to know that there are people that care enough to send the kind of suggestions that you did, thank you for yourhelp.

                                                                                                                     scott d swick

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Level 1 MVP
Points 52
Eric replied on Thu, Jun 9 2016 4:13 AM

You can try the The Second Chance Program at New Directions Treatment Center, at 153 N. Vermilion St.  They have a pretty good program for helping felons get jobs

Eric Mayo
Author, Lecturer, Motivational Speaker
Companies that Hire Felons


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