Resume Tips for Felons

convicts-resumesAn ex-felon may need special aide with resume details and finding a career after a prison stay. Getting a job as an ex-felon may prove to be tough, but there are several ways that you can find help.

Following are some resume creation tips for ex-felons:

  • Know that negative information is dangerous: Always remember that the purpose of your resume is to get a job through the door and land an interview. Your resume is not the place to confess your sins, list your weaknesses, or tell lies about yourself. Make sure your resume is focused on the future and employer-centered. Use your resume to clearly communicate to employers what it is that you can do for them. Issues concerning your felony criminal record are best dealt with once you have landed the job interview.

  • Avoid the chronological (in order by date) format: The reverse chronological resume format is not your friend. This format, with its ordering of employers and dates, tends to point up the two major weaknesses of ex-felons — limited work experience and major gaps in holding a jobs. Instead, choose a functional resume format or hybrid resume (combination) format that focuses your qualifications as they relate to the job you seek — skills, competencies, and other qualities.

  • Present your prison experience in laymen terms: If you acquired a GED, technical training, and work experience in prison, be careful how you list that on your resume. Instead of saying that you worked at “Maine Department of Corrections” write that you worked for the “State of Maine.” Both statements are true, but the first statement immediately raises a red flag that can pre-screen you out before you get an interview.

  • Get help with your resume and job search: Unless you have strong analytical and writing skills, reach out for help from a local nonprofit groups that functions to assist ex-felons in writing resumes and finding careers.