Previously in this blog, we’ve spoken about the difficulties that ex-offenders face when trying to find an employer willing to hire them, despite their record. Today, we’ll talk a little about what to say and do once you’ve located that employer. This post has been adapted from an article linked below from Career One Stop.
Be honest. Don’t lie. It will come back to hurt you later.
Keep it simple. Address any concerns the employer may have, but always bring your answer back to a positive place, highlighting your job applicable skills.
Emphasize the positive. Don’t begin or end with negative stories, and stress the positive parts of your past and emerging future.
Focus on current activities and future plans. In addition to following the above suggestions for answering questions concerning your past transgressions, it’s also vital that an ex-offender job seeker pay very close attention to their non-verbal communication. Formerly convicted individuals often need to work harder to make a good impression to counteract the negative reputation associated with incarceration.
Have good eye contact, without staring.
Stand and sit tall. Don’t sit too casually as this implies you don’t have strong interest in the job.
Smile. Be genuine. A genuine smile will show the employer that you’re a friendly person they want to work with.
Shake hands firmly.
Show interest through your facial expression. As the employer is talking, nod your head and smile, when appropriate. Sometimes trying to look too serious can translate to an employer as angry or bored.
For more information on how to talk to employers as an ex-offender, visit Career One Stop’s website.