Ex-offender Employment
 Helping Job Seekers With a Criminal Record Has Its Challenges!

If you feel challenged when helping formerly incarcerated clients in their job search you’re not alone.

Most service providers have clients who have a record, and the vast majority feel ill-equipped when it comes to expertly assisting them in their job search.

Whether your clients are veterans, emancipated foster youth, individuals with a disability, or the general adult population—there are barriers to EX-OFFENDER EMPLOYMENT that cannot be ignored. 

Naturally you want to make sure you provide clients who are ex-offenders with the same level of service individuals without a record receive. But when you can’t answer all of their questions or assure them that you know how they should proceed it makes it tough. 

Having more questions than answers
never feels good!

I’ve seen competent professionals charged with helping ex-offenders find employment offer faulty instructions on how to disclose their conviction and how to use their prison job experience. On the other hand there are plenty of service providers who successfully help ex-offenders overcome employment barriers without breaking a sweat. So what’s their secret?


If you have the well-meaning part covered, and by reading this page I'm guessing you do, I can equip you for working expertly with ex-offender clients.

Barriers to Ex-offender Employment—
Why do they exist?

1) Many employers buy into myths and stereotypes about ex-offenders. They lump them altogether as one group. Some see them as untrustworthy and unreliable. Others see them as violent, high risk employees who are incapable of doing any work other than manual or repetitive labor.

2) There is no federal statute that specifically protects ex-offenders from employment discrimination. There are, however, over 600 consumer reporting agencies selling background checks with little regard for the accuracy of the information they provide. This coupled with the fact that over 80% of employers routinely run background checks and you have a deadly combination.

However there are benefits to hiring ex-offenders:

Up to $2400 tax credit

Six months of free bonding

Mandatory random drug testing

Workforce Investment Act assistance

Despite the myths and stereotypes the truth is:

  • Ex-offenders represent a cross-section of the population.
  • Name-based background checks offer extremely unreliable information. After all how many Frank Smiths and John Williams are out there. 
  • Title VII discourages blanket employment prohibitions against ex-offenders and legal professionals are starting to take notice of the practice.
  • One in four Americans have a criminal record. Many without a record have engaged in criminal activity.
  • The vast majority of ex-offenders have not committed a violent crime.

So, . . .

Are you still thinking about helping ex-offenders with employment
the way you always have hoping for the best?


Do you know?

When it comes to the interview:

  • Not all offenses require the same level of disclosure in an interview?
  • The best thing to do after disclosing ones conviction?
  • Why mentioning the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to an employer can put a strike against you?

Who wants to be the service provider that didn’t properly prepare their client for the interview? Not you! You want to offer expert advice that gives clients the extra leg up they so desperately need.

You take pride in your work, no doubt. You no doubt also
would like to feel proud about the assistance you offer ex-offenders . . .

Desk Reference for Assisting
Formerly Incarcerated Job Seekers
Click here for various agency ordering options!

You get 4 guides in one including:

o    Service Provider’s Manual
o    Client Guide: Applying for Jobs with a Record
o    State by State Guide for Obtaining and Correcting Rap Sheets
o    Client Guide: Interviewing with a Record


•    Scripts for disclosing ones conviction in the interview

•    Instructions for improving weak resumes

•    Occupations and fields favorable to ex-offenders

•    Federal bonding program explained

•    Work Opportunity Tax Credit explained

•    Record cleaning remedies available in your state

You are guided through





Everything you need to know is waiting for you!

Are you ready to feel good about the information and tools you have for ex-offender clients?

YES! Click here to be on your way to offering expert assistance to ex-offenders. You and the job seekers you help will be happy you did!

No? Please re-think! Don’t let the employment barriers and special needs job seekers with a record have keep you from feeling good about the service you provide. . .


This Desk Reference is perfect for:

Job Developers

Employment Specialists

Reentry Professionals

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors

 Career Counselors

 Workforce Investment Boards

Veteran Affairs Specialists

Business Coaches

Career Planners

Welfare to Work Administrators

Emancipated Foster Youth Advocates

Homeless Shelter Providers

Service Providers for Mentally Disabled Clients

You’ll also get client material

The client material section has scripts, templates, and checklists that break down the execution of an aggressive job search and each step of the interview.

The service provider’s section comes with all the tools you need to help job seeking ex-offenders obtain a critical element of their job search— the all important copy of their state or FBI rap sheet
and how to challenge the errors they find.

You’ll be their hero when you outline every step they need to take from soup to nuts. If they later need help reading it you’ll have a diagram for reading rap sheets you can show them. 

You’ll refer constantly to this Reference not only for your own use but to provide clients with a script for calling on ads, a script for disclosing their conviction, a resume template specific to job seekers with little to no work history or skills and employment gaps, a script for cold calling, an interview etiquette checklist, a do’s and don’ts list for taking employer phone calls, as well as the steps for navigating job fairs professionally. 

PLUS you’ll acquire the expertise you need as you discover how to address the special needs of ex-offender job seekers.

The Desk Reference was produced as an 8.5 x 11 spiral bound manual to make it extremely easy to grab and refer back to again and again right there at your desk. You’ll always have the answers you need at your fingertips.

To recap you get:

 A very manageable 80 page manual that is four guides in one . . .

•    Service Provider’s Guide

•    Applying for Jobs with a Record Client Guide

•    State by State Guide for Obtaining and Correcting Rap Sheets

•    Interviewing with a Record Client Guide


•    Several scripts for disclosing ones conviction in the interview

•    Instructions for improving weak resumes

•    Occupations and fields favorable to ex-offenders

•    Federal bonding program explained

•    Work Opportunity Tax Credit explained

•    Record cleaning remedies

•    Instructions for obtaining ones rap sheet

•    Instructions for correcting errors on ones rap sheet

•    Script for calling on ads

•    Resume template

•    Script for cold calling

•    Interview etiquette checklist

•    Do’s and don’ts list for taking employer phone calls

•    Steps for navigating job fairs professionally

You don’t need to become a prisoner reentry training specialist to serve ex-offenders like an expert. We focused on doing what we do best so that you can focus on all of the things that you do best. 

The $139 price for the Desk Reference includes the electronic version on CD and Licensing Rights for the Premises which means all site staff will have a copy through one purchase (does not include sister agencies). It also gives you reprint rights for limitless client guides. This is a tremendous savings over the $47 print version price which does not authorize copying of any kind, but the choice is yours at check out.

P.S. I seriously doubt that you will ever need to serve the needs of hundreds of ex-offenders a year like I do. You might feel that you should just do the best you can rather than follow best-practices. If that’s the case I can tell you one thing that I’m hoping will change your mind about that. Ex-offenders without a job are three times more likely to reoffend. That’s like playing Russian Roulette with three bullets in the chamber instead of one. I’m sure you want to offer your clients better odds than that. Order right now and do your part to give them the specialized assistance they need.

“Pam’s Desk Reference is like my new Bible. I am now able to have valuable answers at a hand’s reach. My clients are very happy to receive detailed examples on how to answer those delicate questions.” 
—Scarlett B., Job Developer

“Having material to refer back to makes me feel more confident about motivating this population to job search.”
—Rosie C., Employment Training Specialist


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