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Who hires ex-offenders?

It would be great to get a list of companies that hire people with criminal records. Unfortunately, that list doesn't exist.

The truth is that some companies hire many people with a record. They look for people who have the skills and abilities to do the work, even if they have a criminal record. Others may be afraid that people who have criminal records won't be good workers. In those cases, it's up to you to show them that's not true.

So, what can you do to increase your chances of getting hired? Here are a few tips:

Contact a community organization. There are hundreds of local service providers across the country who specialize in helping ex-offenders find work.

  • Different local service providers offer different services. Some place workers in jobs with local employers. Others offer training and resources to help with your job search.
  • Find a service provider near you by selecting your state in the State Resources box at the bottom of this page.

Use multiple ways to connect with employers. Try several of the following:

  • Talk with family, friends, counselors and others about the kind of work you'd like, and ask for job leads.
  • Contact employers in person, by phone and online to ask about job openings in your field.
  • Apply to jobs you find in online job banks.
  • Attend job fairs and introduce yourself to different employers.
  • Visit employers in your community to apply for jobs.

Tell employers about the benefits of hiring a worker with a criminal record. Two items to mention:

  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which gives tax discounts to employers who hire low-income ex-offenders. Print a brochure about this program to bring to interviews by clicking the WOTC Brochure link at the bottom of this page.
  • The Federal Bonding Program, which is insurance for employers concerned about theft or dishonesty by an employee. Employers can call 1 (877) US2-JOBS to get more information.

Learn more at How do I talk about my conviction?

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