Chrysalis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a pathway to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals by providing the resources and support needed to find and retain employment.
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In this section, you will learn:
• Know how to answer the question: “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”
• Understand the 3-step process.
• Learn additional tips for creating a successful resume.
• Understand how the state assists former felons with finding jobs.
“Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”
Rather than letting yourself run into a wall with this question during an interview, be prepared with an appropriate response. Here are some examples:
• I am glad you asked me that question. I wanted to talk to you about this in person.
• In my past I made (some) mistake(s), but it changed me completely, and I have
become a better person because of it.
• Work and responsibility are very important to me. In fact, I'll be a better employee for you because of it.
• I won't jump from job to job like everyone else, so I will be a more dedicated employee.
Plus, I have a lot to prove, so I will work harder. In fact, if you have weekends or overtime, I'll be happy to
work them for you.
• I have a lot of goals for the future. I know that getting a job is the only way to achieve my goals.
Three-Step Guide to Interviewing
1. UNDERSTAND what the interviewer is asking;
2. Answer in a BRIEF, NON-DAMAGING manner;
3. Always close by relaying ALL RELEVANT SKILLS that you possess.
Frequently Asked Questions during an Interview
• “I see you have marked the felony box. Can you tell me about this?”
• “Why were you in prison?”
• “How can I be sure that you won't commit another crime?”
Ex-Offender Resume Tips
Individuals with criminal histories face numerous obstacles when seeking employment, so it's important they make the one document that can open doors - the resume - as effective as possible.
• Don't Reference Your Criminal Background
The purpose of a resume is to help you secure a job interview. For your resume to work, it must highlight your top qualifications for the position and demonstrate that you would be an excellent employee. While it's important to be honest on your resume, revealing information about a criminal background is best handled in a face-to-face interview.
• Highlight Related Training/Work Experience
If your criminal background includes prison time and you took advantage of training or work opportunities during that time, you may include these experiences on your resume. Write the name of the facility and your title (e.g., “Arthur Kill Correctional Facility, Commissary Clerk”) in your resume's Work Experience section. Treat this position as any other position and write about key skills you developed and any positive contributions you made. If you completed further education while in prison, write the name of the sponsoring institution along with the details of your training in your Education section.
Tax Credit Opportunity
If you are a recent ex-felon (less than 1 year since you have been in prison), your employer(s) may be eligible for a tax credit! For more information about this program, contact the Employment Development Department: call (866) 593-0173 or go to www.edd.ca.gov and search for “WOTC”.