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"Honest Jobs is amazing." - Cordel

Cordel submitted over a 100 applications without success. His criminal background made it nearly impossible to land jobs that he was well-qualified for. Fortunately, he found Honest Jobs, with second chance jobs from over 1,400 fair-chance employers. Learn more about his experience in the video below:

What experience do you have with the criminal justice system?

Cordel: “I had a misdemeanor, it was petty theft. It was just a couple months ago. I was incarcerated for about two weeks. [The charges are] actually still pending. I have a couple more months of probation.”

What was your experience looking for a job before you found Honest Jobs?

Cordel: “ I want to say I put in about a hundred different applications. Most of them were no callbacks. I made it to the background check for a couple, then it was like immediate denial. But I went through about a hundred [applications] over the course of like six months before I landed a job. I was calling local places. I actually walked down to the local sandwich shop. I was sending emails. I was on LinkedIn. I tried about everywhere that you possibly could, to find a job.”

What was your experience looking for a job after you found Honest Jobs?

Cordel: “I heard about Honest Jobs actually from my Probation Officer. The company that they recommended to me is Checkr. They actually hired me. I went through the interview process and they said: “We work with Honest Jobs because we're trying to implement more fair-chance hiring. As soon as I applied through Honest Jobs, I was reached out to, and after that I was hired within the next month.”

Tell us about your new job!

Cordel: “I work at Checkr, and the irony is I'm actually doing background checks. So, we're helping candidates who have anything on their criminal record. We're helping them find jobs or navigate through the background check process, giving them the opportunity to explain the nature of their charges, the circumstances, and everything around it. Which a lot of companies don't really do.”

“It's very personal for me, simply because I've been there. So I know what it's like to be struggling to find a job because of a mistake. Everybody at the company is amazing. I started out at $14 an hour. There’re quite a bit of benefits. There was a starting bonus. I have full health coverage, there is unlimited PTO. There are company outings. If you go into the office, they give you free food. They do a tuition reimbursement. They also give you like a wellness stipend for the month. They'll reimburse your gym membership. They'll pay a portion of your utilities for your home office. So the benefits are pretty good.”

Would you recommend Honest Jobs to other formerly incarcerated job seekers?

Cordel: “Oh, absolutely. 100%. Every company that posts or works with Honest Jobs is transparent. They already know you're trying to fix your problems and make your life better and they're willing to help you do that. And Honest Jobs is amazing. When you're working through Honest Jobs, you don't have to really worry much about the record and you can worry about presenting yourself as best as possible.”

Do you have a message to job seekers?

Cordel: “Don't let the record discourage you. It's a very negative process and it's very easy to get into a negative mindset. And a lot of people that have records are discouraged from applying simply because if compared to another candidate, we're most likely gonna get denied. Some places will give you the opportunity to explain, just keep at it, keep working and keep your head up.”

Do you have a message to employers?

Cordel: “They're missing out on a lot of good candidates. Oftentimes, people who do have records become empathetic. We're able to understand people on a different level, understand working towards a goal and working with others. And we're a lot more goal oriented and I feel like they're missing out on a lot of really good candidates by just denying them simply because of a background. Since we don't want to go back to that life or that lifestyle, we're a lot more reliable.”

Join Honest Jobs

We have fair chance jobs across the country. Employers doing second chance hiring and job seekers with criminal records can head to to get started.



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