Many employers rejected Ben based on his criminal record, without looking into or asking for details of the crime. Using Honest Jobs, he didn't just find a job, he landed his dream job within two weeks. Hear him tell his story in the video below:
What was your experience looking for a job before you found Honest Jobs?
Ben: “It is hard if you have a criminal history to find somebody that's even going to let you get your foot in the door to talk to them about employment. Even though I have the skills, the experience, and everything to do the job, that's like a showstopper right there. At the beginning, the first question is “Well, what is it? What’s in your criminal history?” The most recent charge was robbery, and that was pretty much: “Sorry. We can't help you.” So it was tough because with the robbery charge, they don't look into the details of the crime.”
What was your experience looking for a job after you found Honest Jobs?
Ben: “So when I found Honest Jobs, they put me in contact with places that will hire people with criminal history, with problems, specifically background problems. So I started getting a lot of response after talking to Honest Jobs. I actually heard back within a week. They made an offer within two weeks of signing up with Honest Jobs. Within two weeks, I was making good money.”
Tell us about your new job!
Ben: “I work for Old Navy at the outlet store. I'm the Retail Supervisor of Product Operations. My pay is $17 an hour. I love it. Old Navy really takes care of its employees. The benefits package is amazing. My family's proud of me. I couldn't be happier. I can see me spending the rest of my career there with Old Navy.”
Would you recommend Honest Jobs to other formerly incarcerated job seekers?
Ben: “Definitely, hands down. I've never had such success with job search even early on - like in my twenties - before I really had any criminal record. It would take three, four, or five weeks to get a job. I mean, this was pretty much one of the first two or three jobs that I applied for. I landed pretty much my dream job.”
Do you have a message to employers?
Ben: “I know that I have to work twice as hard to prove myself because I already have that label of a convicted felon. If someone is putting in the effort to look for a job, and they are studying for interviews, getting dressed up, coming to interviews, and getting there on time, they want that job. Give somebody a chance. Somebody's not going to put in that kind of effort to come and get a job, if they plan on doing you any kind of wrong.”
Do you have a message to job seekers?
Ben: “Just keep after it. People are gonna be prejudiced against people that have a criminal history just because they've never been to jail or they've never been in that position and they don't know what it's like. So all they see is criminals are horrible people and they don't deserve a chance. But you're going to get that one opportunity eventually where they're willing to give you a chance. But at the same time, don't abuse the system. Set a good example for people or job seekers in the future.”