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What you need before looking for a job with a criminal background

If you have a criminal record, before jumping into the job market, it would be wise to review this survival check list. You may have already taken care of some, if not all, of these - or you may have to spend the next month or two working them out. Below is a list of things that are critical to finding and maintaining most types of employment:

  • Social security card

  • State ID or driver's license

  • Email address

  • Phone number

  • Mailing address

  • Access to a computer and internet (Home, Library, etc.)

  • Reliable transportation (Bus Pass, Bicycle, Car, etc.)

  • Clothes to wear for job interviews and work

  • Checking account for direct deposit of paychecks

  • Identified support system (Family, A.A., Church, etc.)

Some of the above will be harder to obtain than others, such as a social security card or cell phone, so it is important that you ask for help where you need it. Show this check list to someone from your identified support system and let them know where you could use some help.

You should not postpone your job search until you have checked off the entire list, but rather work towards completing the list while looking for employment. It can be helpful to start with used clothes, public transportation, and prepaid cell phones to hold you over for 6-12 months.

Think of what you need to do to check off each item on the list. Make a to do list with names of people you need to talk to and places you need to visit. This can be a stressful and difficult process, so be patient and stay positive. If you stay focused, you will have the checklist completed sooner than you may think - and you'll be glad you got started today!



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