What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get with a Criminal Record?
Job searches are challenging for everyone. From completing applications, submitting resumes, the constant interviewing and having potential employers perform background checks, the job hunt is no easy task. Having a criminal record brings on an entirely unique set of barriers that can prevent anyone from gaining employment.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that from 1990 to 2006, the number of Americans with felony convictions increased by a shocking 37%. But research suggests that former prisoners who secure employment after being released are more likely to be successful as they integrate back into society.
If you’re wondering what kinds of jobs you can get with a criminal record, the career specialists at Empire Resume have gathered some information to help guide you along.
Ban the Box Laws
Thirty six states, the District of Columbia, and over 150 cities and counties have taken an active approach to adopting the “Ban the Box” or fair-chance hiring laws, which places limits on an employer’s inquiries into a candidate’s criminal record. Currently, federal “Ban the Box” laws do not exist.
We’ve listed the states with the “Ban the Box” laws below:
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Jobs Available for Those with a Criminal Record
We’ve scoured the internet to find jobs available for people with a criminal record. If you’re in this situation, we hope seeing these job opportunities give you a sense of relief that you, too, can be gainfully employed. Keep in mind, some jobs may require an associate or even bachelor’s degree, and many will be entry-level, but they are attainable.
The jobs available, depending on the criminal history, include:
- Truck driver
- Wind turbine technician
- Mobile app developer
- Customer support specialists
- Marketing specialists
- Dog trainer
- Thrift store employee, like Goodwill
If you’re self-employed or become a part of the gig economy, the possibility of having to complete a background check is slim to none.
Companies That Hire People with a Criminal Background
According to the Hire Felons website, the following industries and companies have a history of hiring people with felony convictions:
- Grocery: Trader Joe’s Costco, Publix, Kroger, Safeway, Wegman’s, Whole Foods, H.E.B, Ralphs
- Hospitality: Marriot Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Wyndham Hotels, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and Radisson Hotel Group
- Cellular/Cable: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Comcast
- Restaurants: McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC, Boston Market, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, Cici’s Pizza, IHOP, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Buffalo Wild Wings, Red Robin Burgers, The Cheesecake Factory, Dairy Queen, and Wendy’s
- Food and Beverage Processing and Packaging: Tyson Foods, General Mills, Smithfield Foods, Kraft, Coca Cola, Pepsi Co., US Foods, Aramark, Del Monte Foods, Campbell’s Soup Co
- Airlines: Delta, British Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines, Jet Blue
- Delivery: UPS, FedEx, DoorDash, Allied Van Lines
- Manufacturing: Ford, Chevron, General Motors, Boeing, Apple, Tesla
Honest Jobs: A Prime Resource for Job Seekers with a Criminal Record
Meet Harley Blakeman, a 2017 graduate of the Ohio State University. When he graduated with a business degree, he began the job hunt. But his felony record from 2010, for trafficking prescription drugs, shoplifting and theft, was a barrier to potential employers.
After 36 interviews, he successfully gained one offer of employment despite his background. The hiring manager was very understanding and gave him a second chance. After some time, he was promoted.
While he enjoyed his work, he wanted to help other people with criminal records find work as well. Blakeman left his job and created Honest Jobs, a free website that posts job openings from “felon-friendly employers” who consider hiring candidates with a criminal past.
For more information on Blakely and his journey to launching Honest Jobs, visit the ABA Journal article, How to help people with criminal records break barriers to employment.
How to Handle the Job Search with a Criminal Record
To ensure you’re taking every approach to make the job search easier for yourself, be sure to do the following:
- Request a copy of your criminal record
Check with your local and state agencies to request a copy of your record for accuracy. Review your criminal record so you are familiar with what it contains. The element of surprise should not be a factor during your job search.
- Know your rights
We mentioned the Ban the Box laws above. It’s important for you to be aware of the laws that ensure you are fairly considered for jobs because some employers are not following the rules that are put in place.
- Work with an attorney to clear your criminal record
The possibility of walking into an interview and saying, “I do not have a conviction” can happen with a record expungement. An expungement is a request to destroy or seal a criminal record from data storage.
Put Your Job Search in the Best Hands with Empire Resume
Empire Resume has helped thousands of people get the job they deserve. If you’re a job seeker with a criminal record, we can create a rock-star resume, a personalized cover letter, and a noticeable LinkedIn profile.
Don’t take our word for it. See what our clients say by checking out our Google reviews. Become our client and receive a How to Apply for a Job and How to Master an Interview guide. Contact Empire Resume for professional resume writing services today. We deliver results, guaranteed!
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.