The ex-offender job hunting guide

The basic needs for job hunting for an ex-offender can be grouped into four relevant categories:

  • Housing
  • Support System
  • Identification
  • Basic Survival Needs

Having these basic needs for job hunting, the ex-offender can concentrate a greater effort to finding a suitable job. But how is this accomplished? Simple steps and goal setting can greatly enhance success in the job search.

The first issue you must deal with is a stable address. This basic need for job hunting for ex-offenders can be solved by simply finding use of an address which to place on applications or to receive mail. Once this need is in place, it can help the momentum of other basic needs move much faster.

Next on the list is to set up a support system for yourself. While this basic need for job hunting is often ignored, ex-offenders who attempt to 'go it alone'' often find themselves overwhelmed by the situation. Using the services of support groups, church organizations or social service agencies can often aid in coping with the stress and anxiety of a desperate situation.

Once you have these two basic needs for job hunting in place, ex-offenders should consider obtaining photo identification. Most employers will ask to see some form of identification to prove you are able to work. Having photo identification will help you achieve this result as it requires many of the same forms and verifications as employment. Here are a few of the ways to achieve this:

  • Birth certificate - locate the records department for the county of your birth. This office should have a copy of your birth records. You may be able to get help with the fees for this from a social agency or church.
  • Social Security Card - this document is easily replaced by going to the local Social Security Administrative office; they will be able to help you with any information you may need.
  • Old Identification - this is also simple to retrieve by locating the government agency which issues the document and requesting a replacement; the cost for government identification may be offset by a welfare agency or social service unit.

The final consideration for ex-offenders in job hunting is the basic needs of survival. This includes having access to shelter, clothing and food. Most communities have programs or organizations in place which can handle emergency requests for any of these needs. There are also national organizations which have programs such as Suits for Success and America's First Harvest which handle clothing and food respectively.