Looking for a job is a job itself! There are many things to think about:
- What kind of job are you looking for?
- Where can I look for a job?
- How can I get help with writing a resume, completing a job application, and preparing for an interview?
- Where can I find training for a better job? (For this one, see the bottom of this page.)
These two guides provide a readable review of the steps involved:
- The Prime Objective: A Job-Seeking Guide for Ex-Offenders — Includes a lot of information about the process of finding a job specifically for those in re-entry. There are details about what an employer can ask about your convictions, as well as how to find out about and remove any hiring restrictions you may have.
- The Job Search Toolkit will help you make a plan for your job search. You can learn about what kinds of jobs are available, what skills or training you will need to get one of these jobs, and how to write an application, resume, and cover letter that will open the door to an interview. This two-page guide can show you how this resource can help: Re-entry Road Map.
HINT: You will need to be able to use a computer to complete many job applications. You will also need to have an email address so the employer can contact you. Contact your local library to learn about free computer classes in your area. You can also go to the Computer Tips on FirstFind.org to launch free tutorials that will take you through each step of setting up email and search the web.
If you want one-to-one help with your job search, here are a few places to contact and visit:
- The Westchester Putnam One Stop helps Westchester and Putnam job-seekers. You can find and register for workshops, trainings, orientations and more. There are One-Stop Employment Centers in White Plains, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Peekskill, and Carmel. One Stops are a gateway to job opportunities that you can’t access elsewhere; be sure to connect with this resource. Here is a list of their locations and hours.
- WestHab helps those with limited academic skills and work experience to get jobs. Specific services include skills training with referral, placement and job retention counseling. WestHab offers this to those enrolled in their programs and to the public through the Community Resource Centers in Yonkers (103 Elm Street) and Mount Vernon (49 East 3rd Street). See the Job Training Programs listing for information on specific training programs. WestHab also offers free job skills & training programs. Contact them for up-to-date information.
- The Osborne Association is an organization in the Bronx that provides services to people and families of people who have been incarcerated. The Career Center at Osborne Association has job training programs that are open to people living in lower Westchester (Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle).
- The Yonkers and New Rochelle Public Libraries offer Job Search Help sessions where you can meet with a job search coach for help with resumes, online applications, job searching, and interviewing. Call the Yonkers Public Library Riverfront Branch 914-375-7966 or the New Rochelle Public Library 914-813-3746 for more information. (New Rochelle counseling hours are Tuesdays, 4:45pm-7:45pm)
- The White Plains Education & Training Center (WPETC) offers a series of Job Search Directions workshops, as well as other learning and training opportunities. Check the weekly newsletter posted on this page to find out what programs are scheduled. You can also call for information at 914-422-8200. (Information is available in both English and Spanish.)
Visit the New York Department of Labor website to get help finding job openings in your area, license & certificate application forms, as well as information on unemployment assistance and much more.
If you are a person with a disability you can receive special assistance. A “disability” can be any physical or mental impairment that makes it difficult for a person to work. Substance abuse, learning disabilities, and mental health issues may qualify as a disability. Contact one of the agencies below for more information.
- Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) — Provides services to obtain employment to anyone identifying as having a disability. Orientation sessions are held at the White Plains office and at the Yonkers Public Library where you will receive the application and a detailed explanation of the program and services. Contact the ACCES-VR office at 1-800-222-5627 to schedule an appointment.
- Westchester Independent Living Center — WILC provides support and services to people with disabilities seeking jobs. WILC is located in White Plains
- Westchester Disabled on the Move, Inc. (WDOMI) — WDOMI provides support and services to people with disabilities who are seeking jobs. WDOMI is located in Yonkers.
If you are experiencing discrimination in employment, contact the human rights office at one of the other agencies listed under General Legal Services and in the Know Your Rights section. To know more about “Ban-the-Box” legislation and which states, counties, cities are participating, go to the page on Employment and Criminal records (RAP sheets)