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 three guides provide a readable review of the steps involved:
- The Job Search Toolkit (updated February 2021) can help you make a plan for your job search. Look for the Re-entry Roadmap, which addresses topics specific to re-entry and can be used with the Toolkit. Note the opportunity for one-to-one job coaching!
- Getting to Work with a Criminal Record (2020 Expanded Edition) – This guide explain the process for obtaining licenses in 25, high-demand occupations and professions for people who have conviction records; also offers a review of Certificates of Rehabilitation.
- The Prime Objective: A Job-Seeking Guide for Ex-Offenders (2015)– Includes 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.
HINT: You will need 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 Digital Learning page 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 is where you can go:
- The Westchester Putnam One Stop. You can find and register for workshops, training, orientations. There are Department of Labor 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. Information specific to reentry from the Department of Labor is available on the web here or as a pdf for download here.
- 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) -***These sessions will resume when libraries re-open. For now, tap the one-to-one online coaching available here.***
- The White Plains Education & Training Center (WPETC) offers a series of Job Search Directions workshops, as well as other learning and training opportunities. 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, New York State minimum wage, and much more. Several websites, such as this one, offer lists of businesses that are identified as willing to hiring someone with a criminal record. The jobs at these organizations may not match your skills or locations, but can be a tool for thinking about directions you can take your job search. Be sure to review your RAP sheet and know your rights as you start this process
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. See this page for supports available For those with Disabilities.