If you have a prior felony conviction and you're creating a resume, you may be tempted to leave off the fact that you're an ex-felon. While this may seem a good idea in the short term, there are many reasons you should not do it. Instead of lying or omitting information, there are other ways you can make your resume stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your resume – even if you're an ex-felon.
Resume Tips for Ex-Felons
- Be Honest – This can not be stressed enough. It's easy to not mention a prior felony conviction on your resume, but this is not fair to the employer and may cause you problems later on down the line.
- Keep it Simple – You should keep your resume to one page in addition to a very short cover letter. Too much information can hurt your efforts to make a good impression.
- Keep it Perfect – If you think you've done all the mistakes on your resume, have someone else look it over. Even one small error on your resume could mean you get put into the wrong pile of applications.
- Be Complete – While you want to be as brief as you can, you want to make sure you do not miss anything on the resume that could make you stand out from other applicants.
- Multiple Versions – If you're applying for more than one type of job, you may want to have separate resumes that target the industries you're trying to get a job in. For example, you may have one version of your resume for sales type jobs and another for more general employment.
- Highlight Positives – While you should not hide the fact that you have a prior felony conviction, you should use your resume to highlight positives. If you do include a short cover letter, you can use this to explain your situation and why you're going to be good for the job. You do not want a sob story, but something that will show you're serious about staying out of trouble and working hard.
Be Persistent and Prepared
While it's easy to give up and say there's no hope for getting a job with a felony, this is the last thing you should do. If one thing is not working, you need to look at coming at the problem differently. Looking at it differently can help you come up with a better solution to getting a job if you have a felony. Remember, never give up and never surrender! The job of your dreams may be just around the corner. If you have a stellar resume on hand, you're going to be ready when opportunity knocks.