Get a Job After Prison: Using the Skills You Learned

Written by Zoe Cresswell
Last updated April 7, 2022

It can be difficult to find a job after you’ve been to jail. Many ex-offenders feel like they are at a disadvantage when it comes to the job market. This doesn’t have to be the case! There are many ways that you can use your skills and experiences from prison to make yourself more employable. This article will explain how ex offenders can use the skills they learned in prison to become more attractive to potential employers and get a job.  

Many ex-offenders have the skills needed to succeed in the job market, they just need to know how to articulate those skills to employers. Many of the skills you learned in prison can be transferred to the job market. Let’s take a look at what skills you may have learned in prison and how you can use them to make yourself employable.  

Qualifications 

A range of courses are usually available to help prisoners gain new skills such as learning to read and write, use computers and do basic maths.  

If you took any courses or received any qualifications like GCSEs or NVQs while in prison, make sure to list them on your CV. This will show potential employers that you are committed to learning and bettering yourself. Many employers are willing to give ex-offenders a chance if they see that they have made an effort to improve themselves. 

Transferable Skills 

A lot of the skills you may have picked up during your time in prison are transferable to any job and are key attributes that employers look for in applicants when recruiting. Some of these transferable skills are: 

Work Ethic 

One of the most important things you can do when job hunting is to show potential employers that you have a good work ethic. This means being punctual, reliable, and having a positive attitude. Many ex-offenders have developed a good work ethic from their time in prison. If you can demonstrate to potential employers that you have these qualities, you will be more likely to get the job.  

Teamwork 

In most prisons, inmates are required to work together in order to complete tasks. This means that many ex-offenders have experience working as part of a team. This is a valuable skill that employers are looking for. If you can show potential employers that you are able to work well with others, you will be more likely to get the job.  

Problem Solving 

Prison can be a difficult and challenging environment. Inmates often have to solve problems in order to get by. This means that many ex-offenders have experience solving problems. This is a valuable skill that employers are looking for. If you can show potential employers that you are able to solve problems, you will be more likely to get the job.  

Technical Skills 

Many ex-offenders have experience in specific fields from their time in prison. Many prisoners get the chance to work while carrying out their sentence, allowing them to pick up certain skills relating to the job. For example, prisoners may gain experience making clothes and furniture or electrical engineering. Prisoners can also work around the prison itself, for example in kitchens and laundries.  

All of the roles given to prisoners during their sentences can directly link to a role outside of prison. For example, someone who worked in the prison kitchen may go on to be a chef. 

You can find out more about getting back into work after prison on our dedicated page. You can find out what roles are available to you now on our specialist jobs board. Feel free to contact us with any queries. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to keep updated with the latest news and information from Refreshing a Career. 

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Last Updated: Thursday April 7 2022
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