You are here
Resources for Diverse Populations
WorkplaceDiversity.com, the source for diversity talent™, is an experienced job-board for corporate recruiters who are seeking experienced diverse candidates. The site’s main focus is to help connect organizations that support and value diversity and inclusion within the workplace.
This site serves as career opportunity resources and job search engine for the cultural diversity marketplace. Employers use this site seeking to promote, attract, and recruit high performing candidates from underrepresented groups.
Known as "Diversity Employers," this site provides career development information, and hosts a large database of jobs available and equal opportunity employers, committed to workplace diversity.
Hosted by a well-known African-American Business and Career magazine, this website provides information for African-Americans seeking opportunities in the business sector/corporate America.
This site offers a "Get Empowered: Jobs" page highlighting: job programs, upcoming career events/trainings, job market news articles, and a JOBSNETWORK to search for career opportunities.
Black Career Women — professional development of black women
The Black Collegian Online — Career Site for Students and Professionals of Color
American Indian / Native American
The oldest and largest organization representing American Indiana and Alaska Natives, this site offers information about internships, an online job board, and information about their professional conferences.
A professional organization which services to empower Native journalists offers scholarships, hosts professional conferences to allow for networking, and hosts an online job board.
A non-profit organization focused on American Indians and other indigenous peoples in STEM careers. Offers scholarships, information about their professional conferences, and the site hosts an online job board.
This site offers a list of various scholarships available to those that are Native American.
A leadership organization, connecting Asian and minority professionals with companies across the world. The association hosts professional conferences, has available webinars, and a full career center section on their website.
This site is an online community for Asian professionals that hosts an online job board, the opportunity to network with others, and information about their Annual Asian Diversity Conference Expo.
Resume and Interview Skills for First Generation College Students
Tips for Advising First Generation College Students
- Addresses disadvantages first generation students face while completing higher education
- What can academic advisors do to encourage FGCS success
- Encouraging First Generation College Student Success
- Advising First-Generation Students
- Advising Strategies
Additional Resources for First Generation College Students
Hispanic / Latinx
Upload your résumé, view the online job board, and connect with diverse network leaders and other professionals – a website set up to provide the LatinX community with a meaningful professional network and connections for potential career opportunities.
Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement
This is a national non-profit focused on enhancing the employment, development, and advancement of LatinX professionals. Hosts a full career center section on the site including: job matching services and mentoring & coaching for students and professionals.
A website to connect Hispanic and bilingual professionals with employers. This site offers information about job fairs, an extensive résumé database, and an online job board. Site hosts training videos and annual conference information.
Hispanic Market Business and Finance News Magazine
Individuals with Disabilities
Both current students and professionals can create a profile, network with employers, view a job dashboard, training videos and view annual conference information.
This is a program that places college students with disabilities in valuable internships nationwide. The website also provides leadership development and networking opportunities.
Run through the AAAS, this program identifies and recruits students with apparent and non-apparent disabilities studying in STEM fields, and some fields of business for internship and co-op opportunities.
A non-profit organization dedicated to empowering Americans with disabilities, this site features employment opportunities, as well as internships and fellowships.
US Homeland Security: Working in the US
This section of the website describes information for students who are interested in working on and/or off campus while studying in the U.S. There is also information about studying in the U.S., immigration statuses, transferring as an F-1 or M-1 student, traveling, driving, obtaining a social security number, and more.
US Citizen and Immigration Services
This site offers information regarding how to apply for and get work authorization, and application forms available for download.
Cultural Vistas is a non-profit organization providing international exchange opportunities.
The Careerlink section of this site offers tools and resources focused on LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace. Membership is also free for LGBTQ job seekers.
This organization advocates for those working in LGBTQ resource offices within higher education. This is an associate organization of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).
Students with Criminal Records
Career Search Information for Students with Criminal Records
Know which offenses are on your record. The nature of your conviction matters. Certain types of convictions will disqualify you for certain types of jobs. For example, financial convictions will make it impossible for you to work in insurance or banking. You need to think about your conviction and what types of jobs that have nothing to do with your conviction. It is best if the conviction is completely unrelated to the job you are applying for.
- Do some research before you make any decisions. Don't just assume that your record will disqualify you from holding a certain job. Consider the relationship of your conviction to the position.
- Eliminate jobs for which your record will automatically disqualify you. Your record may disqualify you for some positions, especially government jobs requiring security clearances, positions with financial responsibility, or jobs working with children
Talk to personal connections. If a friend or family member is either hiring or knows someone who's hiring, then ask your friend or family member to hire you or to advocate for you. You'll have a much better chance of finding work when you talk to someone who knows you or your family and is interested in you.
- Have your advocate write a letter of recommendation to your potential employer. If your advocate and your potential employer know each other well, it is also appropriate for your advocate to call your potential employer and vouch for your character. For example, your advocate can talk about how long they have known you, and what type of person they know you to be. Your advocate can also talk to your potential employer about how you have changed since your conviction or how the conviction was the result of a mistake that you are not going to repeat.
Network. In many cases, having personal connections can get you a job that you might not otherwise be considered for. Create a professional profile on LinkedIn and Twitter. Find an association in the industry you want to enter, and become a member. Attend industry meetings and get to know people
Start small and work your way up. Understand that when a person sees your record, he or she may be reluctant to hire you for a position with a lot of responsibility. That same person may be more than willing to give you a chance in another usually lower-paid position. You can use this chance to demonstrate that you are a reliable and trustworthy employee.
- Try applying with a temp agency. You will need to disclose your criminal record to the agency. However, these agencies are sometimes able to place employees at other companies without running additional background checks, which can give you the chance to prove yourself.
- Do what it takes to get your foot in the door. You may have to start at a lower-paying job for which you are overqualified. You can use this time to rebuild your resume.
- If you were incarcerated, the gap in your employment history may pose as much of an obstacle as your conviction. You may need to build up a job history again by working smaller or entry-level jobs before trying to re-enter a career field.
Contact a nonprofit or agency that specializes in helping individuals with criminal records find employment. There are several organizations that are focused on helping people with criminal records find jobs. Get in touch with an organization or agency in your area.
- The National Transitional Jobs Network provides job skills training, job placement services, and support to individuals who may have barriers to finding traditional employment.
- America Works also assists individuals who may have difficulty finding work
Try to get an offense sealed or expunged from your record. Even if you committed an offense as an adult, you can try to get an offense sealed or expunged from your record. Ask your attorney, public defender or your parole/probation officer whether you may be able to get the offense expunged (removed) from your record. If you are successful, then you can legally answer "no" to conviction questions.
Employ yourself. If you're willing to work extra hard and you have marketable skills or abilities, you may be able to make your own opportunities. The advantage of employing yourself is that you do not have to submit to background checks or other hurdles.
- Consider becoming a skilled laborer, such as an electrician, plumber, or barber. Some professions require you to get a professional license. In many cases, the licensing process may require you to disclose a criminal record. However, a conviction on its own is usually not enough to disqualify you from licensure. This is especially true if your conviction was a long time ago and/or you have not had multiple convictions for the same type of crime.
- Most state licensing boards will have a list of criminal convictions that may pose a barrier to entering a specific profession. For example, a person wishing to become a cosmetologist would likely have trouble getting licensed if he or she had a conviction involving children, sexual misconduct, or personal assaults. This is because a cosmetologist often has direct contact with the public in unsupervised settings, so a history of crimes against people could pose a threat.
- Consider what you're good at. If you have maintenance or lawn-care skills, try starting a small business that uses those skills. People who employ handymen or lawn-care specialists are more likely to judge you based on the quality of the work you can do, not your background. If you were part of a work release program, you may consider staying in the industry that you worked in.
- You'll probably need to have another job while you're getting your business on its feet.
Volunteer. Even if you can't get a paid position to start, volunteer work looks good to employers. It can even count as job training for many professions and the Department of Social Services. Find a local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or even an advocacy organization to join.
- Working as a volunteer gives you the chance to show that you are responsible, dependable, and trustworthy. It will also give you the chance to make a good impression on people in charge of you, who can vouch for your character when you apply for jobs.
Find a Job if You have a Criminal Background
You're not alone in your situation. More than 700,000 people were released from prison in 2010, many of whom are attempting to turn their lives around and get back into the workforce. While people with criminal backgrounds can face a harder-than-average time finding a job, there are several things you can do to give yourself an advantage.
- Get Started Now You don't have to wait until you're released from prison to begin preparing for your next job. Take advantage of vocational rehabilitation, education or work programs available in your facility. If you have an opportunity to work on your GED, that's a step in the right direction. Not only will you gain skills that increase your chance of finding a job, you'll also show future employers your commitment to bettering yourself. Plus, the connections you make could earn you the referral or recommendation that convinces an employer needs to give you a chance.
- Understand Your Rights Familiarize yourself with your state's laws about what employers can and cannot ask on a job application or in an interview. Some states, for example, prohibit employers from asking questions about arrests not leading to conviction. Others only allow employers to inquire about criminal convictions which occurred during a certain timeframe (e.g. the past 10 years).
- Make a Good First Impression If you have the opportunity to attend a job fair or interview with an employer, be as professional in your appearance as possible, including wearing conservative clean clothing, and a fresh haircut and shave. Goodwill and other thrift stores offer very affordable shopping locations for job search and work clothing.
- Be Honest about Your Background If an employer asks you a question that you are legally required to answer, be straightforward and use the details listed on your criminal record to answer the question. Avoid giving lengthy explanations, which may sound like excuses to an employer. Take responsibility for what happened and then use the opportunity to explain what you learned and showcase the positive changes you've made since that time.
- Focus on Your Positive Attributes Don't let your criminal background become the focus of the conversation – be sure to talk about the positive qualities and skills that you can bring to the organization. Employers want to hire the best person for the job, and if you can prove your abilities, they may be willing to overlook your criminal record.
- Network Yourself to Your Next Job You've no doubt heard that networking is important when looking for a job, and it can be crucial to finding employment with a criminal background. If you make a good first impression with an employer you meet face-to-face, he or she may be willing to give you a chance they otherwise wouldn't have if they only saw your application or résumé.
Frequently Asked Questions by Students with Criminal Records
A Resource Guide for Ex-offenders
Resume Tips and Cover Letter for Students with Criminal Records
- According to Monster.com, the purpose of a resume is to help you secure a job interview. For your resume to work, it must highlight your top qualifications for the position and demonstrate that you would be an excellent employee. While it's important to be honest on your resume, revealing information about a criminal background is best handled in a face-to-face interview.
- If your work or educational experiences from prison are unrelated to your career goal, you should not feature them prominently on your resume. The most effective resumes are targeted to an objective; your related experience and training should be the focus of your resume. You may, however, add an Additional Experience section to your resume and briefly list your prison-related work or training if you need to cover a big-time gap.
- Know that negative information is dangerous: Always remember that the purpose of your resume is to get a job interview. Your resume is not the place to confess your sins, accentuate your weaknesses, or lie about yourself. Make sure your resume is future-oriented and employer-centered. Use your resume to clearly communicate to employers what it is that you can do for them. Issues concerning your criminal record are best dealt with during the job interview.
- Avoid the chronological format: The reverse chronological resume format is not your friend. This format, with its ordering of employers and dates, tends to point up the two major weaknesses of ex-offenders — limited work experience and major employment time gaps. Instead, choose a functional resume format or hybrid resume (combination) format that emphasizes your qualifications as they relate to the job you seek — skills, competencies. and personal qualities.
- Present your prison experience in non-prison terms: If you acquired education, training, and work experience in prison, be careful how you list that experience on your resume. Instead of saying that you worked at "Kentucky State Prison," say you worked for the "State of Kentucky." Both statements are truthful, but the first statement immediately raises a red flag that can prematurely screen you out before you get an interview.
- Get help with your resume and job search: Unless you have strong analytical and writing skills, reach out for help from a local nonprofit group that functions to assist ex-offenders in writing resumes and finding jobs.
Interviewing Tips for Students with Criminal Records
- According to Monster.com, many states prohibit employers from asking about an arrest record but allow them to inquire about past convictions. (Check with your state's attorney general's office to determine what employers can and cannot ask you.) If the employer asks a legal question regarding your criminal history, briefly explain what happened, but keep it positive and don't dwell on the past. Explain that you have learned from your mistakes and are currently interested in making a positive contribution to the employer's operation.
- When completing job applications that ask about your conviction record, you must be honest. Select "yes" when asked if you have been arrested, and in the section that asks you to provide the details, write something like "will explain in interview."
- Know your rights. In some cases, you don't have to tell a potential employer about your history. Such cases may include:
- When an arrest is not currently pending or doesn't result in a conviction
- You're going through a pre-trial adjudication for an offense that isn't criminal by statute
- A minor drug offense occurred, and a certain number of years have passed since the conviction
- You've erased your offense by obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation or a similar document
- You were convicted by a juvenile court and you are now an adult. You may need to have your juvenile records sealed or expunge
Connecting Wounded Warriors, service members, veterans, their families and caregivers with supporters. Employment related resources are available through this site, as well information on transitioning from the Military to a Civilian career.
The DOD is the largest Federal employer of veterans. Chat with a career counselor virtually, search for DOD jobs/careers, find information about the federal hiring process, how federal résumés differ from typical résumés, and information about veteran hiring programs.
A site where veterans can create a civilian résumé and/or search for jobs. Not sure how your military skills translate to the civilian world? Use Military Job Code (MOC/MOS) to find related civilian occupations.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched Hiring Our Heroes, a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.
CareerWomen.com is the leading national online career center by and for women. This site provides job seekers easy, targeted access to top employers and recruiters who are actively looking to recruit and hire women.
This site provides an online job board, as well as resources on: résumé/cover letter writing, interview do’s and don’ts, professional dress, salary negotiation, and starting a business.
This site hosts resources that focus on entrepreneurship, career building, and financial education - a yearlong program that supports women with low income who want to pursue a career in non-traditional, higher paying industries such as: construction, trades, manufacturing, IT, and renewable energy.