Career Planning for People with a Criminal Conviction
Facilitator Guide

Learn about the resources the Career Planning website offers.

Home Page screenshot

Career Planning for People with a Criminal Conviction provides career planning guidance for job seekers with felony convictions. The website uses a career planning model with Manage Your Career at the Center. Job seekers are guided through six career management steps:

STEP 1: Assess Yourself
STEP 2: Explore Careers
STEP 3: Create a Plan & Set Goals
STEP 4: Expand Skills
STEP 5: Find a Job
STEP 6: Manage Your Career

Career Planning Model showing Manage Your Career at the Center

In addition to the website, a companion workbook offers activities and tips to help job seekers who have a criminal conviction focus on their job search. Use the workbook when finding a first job after release. For more long-term planning, you will find resources on the website.

Download individual activities or the entire workbook from the home page of the website.

This Career Planning website and workbook are available for public use. An online version is also available in Minnesota state correctional facilities for people who are currently incarcerated.

How is the Career Planning for People with a Criminal Conviction website different than other career planning resources? It includes content specifically for people who are career planning and job searching in Minnesota after incarceration. This includes information about barred occupations and the Ban the Box law. Specific content is listed below.

The Career Search Tool offers a caution symbol Caution Symbol that marks careers that may be affected by a criminal record.

Screen shot of Career Search web page.

There is specific information about barred occupations in the Job Search After Release section. This includes a link to the Collateral Consequences website where users can see detailed effects of a criminal conviction on employment, like licensure restrictions.

Related Information

Job Search After Release includes additional information about work restrictions, job search under supervision, how to view your criminal record, criminal expungement, pardons, and sealing a criminal record.

Filling Out Job Applications includes information about the Ban the Box law, which was passed to remove information about convictions from most public and private job applications. The workbook activity Application for Employment (pages 34 – 36) also includes information about Ban the Box.

The website includes a section with Community Resources available in each Minnesota region. A link to “Community Resources” is available from the home page. Resources include providers who offer employment, housing, transportation, and other transition services. Information about child care, health care, and legal services and providers is included.

From the “Community Resources” page, job seekers can also find links to locate CareerForce offices and disability services.

Information about disclosing a criminal record to employers is offered in multiple places:
  • In the Create a Plan & Set Goals section of the website How to Disclose is introduced as part of Making Decisions.
  • In the Find a Job section, Interview Tips offer specific advice about talking with an employer about a criminal record.
  • The workbook (pages 49-50) includes an activity, Discussing Your Conviction Record. This activity guides job seekers through the PAAR method:
    • STEP 1: P = Put the employer at ease
    • STEP 2: A = Accept responsibility for your offense
    • STEP 3: A = Use action/accomplishment statements
    • STEP 4: R = Reassure the employer that you are a good person to work with
    Job seekers are encouraged to write down and practice how they will use this technique in their dialogue with an employer. Examples statements are included in the exercise.

Related Information

Because many people have both a criminal conviction and a disability, information about disclosing a disability is presented side-by-side with the criminal conviction information in How to Disclose. There is also a handout from the Virginia Commonwealth University in the Appendix of the workbook which guides users through disability disclosure decision making.
The Expand Skills section includes information on Going to College, including a section on Financial Aid for People with a Criminal Conviction. Information is included about financial aid eligibility while you are still incarcerated and how drug convictions impact financial aid eligibility.
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and the Minnesota Federal Bonding Program are both incentive programs for employers that hire people with a criminal conviction. Information to help job seekers talk to an employer about Employer Incentives is available both in the Making Connections section of the website and on page 51 of the workbook.

The workbook (pages 7 – 8) includes an article, What Can You Do Now? Employment Preparation for People Who Are Currently Incarcerated with helpful tips to start a job search while still incarcerated. A link to this workbook article is available on the home page of the website.

On the website, a Career Plan Timetable is available in the Create a Plan & Set Goals section. It helps job seekers make short and long-term plan by providing tips for before release, immediately after release, after finding a job, and 2 years after release.

Find objectives and details about the available workbook activities and for each section of the website.

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