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African American man in office. Man sitting, holding his CV and waiting for job interview.

*This is part 4 of 9 from The Urban Difference: Report 2018

Ex-Offenders Hone Job Search Skills

Sharpening job search skills will help candidates to stand out among other applicants and to position themselves to secure employment.

Poor resumes, poor interviewing skills, and the failure to adequately research companies are three top reasons why people cannot find a job. The truth is that among hundreds of job applications, only three or four people may be invited for an in-person interview. Therefore, job-search skills must be adequate enough to boost candidates ahead of the competition. This is especially true for ex-offenders who must also overcome the stigma of being incarcerated.

In 2016, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles opened its first Day Reporting Center (DRC) in Alabama. Today, DRCs operate in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa and serve to reduce crime by helping ex-offenders to reenter society. Since it is mandatory for DRC clients to find employment as they transition from phase one to three in the program, Alabama Extension’s Promoting Readiness for Employment Possibilities (PREP) is the ideal resource to help them create effective resumes, to dress properly for an interview, and to prepare to answer tough interview questions. You could say that PREP offers ex-offenders another chance.   

In 2018, 286 individuals completed the 4-lesson series. A sampling post-assessment survey among 126 participants indicated:

  • 62 (49%) clients used a resume they created in the program to obtain employment.
  • 117 (93%) clients chose the appropriate dress for an interview.
  • 107 (85%) clients answered questions appropriately in job interviews.
  • 102 (81%) clients completed job applications via paper and 63% electronically.
  • 66 (52%) clients revised their resume.

Two people looking over Extension information booth at DRC Birmingham

Continue to:

Part 1 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, From the Administrators
Part 2 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Urban 4-H Youth Development & Volunteerism
Part 3 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Animal Science & Forages
Part 4 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Consumer Sciences & Personal Financial Management
Part 5 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Economic and Community Development
Part 6 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Family & Child Development
Part 7 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Forestry, Wildlife, & Natural Resources
Part 8 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Home Grounds, Gardens & Home Pests
Part 9 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Human Nutrition, Diet & Health

Download the complete pdf file publication: UPN-2155 The Urban Difference: Report 2018

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