How To Ask For A Letter Of Recommendation As A Felon

What you need to know about asking for a letter of recommendation

How to ask for a letter of recommendation as a felon is not something they teach you in prison. Very few job seekers obtain letters of recommendation and even fewer know how to ask for a letter of recommendation as a felon.

Those who do know how to ask for a letter of recommendation as a felon understand just how big of a positive impact a good letter of recommendation can have on your job search. This is most true for those with less than perfect histories.

As a felon applying for jobs you will not be given the benefit of the doubt from potential employers. Regardless of what your conviction was for it will often be assumed that you are dishonest and untrustworthy. It is extremely difficult to overcome that bias with just a resume and job application. This is where knowing know how to ask for a letter of recommendation as a felon really helps.

Letters of recommendation allow future employers a way to see the best aspects of your background and skills. These are letters written by people who know you that have solid reputations such as pastors, former employers, and even prison volunteers you worked with inside. In these letters the writers will highlight your best qualities and basically say that you will be a good and honest employee if you are hired. This is incredibly valuable!

Knowing how to ask for a letter of recommendation as a felon and the being able to provide proof from trustworthy people that you will be a good employee can make a big difference with employers. They can only gather so much information from your application and resume and very little of that information actually says what kind of worker you will be.

It is easy to lie on a resume or application. When you tell an employer you would be a good employee it is easy to doubt. When someone of good standing in the community, especially someone they might know, says you would be a good employee that gets noticed.

You need to get letters of recommendation!

How To Ask For A Letter Of Recommendation As A Felon - subheader

How To Ask For A Letter Of Recommendation As A Felon

It is easy to lie on a resume or application. When you tell an employer you would be a good employee it is easy to doubt. When someone of good standing in the community, especially someone they might know, says you would be a good employee that gets noticed.

You need to get letters of recommendation!

It is easy to lie on a resume or application. When you tell an employer you would be a good employee it is easy to doubt. When someone of good standing in the community, especially someone they might know, says you would be a good employee that gets noticed.

How To Ask For A Letter Of Recommendation As A Felon Step 1 – Who To Ask

Here are a few suggestions of great people to get letters of recommendation from:

  • Former employers
  • Pastors or religious leaders
  • Program leaders from inside prison (especially outside volunteers)
  • Parole officers
  • Prison personnel that you worked with
  • Former coworkers from previous jobs
  • Former or current teachers

You want to find recommenders who will say great things about you and who are people potential employers would respect. A recommendation from your mother won’t hold much weight but a recommendation from a local business leader will.

How To Ask For A Letter Of Recommendation As A Felon Step 2 – How To Ask

Once you have identified who you are going to ask for a reference follow these steps to ensure you are getting what you need:

How To Ask For A Letter Of Recommendation As A Felon:

  1. Ask your reference if they feel that they know you well enough to describe your best qualities in a letter of recommendation. Ideally you would ask this in person but you can also do this over the phone.
  2. Tell your reference why you are asking them and why you value their opinion about your character.
  3. Explain that even though you would love if they could provide a reference you understand if they don’t feel comfortable doing so. Some people you ask might not know you well enough or feel uncomfortable giving you a reference. If they say no don’t worry about it. Move on to the next person on your list.
  4. Provide your reference with the details of the jobs you are applying for and what qualities and experiences you would like them to talk about. You want to remind them of all your great qualities and the great things you have done in the past that they can mention in the letter. Ask them to provide specific examples in their letter.
  5. Tell your reference when you need the letter by and make sure they are comfortable with that timing. You don’t want them to rush but you do want to make sure you get the letter of reference when you need it.
  6. Make sure you get your references email address, address, and phone number to include on the recommendation incase your potential employer wants to ask them follow up questions or verify the reference.

Once you have learned how to ask for a letter of recommendation as a felon you ideally you want to have at least two or three letters of recommendation to provide an employer. You can find sample letters of recommendation here. Be sure to include copies of the letters in all future applications or attached to the resumes that you submit.

Very few candidates take the time to learn how to ask for a letter of recommendation as a felon. If you can put in a little extra work to get them it will be well worth it. You will demonstrate how hard you are willing to work to get what you want and your letters will go a long way to eliminate the negative bias that comes with having a conviction on your record.

Searching for a job as a felon is much easier once you begin to learn little tips and tricks that make your life easier. How to ask for a letter of recommendation as a felon is one of those tricks.

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