Ex-offenders beginning their post-release job search will find the services of One-Stop Career Centers ( to be invaluable. Public employment services operate these centers, which post many vacancies listed by employers in their communities. These centers also are linked to America's Job Bank (, an electronic job bank which includes over 1 million job listings.

Be sure to visit your local center and acquaint yourself with the many useful free services available to the public, including ex-offenders. Also, many employment agencies and placement services look for job candidates they can place with their clients, who are employers having vacancies they need to fill. Registering with these agencies and services can result in temporary or permanent jobs.

However, beware of any agency or service that wants you to pay them for employment services. The legitimate firms are paid by employers, not by job seekers. Anyone who asks you to pay them money to find you a job should be avoided.

You can find legitimate agencies through a One-Stop Career Center, by asking the center's personnel for recommended agencies and services.

Two of the best known temporary labor and staffing firms found across the U.S. are LaborFinders ( and Manpower ( You may want to visit these firms early in your job search, since they may be able to help you quickly find employment with their many clients.

Also, check on dozens of other temporary employment firms that may operate in your community.

If your community has a specialized program to assist ex-offenders, chances are they also have a placement program designed to quickly place ex-offenders in jobs with employers who are interested in hiring ex-offenders.

If you are a college graduate, you can use the placement services of your college's career center or alumni office. For recent college graduates, this means signing up for on-campus job interviews through the career services center.

SOURCE: Adapted from Ron and Caryl Krannich, Ph.Ds, The Ex-Offender's Job Hunting Guide (Manassas Park, VA: Impact Publications). Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.