Many ex-offenders lack a positive and progressive work history that demonstrates a pattern of performance or accomplishments. Since employers want to hire your future rather than your past, they look for a predictable pattern of performance that is evident from your past work history.
If you don't have a clear and predictable pattern of performance, you will need to present other evidence that you will be a skilled and productive worker.
Focus on any new skills you have acquired while incarcerated, as well as any personal qualities employers look for in entry-level workers who have little work-related experience - cooperative, dependable, diligent, energetic, enthusiastic, focused, honest, loyal, persistant, prompt, reliable, responsible, self-motivated, and trustworthy.
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.