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Jerilyn Brown
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Stellar Guest Services Advocate

Anyone who's been incarcerated for a fair amount of time knows that inmates tend to adapt the way they behave, think and communicate to their environment. Member @Scott Silvers posted a video in this group that made me think about something I don't think we've addressed before.

We've had a lot of posts that focused on best interview methods, navigating the challenges of job search, overcoming obstacles and barriers in our re-entry process, finding resources and providing insights about our own experiences.

Watching Scott's video reminded me of when I was an Addictions Counselor and would assess inmates preparing for re-entry to get them into an addiction treatment program. I often coached them on how to use appropriate language when communicating rather than using the vernacular and slang they adopted while incarcerated. Explaining to an interviewer how they were going to apply the lessons they learned while incarcerated in a way would be taken seriously is largely dependent on how they communicate those ideas. Learning to use proper English on your resume by looking at professional resume examples and using those as a template for your own resume is simple enough, but being able to communicate effectively with an interviewer maybe a whole different ball game.

First of all, using your given name rather than the moniker you used while inside will help you be taken more seriously. Nicknames, just like slang terms are not appropriate for job search. Using slang terms such as "appy", "let me get with" and "for real, for real" might make for interesting conversation around the water cooler but it won't get you the job. Because the way we've had to adapt our method of communication can be hard to shake it might benefit some to work with a language coach. Your Parole and Probation office may have resources available to help. If not, check with your local community center for job coaching.

The other issue observed in the video was the fact that "Always Teste" did not have a computer available in order to access and submit his applications. Your local library, Community Center and Employment Division should have computers available for public use and may have representatives or employees available to help you navigate websites and complete applications as well as guidance to develop a professional resume and cover letter.

It's hard enough for felons in re-entry to combat societal stereotypes and present themselves in the most positive light possible while seeking employment. Using proper English and good communication skills will help polish your applications, resume and presentation. If you have questions or need advice on best practices for job search let us know in this group. Be sure that you've completed your profile, including your location and biography section so we can better focus our efforts on the particular area and industry you are seeking work in.

If your language skills or lack of access to technology is a barrier in your job search efforts tell us about it and we'll do our best to get you moving in a positive direction. Just remember that no matter what the barrier is there are solutions and the members of the Jobcase Community and the Fair Chance to Succeed group are here to help. Giving up or reverting to old behaviors should never be considered an option

Here's the link to @Scott Silvers post:

Scott's Post

#resume #advice #secondchance #interview

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11 months ago
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Nur Yunlu
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Restaurant Worker / Designer / Marketing

Thank you for sharing.

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Laura Thebodeau
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Director Of Operations at E Blast Me

Great information - I had never considered the communication issue before.

Thanks for the eye opener, @Jerilyn Brown

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