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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), a leading global screening firm, has released a complimentary whitepaper written by ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen titled “Ten Critical Steps for Ex-Offenders to Get Back into the Workforce.” The goal of this whitepaper is to provide helpful insights and suggestions to assist job applicants with criminal records who are seeking to rebuild their lives and re-enter society through gainful employment. This complimentary whitepaper is available at

In the whitepaper, Rosen explains the challenging situation ex-offenders face when looking for work: For an ex-offender, a job search can become a frustrating “Catch-22” situation. Unless prohibited by law, many employment applications may ask in some fashion if a person has a criminal record. If not on the application form, a job applicant may well be asked at or after an interview about a criminal record. If a person lies, then they are always at risk of being terminated if the criminal record is discovered later. If a person is honest and admits the past misconduct, there is a substantial risk of not even getting a chance to compete for the job. The fear is that upon learning about a past criminal conviction, the employer will simply trash can the employment application or stop considering the applicant at all.

However, Rosen – author of “The Safe Hiring Manual” and a frequent speak on issues involving background checks – reminds ex-offenders that “challenging is not the same as impossible.” He outlines ten steps that ex-offenders with criminal records can take when seeking employment that include:

  • Seeing an attorney to explore if a conviction can be sealed, expunged, or judicially set aside.
  • Finding out if “Ban the Box” laws that delay the criminal history question until later apply.
  • Requesting an Individualized Assessment of the criminal record situation.
  • Rebuilding a résumé one step at a time even if it is not with “perfect” jobs.
  • Taking the long-term view when it comes to re-entering society.

This “taking the long-term view” is the most difficult and most important advice to follow. Rosen says the key for ex-offenders getting back into the workforce “is the right attitude and getting and keeping that first job, so that as time goes by, a person has developed a successful job history that outweighs past problems.” This complimentary whitepaper from ESR – which includes case studies – is available at

A 2011 study titled “65 Million Need Not Apply” by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) estimated that 64.6 million people in the United States – representing 27.8 percent or more than one in four U.S. adults – had some type of criminal record. NELP, a research and advocacy group for low-wage and unemployed workers, has since revised that number up to approximately 70 million adults. The report is available at

Rosen founded Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) in 1997 in the San Francisco, California area, and ESR is a nationwide background check firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Rosen was chairperson of the committee that founded the NAPBS and served as first co-chair. He is a nationally recognized expert on background screening issues who has qualified and testified in Superior Court as an expert witness in due diligence. For more information about ESR, please call toll free 888.999.4474 or visit

© 2015 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.


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