Finding a Job

Getting a job should be one of your top priorities if you are capable of working.  Though it may be a challenge to find work, you should never allow yourself to become discouraged.  If you need assistance finding and keeping a job, the following information may be helpful to you:

America’s Job Center of California

WorkSource Centers provide Job Training Programs and Career Building Services for high-demand, high salary jobs in growing industries. WorkSource Centers also offer translation services in a variety of languages commonly spoken within Los Angeles, as well as assistance with childcare or bus passes to those who qualify.

These centers act as your personal employment agency and the services are always FREE. The services are offered to adults, dislocated workers, veterans, the homeless and the re-entry population.

  • Job Training, Resume Building and Interview Skills
  • Phone and Computer Access, Skills Workshops
  • Employment Referrals
  • Customized Job Matching via CalJOBS
  • Career Guidance and Placement Assistance

California Employment Development Center

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) can help you find a job.  They have many tools that can assist you in the process, such as job fairs, workshops and online services.  In addition, employers may be able to get a tax credit for hiring you through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program.

Toolbox for Job Seekers

The Toolbox for Job Seekers provides tools and resources for California’s job seekers to assist in their job search, career exploration, and training needs.


The CalJOBS is a virtual job center that gives you online access to thousands of job listings and tools to help you manage your career.

Benefits of CalJOBS include:.

  • Create and upload multiple versions of your résumé tailored to specific jobs or career paths.
  • Receive automatic job alerts through the feature titled Virtual Recruiter.
  • Receive notifications of new job openings via text messages and/or email.
  • View current events such as workshops and job fairs by location.
  • Use templates to communicate with employers in a Message Center.
  • Access on all computers, smartphones, and tablets.
  • Download the mobile application for on iTunes and Google Play stores.

Jobs and Training

For information on what type of training is needed or where to get training, visit the Jobs and Training page.

To find a job, list a job opening, and browse other online employment services, visit CalJOBS.  For assistance, call CalJOBS at 1 (800) 758-0398.

Public Library

The public library in your area may offer various types of programs that can help you with employment.  Some of the services you may find at your local library include business services, which can help you if you are interested in starting your own business, or one-on-one job coaching to help you brush up on job searching, resume writing and interview skills.

Some Libraries provide programs like WORK READY, a 6-Week Job Readiness Program

Employment Agencies

Employment agencies are companies that specialize in connecting employers with job seekers.  The jobs they can place you in may be temporary, or lead to a permanent position.  An employment agency can help you figure out what type of work you are qualified to do and then help you find a job. 

A job seeker can use a staffing agency (also known as an employment agency or staffing company) to find a wide variety of jobs, including permanent jobs, in a number of industries. Staffing agencies hire everyone from entry-level workers to CEOs. Learn what a staffing agency is and how to use one to find the right job for you. 

Companies pay the agency to find employees for them. Job seekers can apply to specific jobs through the staffing agency, or can simply contact the staffing agency looking for a job. The agency interviews the job seekers and places them in appropriate positions.       

It’s free. They do the job searching for you.

When you sign up to work with a staffing agency, they ask you about your skills and experience and let you know if they have a job that might be a good fit for you. You can also search for jobs on their internal job site. Often, they know of job openings that are not available on other job sites. It is a great way to get help finding job openings.

Help Wanted Advertisements

Help Wanted ads can be searched online and in the newspaper, or other publications.  If you do not know where to find them, ask your parole agent.

In addition to the print newspaper, we have many more options today. Instead of publishing traditional classifieds online, these classifieds usually appear only in their online form, and they are a useful source of job postings. Many newspapers and other organizations outsource the “Jobs” portion of their website to employment super sites, often Indeed, CareerBuilder, or Monster. Essentially, they provide a window into the existing database of jobs at a different site.


Networking can be an effective way of finding a job.  Talk to your parole agent, friends and family and ask them if they are aware of any job opportunities that you might be qualified for.  Ask them for advice on how to get a job.  They may point you in the right direction.

What is meant by job networking?

Networking is an important career development skill that is worth developing. In its simplest form, networking involves having a “career conversation” with someone for the purpose of exploring careers or job searching to help you answer important career-related questions.


Cold-calling is an option that is available to you in your job search.  You may be able to get work by simply calling or stopping in on a company that you would like to work for and asking them if they are hiring.  This may be especially effective on construction worksites. 

Cold calling is the practice of contacting potential employers directly by phone, without any prior contact, and marketing yourself to them. This is best accomplished by identifying and understanding your skills, and how they are relevant to the employers you approach and the jobs they may have available.

Here’s some example scripts of what you can say when looking for work. 

Good afternoon, I would like to speak to _______________________________, please. My name is ________________________ and I am hoping to find out about employment opportunities at ____________________.

Tips for Finding a Job

  • Prepare a history of your work experience.  This is called a resume.
  • Prepare a list of references.  This is a list of people a potential employer can contact to ask about your character and experience.  Make sure that your relationships with others, especially employers, are good so that you will always feel comfortable listing them as a reference.
  • Obtain a valid California DL or California ID Card.  Employers will require you to have a valid ID.  If you did not obtain an ID while you were in prison, ask your parole agent if you are eligible for a no-fee or reduced-fee ID.
  • Know your SSN.  Employers will require this information.  If you do not have a SSN, apply to obtain one.
  • Keep a copy of your birth certificate.  If you do not have one, contact the County Records Office where you were born to obtain a copy. 
  • Dress appropriately when meeting with potential employers.  In most cases, this means that you should wear your “Sunday best.”
  • When you are interviewing for a job, be the best version of yourself.  Listen carefully, be respectful and answer all questions honestly and to the best of your ability.

Getting an Education

If you did not graduate from high school, you may have a hard time getting a good job.  If you want a good job, you can still finish your education through an Adult Education Program.  You can get your General Education Development (GED) diploma by taking the High School Proficiency Test, or by going back to school. 

Contact your parole agent and/or a member of the APU team for information about educational programs in your community.

Adult Education Program

Adult Education Programs are free of charge and are available in schools in your community.  You can get more information about these programs by contacting your local school district or community college.

Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP)

DRP Contracted Programs

DRP has established contracts with specific programs statewide to address a parolee’s criminogenic needs.

Rehabilitative Programs Available to Parolees

The CDCR-funded rehabilitative programs listed below provide comprehensive post-release services throughout the State of California. These services are delivered through residential, outpatient, and drop-in centers. The focus is on substance use disorder, sober living homes, transitional housing, life skills, family unification, education, academic and vocational training and employment assistance and placement.

Specialized Treatment for Optimized Programming

Specialized Treatment for Optimized Programming (STOP) staff offer proven programs that will help you with your transition back into the community.  These programs assist you with your health care, education, life skills, employment, housing, counseling and substance abuse treatment needs.  Priority will be given to parolees who meet specific criteria.  Ask your parole agent if you qualify. 

Day Reporting Centers

Day Reporting Centers (DRC) can help you with life-skills, education and employment training.  They also offer some short-term housing.

Female Offender Treatment and Employment Program

The Female Offender Treatment and Employment Program (FOTEP) can assist female offenders with their transition from prison to the community.  Services include shelter for female offenders and their children, substance abuse treatment, vocational training and employment services.