Support Finding Work

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Most people agree that being in employment can help to create financial stability and security, improve self-esteem and prevent reoffending. However, actually finding a job with a criminal record can be a significant challenge and can feel daunting. 

The information on this page is designed to help you to understand what support is out there to help you to gain employment.

There are two main ways to improve your chances of getting a job. One option is to get help from an organisation like a charity or a project run by your local council.  There are lots of organisations across Scotland that help people with a criminal record to find a job. Another option is to take advantage of online resources that allow you to teach yourself new skills and make yourself more attractive to potential employers. 

Help from an organisation

One of the ways to improve your chances of finding employment is to work with some of the services that exist to support people back into work. Services in Scotland can help you with a variety of things to boost your job search, here are some key areas.

Turn2Us have a useful webpage summarising some of the employment services and schemes available across Scotland.

Job hunting and application support:

  • CV writing: get expert help tailoring your CV to specific job openings and highlighting your skills and experience.
  • Cover letter writing: help to write cover letters that grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.
  • Job search strategies: learn effective job search techniques, including online platforms, networking tips and interview preparation.
  • Application guidance: navigate the application process, from filling out forms to following up with potential employers.
  • Writing a letter of disclosure: discovering whether you need to write a letter of disclosure and how to go about writing one.

Skills development and training:

  • Identify your skills and interests: gain clarity on your strengths and career goals to make informed decisions about your job search.
  • Upskill and reskill: access training programs and courses to learn new skills or update existing ones, making you more competitive in the job market.
  • Qualifications and certifications: pursue relevant qualifications and certifications to enhance your CV and open doors to new opportunities.

Career guidance and support:

  • One-to-one career coaching: receive personalised guidance and support from experienced career coaches to overcome challenges and chart your career path.
  • Wellbeing support: receive help to boost your confidence and self-esteem

Wraparound support

One of the best things about organisations that help you to find work is that almost all of them will also help you with other challenges too. For example, it is likely that they will be able to help you to access support relating to benefits, mental health or addiction support and housing information.

At the bottom of this page, in the Signposting section, you will find links to lots of organisations that can help you to find work.

Online resources you can access independently

You can increase your chances of getting a job by learning new skills and gaining new qualifications. There are many free resources online that you can access, which will help you either with the process of applying for jobs or that can help you to boost your CV.  For example, by providing support with:

  • CV writing
  • Career advice
  • Writing personal statements 
  • Free courses to learn new skills

You can find a selection of online resources using the links below:


Open Learn

OpenLearn Scotland | OpenLearn - Open University

Free Online Courses in Scotland 2023 | The Skills Network

Employability Fund - Skills Development Scotland

A table with examples of appropriate language use
A table showing the notification periods for the various sentence types. Prison sentence of 30 months or more (including life), Indefinite. Order for lifelong restriction, Indefinite. Admission to a hospital subject to a restriction order, Indefinite. Prison sentence of more than 6 months but less than 30 months, 10 years. Prison sentence of 6 months or less, 7 years. Admission to a hospital without a restriction order, 7 years. Community payback order with an offender supervision requirement, The length of the offender supervision requirement. Any other sentence (e.g. a fine or admonition), 5 years.
Last updated:
February 24, 2024


The following organisations offer support on this topic.

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