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What It Takes To Overcome A Criminal History When Applying To Businesses

November 16, 2017
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4 minutes read
What It Takes To Overcome A Criminal History When Applying To Businesses

Finding a job in a slow economic climate can be a challenge. However, even for an individual with the right credentials and the right work history, having a criminal history could make finding a job down right difficult, but it is not impossible. There are a few things that a person can do to find a job even though they have a criminal background.

Learn Your Rights

There are a lot of factors that come into play when determining what part of a person’s criminal history an employer will have access to. For example, if a person is convicted of a crime but they did not need to serve a prison sentence, then it is possible that the record of their past criminal acts could be sealed or expunged. This option is especially viable if the crime was committed when the person was a minor. Consulting with a criminal lawyer is a great way for individuals with a criminal past to know if they have the right to have their records sealed or expunged.

Have a Realistic Outlook

There are going to be some jobs that will probably be out of bounds for individuals with certain criminal histories. This is especially the case if the nature of the crime conflicts with the type of work that is being offered. Sometimes criminal histories can be overlooked if an employee is willing to start the job at a lower pay until they build up their reputation.

Build a Strong Network

Employers cannot solely refuse to hire a person because they have engaged in past criminal activities. That being said, if employers become familiar with a potential hire, realize that they put their criminal ways behind them, and form a connection with the individual, it is more likely that they will hire this person. Therefore, it’s important to build a network. Building networks includes doing things like making social media accounts and resume sites. Attend meetings of associations in the industry where you want to get a job. All of these things allow a person to make a connection with a potential employer. This might cause the employer or hiring manager to give the individual a second look.

Be Honest, but Be Prudent

During interviews, be ready to discuss the topic of your criminal past. Perhaps you injured someone in a hit-and-run while drinking under the influence and have since quit drinking. Or, maybe, you were involved in gangs and have since left that life behind. Whatever your history, do your best to be as transparent as possible in the most appropriate and professional way. Have an answer for why it happened and why it’s not an issue anymore. Include proactive things that were done during incarceration as well as positive steps taken since your release.

A criminal history can be a hindrance to finding a job. Yet, it does not need to be the end. Some hiring managers may hesitate to offer a job to a person with a criminal past, but there are many more who will do so if the person has the right qualifications.