The job application asks whether you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. Do you tell the truth, or do you lie? If you have been convicted of a crime and now want to enter the job market, you may be asking yourself this very question. Employers are looking for workers they can trust, so will you ever be able to find a job with a criminal record?
The answer is yes, but it may take a little more searching. Whether you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, there’s no reason why you can’t land a great job.
Arrest Records Are Common
It’s estimated that one-third of adults have an arrest record. While most of these records are for minor offenses, others are for more serious felonies. Once a person has served their time, however, it’s important to secure work and acclimate back into society.
Never Lie on the Application
The best rule of thumb when applying for a job is to always be upfront and honest. Background checks are very common these days, so if you lie on the application, there is a good chance that the employer will find out.
If you have a misdemeanor in your past, let them know the details of the case. Prove to the hiring manager that you’ve made positive changes in your life. They are more likely to hire someone who isn’t trying to hide anything.
Finding the Right Fit
While some jobs are not suited for a person with a criminal past, other companies actually seek out workers with records. There are government grants awarded to agencies who are willing to hire a certain percentage of ex-felons. The goal is to find who these employers are.
- Ask for Help. There are several resources available for job seekers, even those with criminal records. Ask around for recommendations. If you are on parole, your parole officer may be able to lead you in the right direction.
- Work for Yourself. If you find it difficult to land a job, consider making one for yourself. Start your own business or become a freelancer. Your criminal past doesn’t matter if you’re the boss.
- Find Reputable References. A company is more likely to check your references if you have a record. Choose references who have solid credentials, including a former boss, religious leader or even your parole officer. If someone else can vouch for your character, you’re more likely to be hired.
- Hire an Attorney. There are instances when an attorney may be able to have your record expunged. Depending on your case, it may be possible to have your record sealed, which means that your conviction won’t show up on a background check. Only a qualified lawyer can determine if you will qualify for an expungement.
Attorney J. Ransdell Keene represents clients seeking to expunge criminal records as well as individuals who need representation in court. Please call us today for a confidential consultation.