Can you get a job with a criminal record? Yes, you can. However, employers usually inquire if you have had a run in with the law in the past and even conduct police background screenings. Therefore, if you have ever been arrested or convicted of even a minor crime, good jobs will be hard to find.
Worry not, though – with perseverance and sincere efforts, you can land a well-paying job. Here are some tips that will help you in this regard.
Getting Started – Know Your Rights
Remember, you are not the only one. In America, 25-40% of adults had a criminal record in 2015 with 40% of them being African-Americans. In certain cases, you do not need to tell the employer about your criminal history. In addition, employers should be able to demonstrate how your conviction would compromise your skills or trustworthiness to perform the job. This usually includes industries like healthcare, counseling, finance and social work. So essentially, you will have to work your way up the ladder from the bottom.
Try to Get the Record Erased
In certain states, laws can help you expunge some or all of your criminal records. But for that, you will need the services of a top criminal defense law firm to lead your case. Remember, this possibility exists for specific types of offenses – usually minor crimes. A trial can go at great lengths but if you are able to expunge your name, it is worth it. What’s even better is when your criminal record is erased, you can say ‘No’ to your employer about any prior criminal conviction.
Start Building Your Network
We live in the digital age and there is no reason why you should not build your network online. You can start by making a professional profile on LinkedIn. Yes, you do not have to mention your criminal conviction here. Get to know people, grow connections with employers, and share interesting stuff on your profile. All of this will paint a positive image of yours before potential employers.
Social media can work in your favor in the sense that most jobs do not even require you to give face to face interviews. An employer might take an online interview, and if they like you, they hire you. In addition, many jobs will require you to work remotely, such as data entry, content writing, graphic design, and so on. So, it is all about honing your skills and being at your best behavior.
As the old adage goes, “Honesty is the best policy”. If your interview is going well and you can see yourself getting hired, but then, the interviewer asks that dreaded question, “do you have a criminal record?” You need to be honest, if you lie, they will find about it anyway, and blacklist you. In addition, lying on job applications/interview is a criminal offense in some jobs (such as military enlistment). However, if you say the truth, they might even give you bonus points for your honesty and possibly hire you.