If you have a criminal record, finding a job may be challenging. Having a criminal record often makes it more difficult to receive certain government benefits, obtain affordable housing or gain entrance into certain social services programs. While having a criminal record can make finding a job more difficult, it doesn’t mean that you will never land employment. Here are some tips to overcome some of these obstacles:
An experienced and qualified attorney may be able to get your record expunged, depending on the type of offense and the severity. Many non-profits also have programs to help ex-offenders enter the workforce though job training, resume writing and job search assistance. Working with an attorney to find out about your legal options or enrolling in a job search assistance program can make a huge difference.
Know Your Options
Although a criminal record may exclude you from certain types of positions, don’t assume that every job is unattainable. Do your homework. Research each company’s hiring policies regarding criminal history and background checks. Some companies work with ex-offenders by giving them a second chance.
You may have to start out with a job that you may feel overqualified for and then work your way up. You may also have to settle for a job that is minimum wage. If you desire to return to your old career, some of the skills and technology may have changed since you last worked. Consider enrolling in training courses or classes to freshen up your skills.
The most important rule when applying for jobs is to be honest. Some people may find it tempting to lie on the section of the application that asks if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. Even if they are hired, most likely the lie will be revealed at some point and they can risk being terminating for lying on their application. It is important to be honest. The interview is a good time to explain the circumstances of your criminal record and allow the hiring manager to get to know you better.
Developing a strong work ethic, integrity and a positive attitude will help you go a long way on the job and in your personal life. Working hard will allow you to build trust with your employer and your criminal record may even become less important with time.
If you need assistance with getting your criminal record expunged, contact our office for a free consultation.