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How to Find a Job {Even with a Criminal Record}

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Under the best of circumstances, the search for gainful employment can be one of the most difficult and stressful things we all have to do. There are so many factors that go into the search for a good job.Those are: your qualifications, the quality of the language in your resume, how to impress the Human Resources person with how your qualifications fit with the job. Even the amount of money it costs just to get from one interview to the other, and there is a lot more.

Factors that Could Slow Down Your Search

There are other factors with the potential of bogging down your job search, including the quality of the current economy and how many people are competing for the same job. However, in some cases, a job candidate may have something else weighing on his background and causing even more stress. For instance, how do you handle a job search when you have a criminal background?

Tips You Should Know When Searching for a Job With Criminal Record

Believe it or not, while many employers will be reluctant to hire someone with a criminal record there are things that you can do to mitigate the problem. Just as importantly. It’s important to know there are ways to overcome the obstacles that come before you enter the job market with a criminal record in your background. Here are some very important tips.

Know Your Rights

You should be honest about your past, but you should not tell your prospective employer more than he should know. For example, in many states, you don’t have to disclose your entire criminal history. For example, you may not have to disclose an offense that happened long ago and was very minor. You also don’t necessarily have to tell them about a case that has been sealed or expunged from your record; or if you completed the conditions or requirements for a deferred judgment, or you have a document that declares you rehabilitated.

Know What Is In Your Record

It is essential that you know what is in your criminal record before your prospective employer finds out. Certain types of convictions don’t disqualify you from certain types of jobs, but other convictions may prohibit you from working in an entire industry for a long period of time. Pull your criminal record and go over everything. Know what is in it.

Know Which Jobs You’re Not Allowed to Do

Do some research and find out which jobs you are disqualified from and take them off your list. For example, jobs involving handling money, or those involving a strict government security clearance are probably not good choices for your job search. However, don’t just assume your conviction will automatically disqualify you. Consider the relationship between the conviction and the job you want.

Know What Employers Are Allowed to Consider

You should know, it’s illegal for most employers to disqualify you from any job just because you have a criminal record. Therefore, you should know that you have a right to work somewhere. To disqualify you for a job, an employer must show that your conviction is job-related and would, in some way impede your ability or trustworthiness to do the job. They must also consider the amount of time that has passed since the conviction or the completion of your sentence and the amount or the types of responsibility the job entails.

Those are things someone with a criminal record should do before they even decide to begin a job search.

2 Basic Steps For Getting The Job Despite Criminal Record

Remember, the fact that you committed a crime sometime in your past does not mean no one will hire for any job in any industry. Suppose you have done all the above and you’re ready to start the job search. What can you do to actually find a job to apply for? Here are some ideas for that, too.

Do Some Networking

This is good advice for anyone, but especially for someone who has a criminal record. If you know a family member or a friend is hiring or knows someone who is, ask them to hire you or advocate for you in some way. Likewise, if a friend of a friend knows the owner or manager of a business you would like to work with, they can put in a good word and possibly smooth over some potential rough spots. If someone the employer knows or trusts recommends you to him, the employer is more likely to overlook things they may not overlook when you come in off the street as a total stranger.

You can also set up a professional profile on a job search website, like LinkedIn, Indeed or Monster. You can find an industry association and become a member. Then, you can attend meetings the get to know people who might help you find a way in.

Be Willing to Work Behind the Scenes and Start Small

You will probably understand why many employers who see your record may be a bit reluctant to hire you for a position that entails a lot of responsibility. Be willing to take a small job working in the background, until you get your foot in the door and get them to trust you. Another great way into a good job is through a temp agency. While you will have to disclose your criminal record to the agency, there is usually no additional background check, and it will give you a chance to prove your mettle.

The most important thing is, to be honest about who you are going in. Try not to tell them too much, but don’t turn your background into a major surprise that makes your prospective employer skittish.

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