How to Get a Job When You Have a Criminal Record

Everyone can make a mistake in their life. But just because you made a mistake does not mean that it should affect you negatively for the rest of your life.

When it comes to things like getting a criminal record, it can make your life a lot more difficult. In fact, most people who get a criminal record might become cautious when it comes to applying for jobs. People who have a conviction just don’t think that it is worth applying.

However, although you might feel alone in your struggles to get a job with a criminal record, there are around 70 million Americans who have a criminal record, and most of them have jobs. If they can do it, then so can you. Just because you might think that some employees will be reluctant to hire you, does not mean that you can’t take matters into your own hands. Sure, you can’t get them to hire you, but there are a few things that you can do to help improve your chances of getting a job, even if you a criminal record. 

What you should do before applying for a job

You can’t just apply for any job. You need to take into consideration what your conviction is, as this will make you ineligible for certain roles. You need to consider the nature of your conviction and the nature of the job that you are applying for. If you have applied for a job in sales, but you have a conviction involving assault, then this will make it a lot harder for you to get this job, since you will be dealing with people. 

If anything, you should start off small. Find a job that doesn’t require a lot of responsibility, as employees might be reluctant to give you a job with a lot of responsibility particularly if they don’t know you. Don’t be put off by jobs that are lower paid either. These are the sort of jobs that are more easily attenable and means that you have a higher chance of getting them. Once you have been offered the job, you can take it from there and prove your worth. This means that you should be able to work your way up, you just have to make sure that you work hard. 

Honesty is always the best policy

Employers value honesty. It is a lot worse if someone lies about it and then they get found out. It might be tempting to lie; however, this can lead to you getting fired later down the line. So, it’s just not worth it. You need to make sure that you disclose it with your potential employer as soon as possible. However, this is only if you need to. If a job application only asks if you have ever been convicted of a felony, then you do not need to disclose any minor charges such as misdemeanours.

If you find though, that it is becoming impossible for you to get a job (and you are being honest about your convictions), then there are a few things that you can do. For example, if you think that it would be a lot easier if you didn’t have to tell employers about your convictions, then have you consider getting a pardon? Using the services similar to the ones found at Pardons Canada, might be the best way that you can land a job, because it gives you the opportunity to seal your past convictions, which means that your potential employers won’t see them. 

Making connections could open doors

Having the right connections will always make your life a lot easier. If someone can give you a positive recommendation, then you are more likely to get that job. You should make sure to make meaningful connections, or at least talk to your friends and family. Just make sure that you do your job well if you do get it, otherwise your connections won’t be keen to help you again. 

You can also expand your network on your own, by creating a professional profile on sites like LinkedIn and by reaching out to people who work in the industry that you are interested in working in. If you can make a connection with them online, then you can talk to them and share your thoughts about things. Once your name becomes recognisable (in a good way), then you can apply for a job where your connection works, this way you are more likely to succeed. 

It doesn’t just stop with making connections though. If you don’t have the right skills, then you won’t get the job. Your conviction shouldn’t stop you from improving upon the skills that you may already have. Nor should it stop you from learning new skills. Employees want to hire someone who is right for the job, so you can easily improve upon the skills that they want by using online courses or other similar things. This will make you more employable and give you a higher chance of getting the job that you want. 

Featured image by skeeze from Pixabay

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