How To Prevent A Criminal History From Ruining Your Chances Of Landing A Job

Ideally, an incarcerated person should be free from the repercussions of his or her criminal past after getting out of jail. However, this isn't always the case since your criminal history may have unintended consequences long outside the legal system. For example, it may make it difficult for you to secure a job. Use these tips to prevent your criminal record from ruining your chances of landing a great job:

Seal Your Criminal Records

The best thing is to file for an expungement of your criminal records, if possible. That way your potential employers will access the records. Your chances of an expungement are high if you meet these conditions:

  • You weren't convicted of the crime.
  • You haven't been convicted of multiple crimes.
  • Considerable time has passed since your arrest.
  • Your offense wasn't extremely grave; serious crimes, such as sex offenses, are rarely expunged.

Contact a criminal attorney to review your case and help you determine your eligibility for expungement.

Be Honest

It's not good to have a criminal past, but it's worse to have one and lie about it. This is especially true when seeking a job; an employer is more likely to disregard your criminal history if you are forthcoming about it than if you try to hide it. When you hide something from your employer, and he or she catches you at it, the employer may think you are hiding more than that particular case. It's better to be honest and then explain yourself, focusing on the progress you have made since your conviction.

Get Strong Recommendations

Recommendations from upstanding members of the society can go a long way in mitigating the effect of a criminal record on your job application. Contact your landlord, former employer, or religious leader for a strong recommendation. Ask them to dwell on your strengths and be as specific as possible with their recommendations; this signals that the person writing the recommendation knows you well.

Contact Agencies That Support Ex-Offenders

There are both government and non-government agencies that support ex-offenders in a bid to help them integrate into the society and avoid future crime. Use these agencies to further your training, get access to job openings, and prepare for job interviews. They will provide you with a wealth of information and technical help hard to get elsewhere.

If your employer uses your criminal history to deny you work, you should investigate whether the denial is legal or illegal. For example, many states have adopted ban-the-box laws that prohibit employers from conducting criminal record searches or asking prospective employees about their criminal past. Consult an attorney to help you safeguard your rights and get legal redress in case an employer infringes on them.