A criminal conviction can follow you around long after you’ve finished a prison or probation sentence. Having a conviction on your record can make it especially more difficult to obtain employment. Many employers do background checks these days and may be weary about hiring individuals without clean backgrounds. However, that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Although you may have to jump through more hoops, it’s still possible to get a job. Here are some tips for getting hired with a criminal record:
Tell the Truth
If you have a criminal conviction on your record, you may feel embarrassed about revealing it to a potential employer. You know how just how judgmental people can be toward those with criminal records and don’t want that sort of thing to jeopardize your chances of getting a job. However, you should never lie about your criminal background. If you lie to an employer about your criminal record and he or she finds out about it later through a background check, you most certainly won’t get hired.
While it’s important to tell the truth about your conviction, you should be careful about revealing too much information. Just tell the employer how you got in trouble in the first place and what you got convicted of. If you go into too much detail, it could backfire on you.
Don’t Make Excuses About What You Did
The last thing an employer wants to hear when questioning you about your criminal background is an excuse. Instead of telling the employer you were young and naive or that someone talked you into committing the crime, accept responsibility for what happened.
Focus on the Positive
When asked about your criminal history try to focus on the positive as much as possible. For example, if more than 10 years have passed since you were convicted and you’ve stayed out of trouble since then, mention that to the employer. Also, talk about how you’ve worked to improve your life since then and what kind of accomplishments you’ve made.
Ask for Letters of Recommendation
If you bring letters of recommendation from respectable people, it may improve your chances of getting hired. For example, if you did a good job for your last employer, don’t hesitate to ask him or her to write a letter of recommendation that highlights your strengths, such as your punctuality and willingness to work hard.
Consider Expunging or Sealing Your Record
If you don’t want your criminal record following you around forever, it may be a good idea to talk to a criminal attorney about getting your record expunged or sealed. He or she can look into the details of your case and determine if you are eligible for either option. If your case is eligible for sealing or expungement, a criminal defense lawyer residents rely on can help you with every step of the process.
Many criminal attorneys offer free initial consultations, so there is no risk to setting up a meeting with one.