How to Effectively Job Hunt with a Criminal Record
It is human to make mistakes. And, of course, we have to face the consequences of our actions. But what’s important is we rise above those mistakes and learn the lessons we need to learn and move forward as better individuals.
If you’ve committed a crime and did your time, you are allowed to integrate back into society. As a reformed citizen, you are allowed to dream and aspire. And this includes having opportunities to hold a job.
But the job search can be difficult if you have a criminal record. Hiring managers can be reluctant to hire you, especially if they do a background check. But it is definitely possible to find jobs even with a criminal record. Here are some effective strategies that can help get your life back on track.
Be Familiar with Your Rights
As a job seeker, you have rights. But for restored citizens, the extent of protection the law gives you can vary among states. Some states are more supportive of reformed citizens, banning companies from asking about your criminal record until the employer makes a job offer. So, it’s best to research your state’s particular laws on this matter.
But regardless of state-specific laws, you have a right to feel comfortable throughout the hiring process. You have the right to be treated fairly like all the other job seekers. And you have a right to be proud and emphasize the skills you can offer to the company.
Know Which Industries Can Help You the Most
Certain jobs are much stricter when it comes to a background search. And some states have strict rules on prohibiting restored citizens from holding public office, working with kids, and being first responders.
Although some jobs might be completely off-limits, other industries are more supportive of restored citizens. Some companies even ensure the reformed citizen gets a positive hiring and employment experience. These companies are often found in the retail, business services, and food industries. But some other sectors such as manufacturing, landscaping, graphic design, and logistics also offer opportunities for success and growth for restored citizens.
Proactively Discuss Your Situation
We only suggest this if a background check is sure. If not, you don’t have to disclose your criminal record to the hiring manager. But if they conduct a background check, it’s better if you’ve discussed it openly to the employer rather than on the defense when they bring it up when they get the results.
When it comes to what you should and shouldn’t disclose, we suggest you only mention details on your formal record. Information such as false accusations and arrests does not need to be disclosed.
Make sure to focus instead on what you’ve learned through that experience and how much you’ve grown since then. Employers love to see a candidate’s ability to improve and grow. This will show them your potential and reinforce why it’s a good idea to hire you.
Finding a job when you have a criminal record might come with challenges, but it’s not impossible. You can still grow and succeed in your career despite your past.
If you are hoping for a fresh start after serving time, you can count on Fallen Valor to help you get your life back on track. We offer an up-to-date business directory of felon-friendly jobs in OKC and other states. We also have an ongoing giveaway for a 2022 Chevy Corvette Convertible, check out our contest today!