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When you’re on the job hunt there are a ton of things that could slow it down. There is the possibility of the economic climate not being good at the current time, perhaps you’re in a competitive field or you don’t have the proper qualifications

New Beginnings: Top Tips for Finding a Job When You Have a Criminal Record

New Beginnings: Top Tips for Finding a Job When You Have a Criminal Record


Posted by: , 30 October 2016
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When you’re on the job hunt there are a ton of things that could slow it down. There is the possibility of the economic climate not being good at the current time, perhaps you’re in a competitive field or you don’t have the proper qualifications. On top of all of these is another factor that can severely limit your job hunting search, and that is if you have a criminal record of any kind. Having this black mark on your resume is unfortunately a reason many people who are qualified and have beat out all the other obstacles, aren’t hired.

 

What You Need To Know

 

There are some key things you’ll have to keep in mind if you have a record while on the job hunt. There is the possibility that arrests without a conviction has the possibility of showing up even if you didn’t serve a sentence of any kind. Depending on the severity and other factors it could still be on your record. Something you might want to keep in mind is if the crime can be expunged off of your record or sealed to not be shown on a background check. If you were a minor during the time, this is a viable option.

 

Currently, there are no federal laws that stop employers from asking about previous arrest or other convictions. Individual states and districts may have different laws that can help you out. It is important to know your rights and might be cause to get a criminal defense lawyer if necessary. Currently it is unlawful to use past criminal background as a reason for not hiring someone.

 

Some of these state laws that exist make sure that a prospective employer can’t ask you about any arrests that didn’t lead to you serving time or resulting in a conviction. In New York, they’re not allowed to check out reports until you’ve already been offered the jobs based on your qualifications.

 

Background Checks

 

A background check encompasses a couple of different areas. One of those is in the form of credit checks, criminal and employment report, depending on where you’re located and what type of database system or service your prospective employer is using.

 

Employers are required to inform you that they will not disqualify you based on your credit or criminal report for employment. Again speaking to an attorney will allow you to see if your record has been cleared in the event of a background check.

 

There are times that even though it is unlawful, that having a criminal record will bar you from certain types of careers and occupations. If an employer believes that your conduct will prevent you from properly doing your job then that is a legal means for not hiring someone.

Taking Action

 

Often times what will be called into question because of your previous arrest is your character. Make sure that you are networking and connected to a lot of different people that can help and vouch for you. Setting up a strong network is how you succeed. One of the ways to put this into practice is by offering your references up first right away. The key is to have a good set of references that can show you are a good person and will be an even better worker.

 

See what kind of help you can get out there that guides workers with criminal records. These agencies and nonprofit groups have been made for your exact situation and have the necessary tools to either get you a job or help you find one.  Rehabilitation programs are meant to serve as a way of bridging the gap between criminality and working.

 

Just the very act of a job is helping you get on track if you were heavily involved with some criminal aspects or even if you just slipped up a little bit. Always be honest and know the caveats in revealing aspects of your past.

 

Criminal Past Disclosure

 

It is a good rule of thumb to see whether or not they require it on the application. If you know for a fact that something will show up, then honesty is a better option then lying. They will be able to find out whether or not you were truthful following a background check. In studies and surveys, they’ve found that honest people with regards to their criminal background were more likely to get the job.

 

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I'm an executive career coach, leadership development consultant. I'm interested all things at the intersection of leadership and communications. I blog about it here and at pure-jobs.com/blog. I work with CEOs, senior leaders and teams at companies ranging from small, private businesses to the Fortune 50. I enjoy hearing new ideas! Send any articles, tips or cool thoughts on leadership my way.

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