Those convicted of a crime or with an arrest record know that these events can end up being quite detrimental to various aspects of your life. This can range from personal and familial tension to throwing a wrench in your career. If you’re job hunting, you may notice that it’s harder to land an interview or the hiring manager displays some reluctance. But this doesn’t mean you should give up! It’s possible to overcome these challenges and still find and obtain your dream job. Follow these strategies for job searching with a criminal record—give yourself a better chance to land the perfect job.
Know Your Skills
Before you even think about applying, you need to understand and hone your skillset. If you haven’t been to school in a while, you have to determine what skills you can showcase to employers. Maybe you were in the system for a while, but you learned how to cook while you were there. Make sure you mention this ability in your application. The more you understand the skills you have, the better you’ll be at choosing a career that will fit your needs.
Choose Potential Jobs Wisely
Once you narrow down your talents it becomes easier to recognize the jobs that will work for you. As discouraging as it is, you need to realize some jobs won’t be interested in hiring someone with any kind of criminal record. No matter the length of time, type of rehabilitation, or the regret you show, some career paths just won’t work out. Think outside of the box when it comes to job applications and understand that you may have to start with entry-level jobs. CareerOneStop has a great guide for people who are job searching with a criminal record—make sure to take a look as you start applying.
When you’re working on your application or you’re interviewing for a job, know that honesty truly is the best policy. Don’t circle “no” for the “have you ever been convicted of a crime” question. If the company performs a background check only to find you were dishonest, there’s no chance you’ll get the job. The potential future employer will appreciate your honest explanation for what happened much more than lies.
Ask for Help
If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Whether it’s your family or your Beaverton criminal defense attorney, there are people out there who are willing to help. For example, Jared Justice and other criminal attorneys can help expunge your record or point you to organizations that help citizens on their job search. You don’t have to go at it alone, but if you don’t ask for help, you won’t receive any.
Don’t Give Up
If you want to move forward with your life after a conviction or prison time, you can never give up. Statistically, you won’t get the first job you apply for—you may not even get the fifth or tenth. What’s important is never giving up or becoming so discouraged that you turn to negative thoughts and actions. If a company conducts a background check, that doesn’t mean they automatically remove you from the hiring process. Companies that perform background checks are looking for specific types of offenses that are not tolerable for their business. Most importantly, the market is becoming more open to hiring restored citizens—the chances of getting a job are growing higher and higher. Don’t stop trying!