Getting a job is difficult for everyone, but it is especially difficult for people who have been in prison or have a criminal record. For these people, the job search can be incredibly discouraging, but it is not hopeless. To make the process less painful, here are some tips for getting a job with a criminal record.
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Because a criminal record makes getting a job so much harder, some people will be tempted to withhold their background or even lie about it. In many states, job applications will ask if you have ever been convicted of a felony, and it might seem like you need to lie in order to get your application considered.
However, dishonesty is unlikely to work, as many employers conduct background checks during the hiring process, and any employer who catches you in a lie will not hire you.
Be honest and straightforward with employers and hiring managers. Acknowledge your criminal record, and explain to them how it will not prevent you from being a good employee. Employers will appreciate your honesty, and if they hire you, they will likely forget all about your criminal record.
Pick the Right Jobs
Some jobs have more strict qualifications than others; this is true in regards to criminal records as well as experience or education. Some places of employment, like schools or banks, may be reluctant to hire people with criminal records, and they might almost never do so.
Other fields are more forgiving of employee’s backgrounds. Many employers in construction or food service, for example, will have no issue hiring someone with a criminal record if they seem like a competent and trustworthy employee.
Many employers will have concerns about potential employees with criminal records. These concerns might be unfair or based in stereotypes, but you might have to address them anyway.
Make an effort to show that you are no longer involved in criminal activity. Try to demonstrate responsibility and respect. Don’t argue about your background with anyone; simply try to show that your criminal record does not make you a less valuable or competent person.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Job searches are inevitably long, and you will probably face many rejections. This is simply part of the process, even for job seekers with no criminal record.
Try not to dwell on rejections, even if an employer rejects you because of your criminal record. Some jobs receive dozens of applications for one position, and these employers have to be very selective in their hiring process. Eventually, you will find the right job; don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you hoped.
Getting a job is always difficult, especially when financial stress adds pressure to the search. People with criminal records might feel like it is impossible to find a job, or that the system is unfair. With some patience and intelligence, however, it is possible. These tips for getting a job with a criminal record will help you navigate the process and move on to the next chapter of your life.