Landing A Great Job Despite A Criminal Record

Landing a Job with a Criminal RecordThroughout my career, I’ve worked with more than a few professionals who have a criminal record in their past. Having paid their debt to society, they reenter the job market hoping to put their past behind them and becoming an effective contributor once again.

Prior to 9/11, the US was moving toward ever-shortening background checks that were trending below 10 years. Since the passage of the Patriot Act, however, background checks have moved in the opposite direction and now trend upward of 10 years. In some instances, employers want to know if candidates have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony.

With employers examining the past of applicants in such detail, how can someone with a criminal record compete against other candidates and land a great job?

The Canadian immigration attorneys at Hansen & Company have created a handy infographic and suggest these recommendations:

“We all make mistakes but sometimes a mistake can stay with us for a long time. A criminal record can have a particularly detrimental effect on our ability to get a job. We all preach forgiveness and second chances but the truth is a lot of employers will not hire someone with a criminal record. When it really boils down to it, they won’t want to take the chance.

The above-referenced infographic explains how you can go about the difficult task of making an employer look beyond a criminal record. For example, you can refer to your development as a person since and emphasize how suited your skills are to the position.

Keep in mind that there are some offenses that you will not have to mention to potential employers and it’s important to know your rights in this regard.

This is a complex issue that no one blog post or infographic can solve, but I hope this handy reference tool helps. My thanks to Hansen & Company for sharing their expertise.

About Cheryl Lynch Simpson

Cheryl is a Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach and Master Resume Writer. She has helped clients in >35 industries on 6 continents and has earned 24 global resume writing nominations and awards.