One of the biggest barriers to getting hired is having a criminal record. Some employees might not look you up, but many employers will still want you to explain why there is a gap in your resume if you went to jail during that time. Because of the inherent mistrust that comes with interviewing when you have a criminal record, you might have to brace yourself if you have one. Below, we will look at some tips that could help you find meaningful employment if you have a criminal record.
Let Your Skills Speak for You
A lot of employers will hire you if you have a criminal record if your skills are good enough. It is therefore important that you start by leveling up. You can take an advanced degree or add some certifications to your educational portfolio.
If you can, try to get some experience so you can have an opportunity to hone your skills. You can volunteer, be an apprentice or an intern as you work on your skills. Once you have some experience and your skills are good enough, it is time to start looking for your dream job.
Be Selective with Your Job Applications
The sad reality is that some companies and industries will not hire people who have a criminal record. This is why it is so important to be selective when applying for jobs.
To find out which jobs you can apply to, try to match your conviction with different industries. The first step in doing this is finding out what the actual convictions are. You can do this by looking up your felony records to find out the exact wording used therein. Public Records Reviews is an amazing platform that lets you find your felony and other criminal records easily. It provides detailed records and has recommendations for other platforms where you can look up other records such as DUI and court records.
Once you know the exact wording of your conviction, you can do an online search to see which industries and businesses you can work in and which you cannot.
Use Personal Connections
If you have a hard time finding a job, ask friends and family if they know any businesses or people who are hiring. If they do, ask them to talk to the person in charge of hiring for you. An employer is likely to hire you if you come highly recommended by family and friends. Your friend or family member could also write a letter to the employer explaining how well and how long they know you, who you are right now and how you have changed since you were convicted.
To give their recommendation more weight, you could build a social media profile that reflects the person you have become after your conviction. A social media profile that shows you in a positive light is also likely to help you build some personal connections online which can help with finding a job.
Another good tip is joining an association or community within the industry you would like to work in. These people will get to know you and after you have formed some personal connections, you can ask them for a recommendation.
Be Willing to Start Small
Many employees might not be too eager to give you a position where you have too many responsibilities, but they might consider you for smaller positions. Try to look at any skills you have and if you have trade-based skills, that is even better. Remember that many contractors who need employees with these skills will almost always consider the quality of your work and not your past.
Once you have an entry-level job, you should do everything you can to keep growing and climbing. If you keep doing a good job, your employer might start trusting you with more responsibilities.
Be Upfront About Everything
It is common to want to leave a conviction in the past. That said, it is important that you disclose that information beforehand. It is always better to be upfront than to have your employer find out you have a felony or other conviction if they do a background checkon you, which they likely will. It might be hard for you to do this, but some companies will give you a second chance if you are truthful as disclosing this information shows you are trustworthy.
Get Your Resume in Order
Getting your resume in order is a good way of getting the confidence to apply or jobs. A well written resume gives a potential employee a good impression of you, thereby increasing your chances of getting the job.
Seize Every Opportunity
Although you might need to be selective when applying for jobs, you also need to seize every opportunity that comes your way. This is a second chance that many people do not get. Show up when you are required and do your best job every time.
Getting a job with a criminal record can be hard, but it is not impossible. If you have marketable skills, are willing to start small, and seize all opportunities that come your way, you will do very well.