If you’re thinking about improving your happiness, you may have decided that you want a new job. However, you may have found that applying for jobs is more difficult when you have a criminal record. This is something that can automatically set you back when interviewing or trying to get a new position. However, this does not mean that you should give up on your dreams of finding a more fulfilling career. Here, I will discuss some great tips that you can use to find a new job, even with a criminal record.
Consider Jobs You Want, Rule Out Ones You Don’t Qualify For
Some jobs require that you do not have a criminal history in order to apply. While this isn’t necessarily fair, there is nothing that you can do about it. Rule out these jobs first and don’t waste your time on them. Once you’ve narrowed down the list a bit, consider what jobs you do qualify for and which ones you are interested in. What are your job skills? What is your passion? See if there are jobs in fields you’re interested in that you can apply for.
Get a Pardon
If there is a job that you truly feel is your calling, but you don’t qualify for the job because of your criminal history, you can consider getting a pardon to erase your criminal history. This is a good option if you find that you keep getting turned down from jobs due to your criminal history. There are two kinds of pardons – a full pardon, which will erase your criminal history, and a provisional pardon, which will make it illegal for a potential employer to deny you a job based on your criminal history.
Know When to Inform People of Your Criminal History
You don’t always have to divulge your criminal history to a potential employer. If one of the following is your situation, you won’t have to tell an employer about your criminal history:
- If you have received a pardon for your offense(s).
- When a case isn’t pending against you and the case didn’t result in a conviction.
- If you were convicted as a juvenile by a juvenile court and your records have been expunged or sealed.
Ask for Help
You can use the connections that you already have to try to get a job. If you have a friend or family member in the field that you want to work in, ask for an entry level position or to put a good word in for you at their company.
Sell Your Strengths
Prepare for your job applications and make sure you set yourself apart from the competition. You can ask friends, family members, past employers, and teachers to write letters of recommendation for you, which employers will find impressive. Analyze your strengths and make sure that you sell them in your resume and your job interview. Dress appropriately for your interview, and show a potential employer that you have moved on from your past and deserve the job that you are applying for.
You might not be able to set your sights too high in the beginning. Make it clear when you apply for a job that you are interested in any position that the company has to offer. Even if you start with an entry-level position, you can work your way up through the company, gain trust, and prove yourself.
If you can afford it, these are good options to help you make connections. A lot of companies will offer their interns full-time positions once they open up. Volunteering looks good on a resume, and you never know who you might meet while you’re volunteering! Opportunities might open up due to the connections that you make.
If you can’t find a company that will hire you, you can start your own business doing freelance work. You can write, do advertising, provide IT services, etc. for companies. These are options that you can use to get experience and make contacts.
It can be difficult to find a job no matter who you are, but this should not discourage you from going all out in your pursuit of a fulfilling career. Following these tips can help you get the job you want, even if you have a criminal record.