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Landing a Job with a Criminal Record

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How do I Land a Job with a Criminal Record?

Despite your criminal record, you have the right to be employed. But, because employers are legally liable for the safety and well-being of their employees and might also have trouble buying insurance after hiring employees with criminal records, it likely won't be easy if you can't get your criminal record sealed or expunged. However, many employers participate in community rehabilitation programs that assist ex-offenders in landing gainful employment. The following might help you to locate such employers or programs, set up interviews for you, provide you with job training, or all.

One of the keys to landing a job with a criminal record, is to not be picky. Landing just about any job and doing it well might help you to land better jobs down the road, because employers often rely on an applicants' past performance to judge their future performance.

Another key is to be open and honest (within the requirements of state laws and job applications) about your criminal record. It might slam doors closed in the short term, but will likely open them in the long term. Naturally, this is up to you. But if an employer hires you, then later discovers that you lied, the employer can likely legally fire you. That'll make it even tougher to land the next job. It's a good idea to know your criminal record verbatim, to ensure you are being honest (and to ensure your record is accurate). To find out how to obtain copies, start with your state's repository of criminal records.

However, while honesty is the best policy, don't mention your criminal record on your resume. Instead, mention it on job applications only as required, and then explain during interviews. If there's space for an explanation, consider writing something to help you get to the interview. For example, "There are mitigating circumstances. Please allow me to explain during an interview."

Consider offering fidelity bonding to your potential employers, if a community rehabilitation program doesn't offer it on your behalf. Employers might be more willing to hire you, if they are protected by insurance for certain fraudulent or dishonest acts. (As previously indicated, employers might have trouble buying insurance after hiring employees with criminal records.) There is a Federal Bonding Program that is free for six months (at this writing). Your state might offer a similar or better bonding program.

Lastly, it might be a good idea to show remorse. Attempt to convince interviewers that you made a mistake you now regret and are no longer the person described in your criminal record. Stay relaxed, be confident, and steer the interview toward the positives of your life as it is now.

Everybody deserves a second chance and this writer wishes you the best of luck!

"Seeking Employment with a Criminal Record" and "Landing a Job with a Criminal Record" are just guides and not intended as legal advice. Neither the author nor publisher are engaged in rendering legal services. Please see an attorney for legal advice. Because laws vary by state and are subject to change, neither the author nor publisher guarantees the accuracy of these articles.
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