Tips to get a job after a conviction

It is possible to get a new job even with a criminal record but it may take some candid conversations and openness on the part of candidates.

People in Minnesota who have ever faced a criminal arrest or drunk driving conviction might fear that they can never get their lives back on track. However, it is possible to turn things around and getting a job is an integral part of doing just that. Not only does being gainfully employed provide necessary income on which to live but it also helps boost a person's self-esteem.

Learning how to secure a new job with a blemish or two on one's record is important in taking this step.

How bad is my record?

One question many people may have is just how bad their record really looks. What details that might show up on a background check might surprise them. In fact, Forbes recommends that potential job seekers do their own background check on themselves before engaging in a job search.

In some cases, the results might show misinformation that the person will want to correct. This can only help their chances of getting a job.

What kind of job should I look for?

Monster.com suggests that people search for jobs that would be unrelated to their criminal convictions. For example, someone who had been convicted of drunk driving might find it harder to be hired as a commercial driver than for a position in which driving was not involved.

It might even be beneficial to consider applying for jobs at smaller companies where a more personal connection can be made with hiring managers. Some smaller companies may also be more willing to give someone a fresh start than larger corporations would be.

Should I tell potential employers about my record?

According to U.S. News and World Report, there is much to be gained by being forthcoming about one's past. However, great care should be taken when identifying the right moment to do this. It is likely best to share information about a conviction when a candidate has made it to the stage of being strongly considered for a job but before a background check is conducted.

When discussing past indiscretions, people should focus on what they learned from their experiences. This allows them to focus on how they have moved forward and reassure companies that such behaviors will not be repeated.

Can I do anything about my criminal record?

The short answer is "maybe." Minnesota recently passed a very effective criminal expungement statute that may permit you to have your criminal past sealed so that it cannot be view by potential employers. The law requires the passing of time without any new offenses. The length of time one has to wait depends on how the matter was sentenced and whether an expungement was agreed to as part of a plea agreement. It is important to have an experienced and effective attorney represent you both at the time of the criminal case and at the time you petition for an expungement.

What else should I know before applying for a job?

There is no one-size-fits-all way to apply for a job after experiencing a criminal conviction but it can be done. Minnesota residents should talk with an attorney about how they might manage the process.