The mistakes you made in the past shouldn’t dictate your future. Applying for and getting a job can be difficult if you have a criminal record. Here are some tips for being upfront with a potential employer about your past and ensuring you land the job:
Getting a Job with a Criminal Record
Honesty is the best policy and there is a way to be tactful about revealing your past without overwhelming the interviewer. When you sit down for the interview:
Plan Your Timing for the Right Moment
You have an opportunity at the very beginning of the interview to decide how you want the meeting to go. Building trust with a future employer can help strengthen your chances over other applicants. Don’t let the interviewer discover your criminal record after the fact; be proactive and mention your history right away so they have a chance to process and ask questions while you’re in the room.
Tip: Don’t include your history on a resume or cover letter, but do include information if the application asks for it. If you include information on the application, make sure you are the first to address it in the interview. It’s better to discuss the facts when you’re in the room and can show them your potential, rather than leave it all on paper.
You Are Not Your Criminal Record
Employers like to see how you have learned from your past mistakes and moved forward. Keep the explanation about your sentence short and to the point. Never lie about your record, but make sure your employer understands the nuances of your arrest. Some employers may stop the interview once you mention your record, but others may appreciate your honesty and want to know how you’ve moved on from your criminal record.
Talk Yourself Up
Be your best advocate. Let employers know how you can positively add to their business and why they should give you the job. Showing honesty, responsibility, and dedication will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are a candidate worth considering for the job. Find the right balance between being proud of your positive accomplishments since your arrest and being humble about wanting to continue moving forward. Show employers that you are a great asset to their company.
If you’re still struggling to get an interview or job, there are organizations in Kansas and Missouri dedicated to helping people with a criminal record find jobs. Utilize friend and family connections to get jobs that will help build your resume and demonstrate to future employers your dedication to work.