Some job seekers, unfortunately, know first-hand how difficult it can be to find employment with a criminal record. Though it’s not often discussed in our society, having a criminal record does impact one’s ability to find a job. It can be a major barrier.
Some employers openly discriminate against individuals with a criminal record. They won’t hire employees with a criminal record, and it’s disheartening if you’re just someone looking for honest work. However, it is possible to get a job with a criminal record if you’re in the unenviable position of searching for work. You will need to follow the best practices to maximize your chances.
Here is a guide on how to get a job with a criminal record:
1. Be honest at all times
You don’t want to come across as a liar in front of a prospective employer or say something that comes back to haunt you. If you’re asked about whether you have a criminal record, be honest. Say that you do.
Explain how you’ve changed and what your goals for employment are now. Most employers would rather have someone honest with a criminal record than dishonest without a record. Employers run into potential employees all the time with criminal records. It’s more common than a lot of us think.
2. Get your criminal record cleared
You may be able to get your criminal record in Canada expunged. First, examine your criminal record to see if there is any out-of-date information or outright false information. If the info is false, you can submit a request to correct those inaccuracies. In some cases, you may be able to delete your criminal record or make it inaccessible to the public.
For this, you will need to speak with a criminal defence lawyer Brampton. There is a strict criterion for what’s applicable for expungement. However, if the criteria are met, you may no longer need to worry about your criminal record.
3. Prepare something to say
You may voluntarily disclose your criminal record or be prompted with a question. Have something to say. Prepare beforehand an explanation of your past crime in neutral language. Keep it simple, and don’t over-share.
For example, if you were charged with assault, you can describe it as a physical altercation and move on. No elaboration is needed. In your ‘something to say, focus on the positive outcome of your criminal record, i.e. the change it prompted in your life.
4. Seek a job with no background check
A job that does not require a background check to apply for means you don’t need to disclose that you have a criminal record. Smaller companies are less likely to do a background check. Sometimes, work-from-home positions may not necessitate a full background check, either.
Knowing what jobs will or won’t do a background check is difficult. Some common examples include sales representatives, head cooks, carpenters, commercial truck drivers, and delivery drivers. It never costs anything to apply; even with a background check, you may still be hired.
5. Become a self-employed freelancer
A sure way to avoid the difficulty of finding a job is to become self-employed and work for yourself. There are many self-employed categories of work, from web design and freelance graphic design to start your own business producing a specific product or offering a service, such as landscaping, grass-cutting, being a driver for hire, handyman, and more. Independent contractor work may also allow you to work for yourself without being held back by a criminal record.
6. Consider different types of jobs
Some jobs rely more heavily on looking at an applicant’s criminal record than others. The most common fields where you’re most likely to encounter barriers are security and law enforcement, nursing and healthcare, teaching and childcare, banking and financial services, and public transportation. If the offences on your criminal record are recent, you may want to obtain employment in another field and gain education in another sector where there’s opportunity.
7. Try not to get discouraged
As frustrating as it is to struggle to find a job with a criminal record, try not to get overly down on yourself. As much as one-third of the population has a criminal record – that’s a lot of people! Regardless of how you got yours, becoming angry and frustrated will only put negativity into your life. Instead, try to let the frustration fade. All you can do is keep moving forward, employ smart job search strategies, and realize that the job is out there. It’s just a matter of when and where you find it.
8. Return to school
If you cannot get a job with a criminal record, what you can do is build your skillset in a new category of work. There are lots of sectors in dire need of workers. The skilled trades are known for this, including those working in HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and welding. Some other possible areas to focus on include automotive tech, renewable energy and eco-friendly tech, the culinary arts, office administration, computer technology, and digital and interactive media. These may provide you with a pathway to high-paying, stable employment.