Ways to Make Yourself Employable Even if You Have a Criminal History
A good portion of today’s citizens has some type of criminal record. In 2012, there were more than 100 million state criminal records, which is an alarmingly high number. Even with employers that don’t directly ask about criminal history, you may be asked to undergo a background check, and depending on the level of the check, it might turn up things you’ve been arrested for in the past. Employers are well within their rights to choose to avoid hiring those with criminal pasts, so the odds are stacked from the outset. However, there are things you can do to fix your record, as well as things you can do that show you’re still worth the risk to employers.
Look into overturning the conviction
If you’ve been convicted of a crime, it’s likely going to show up on a background check. If you believe you were wrongfully convicted of something, there are many ways to seek to overturn a conviction. This may take a substantial amount of time and cost a significant amount of money though, which is why many people don’t pursue it. However, if you truly believe that you have the evidence necessary to show that you didn’t commit the crime, and it’s a significant enough crime that it could bar you from future opportunities, it’s worth looking into.
Check new criminal law
Criminal law is always changing, and when something is legalized, or the punishment for it is reduced, that could mean there’s potential for you to do something about your criminal record if it relates to it. For example, when marijuana was legalized in California, the law also included that those with criminal records pertaining to the use of marijuana could apply to have their sentences reduced. Unfortunately, many people didn’t know about this, and thus they’ve still not applied for a reduced or overturned sentence. If your arrest was for something non-violent, and new laws are on the books relating to it, go ahead and research your options.
Make a concerted effort to benefit the community
If you can’t do anything about your actual conviction, you’ll have to prove to prospective employers that you’re still a good choice. A great way to do that is by donating time, energy, and services to the community around you. Consider volunteering for charities, doing community services, and pursuing things that are important to you in the community. It doesn’t have to be something directly related to your criminal conviction, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to make it something that can benefit people you may have hurt with the crime you committed. Especially if substantial time has passed since you committed the crime, this is a great way to show an employer that you’ve changed your ways.
Check up on what people can find every so often
It doesn’t hurt to know what employers can find out about you in a background check. You may even find errors on your record that you can rectify before even applying for a job. Use PeopleFinders to do this. With PeopleFinders, you can run your own background check and comb through your criminal records from the comfort of home. At the very least, it can help you prepare an explanation as to why the criminal offenses on your record have no bearing on your ability to do the job.
Although the idea of not allowing businesses to ask about a criminal record is gaining traction, it has not been passed as law yet. Until it has, it’s important that you know what you can do to ensure that you’re still employable, even with a criminal record. No matter what you do to put yourself forward as a trustworthy, reliable prospective employee, it’s a good idea to take matters into your own hands at times and check your criminal record using PeopleFinders. After all, the more information you have, the more likely you are to land that job.
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