Will a Job Hire You With a Misdemeanor?
Finding gainful employment can be challenging enough without the added burden of a criminal record attached to your name. Being convicted of a Misdemeanor can pose a particular challenge when applying for a job. But does this criminal record make it impossible for you to be hired? The answer is no, as it is ultimately up to the employer’s discretion.
Know Your Rights
While employers may have their own rules and policies regarding hiring convicted individuals, the law provides specific protections for job-seekers who have a criminal record. Laws vary across states, but the aptly-named ‘Ban the Box’ laws, which give applicants the chance to explain criminal records before the employer has a chance to make their pre-informed opinions, is one such policy that provides the applicant with the best opportunity for gaining a job.
Sell Your Strengths
When an employer notices that you have been convicted, they will more than likely look more closely at your application. When responding to questions about your experiences, be sure to lead with the experiences that demonstrate your best qualities, as well as any educational pursuits or community service experiences that may have happened as part of your court-mandated deal. Employers may have restrictions against certain criminal convictions, such as theft, and they may be open to certain misdemeanors.
Get Professional Help
You can increase your chances of finding gainful employment with a misdemeanor conviction by seeking the advice of a professional employee or human resources professional. These experienced professionals can help you tailor your resume for any openings that you are interested in. Additionally, they’ll be able to better guide you through legal issues you may come across during the job-search process.
Look for specialized job fairs specifically for individuals with a criminal record, and look for organizations that are aware of such job fairs. Once you’ve honed in on your desired industry, search for open positions that are willing to overlook a misdemeanor. Tips for making sure your resume shows your true potential include:
- Include any of your abilities or skills developed while working in a correctional setting.
- Demonstrate how you can add value to the team in the cover letter.
- Highlight the positive aspects of your work history, such as the loyalty and hard work you’ve demonstrated in previous jobs.
In conclusion, while having a misdemeanor conviction can make it more difficult to find employment, it is not impossible. Taking the time to do your research and use the resources available to you can help you make the most of the job-hunting process and get closer to obtaining gainful employment.