A staggering 65 million U.S. adults carry the stigma of an arrest or conviction, at a time when economic recovery is uncertain and jobs remain scarce. As one researcher found, job applicants with a criminal record are 50-percent less likely to receive a callback. Meanwhile, the use of background checks over the last decade has grown exponentially, revealing even minor or decades-old convictions. With so much information now available on the Internet, workers are stuck with their past — even when those records may be inaccurate or misleading.
With careful screening and smarter background checks a norm during the hiring process; can you find a new job or plan on a new career with a conviction record or criminal history?
It is important to start somewhere – volunteering and starting a new job with a family member or friend could be a good start. You must also be honest and show that you can be counted on in future.
To know is to be empowered
It is important to know that in many countries once a pardon has been granted, the criminal records are removed.
National Pardon Centre of Canada suggests that once “restrictions no longer exist and applications for these careers can be made without risk of refusal based on past criminal misconduct. If you are thinking of starting a career that requires a criminal record search the best thing to do is to start a pardon application.”
Network and seek advice
Also one of the best ways to go about job search is to find someone who has experience with a successful job search with a criminal background. Their experience and advice might help you land a job faster than what you can do alone.
- EEOC’s recently updated guidance on arrest and conviction records in employment decisions.
- An interesting and very informative paper from Princeton.edu is a must read
- Article on Employment Rights of Workers with Criminal Records