A felony arrest can serve as a serious road block to your professional career goals. As more and more employers conduct extensive background checks on prospective and new employees, even mild criminal records are hindering opportunities for many applicants. Even if you have an impeccable work ethic and have strived to live honorably despite a single mistake, you will need to approach your career search in a more tactful manner than the typical job hunter.
Speak to an attorney about getting the felony expunged from your record. Depending on the nature of the crime, the state in which you live and the amount of time passed since the crime, an attorney may be able to help you to wipe your record clean. While you will typically need to pay for this assistance, many attorneys will give you a free consultation and inform you as to whether you can potentially win your case based on your specific circumstances.
Contact your local human services organizations and inquire about employment opportunities. Many of these organizations offer job placement for convicted felons and can help you to get back on your feet, according to Career Builder. Popular human services organizations include Goodwill Industries, the American Red Cross and the American Public Human Services Association.
Become your own employer. If you’re good with your hands, consider getting a general contractor’s license and going into business for yourself. Learn to install hardwood flooring, design professional websites or buy wholesale merchandise to sell online. Obtain the necessary certifications and you can develop your career independently.
Apply for jobs for which you consider yourself overqualified. You will have far greater likelihood of landing a job than if you strive for professional employment. While some of these more menial jobs may not feel like worthwhile careers, they can help you to make contacts, work your way up the ladder and restore your reputation. This will lead to greater, more lucrative career opportunities as time goes by.
Speak to friends, relatives, former co-workers and other acquaintances who can potentially help you to acquire employment. These people know that you are more than simply a criminal record, and they can often open doors for you while other employers slam the door in your face.
Never lie about your criminal history. Many companies perform thorough background checks, and dishonesty can lead to your immediate termination in the event that you acquire employment.