Tremendous frustration sets in when your landing employment proves difficult. For someone with a criminal record, an added obstacle could further drag down the chances for opportunities. Don’t become despondent, though — there’s still hope. Your approach to finding a job might just need to change a little. By following a few strategic steps, you might discover job offers coming through.
Cliches along the lines of “It’s who you know” and “Search the hidden job market” are partially true. Not every company publicly advertises job opportunities, so you must look beyond the classified ads. Networking helps the cause of locating unadvertised jobs or getting a referral for employment.
Networking involves trying to meet people who can lend direct or indirect assistance. Joining a club or organization related to your hobbies, interests, and professional pursuits may lead to meeting people who could help. Perhaps a support group for persons with bad experiences in the justice system might be worth joining. The key here is you meet people face-to-face.
See if You Can Get Your Records Expunged
Would-be employees may perform a background check on prospective employees. They look at the credit score, civil judgments, and criminal records. As unfair as it may be, an employer might choose not to look favorably on someone with a conviction. If the sentence disappears from public records, however, the information won’t show up in a background check. Depending on state law and the person’s circumstances, a record could be expunged. Once expunged, the record is wiped clean.
Granted, some crimes are serious enough that it has been determined that they are too serious to warrant expungements. Don’t make any assumptions, however, about your record. Perhaps it is best to speak with someone who understands the law as it relates to expungements. This way, you likely discover what your options are.
Explore Volunteer Work
Volunteer work contributes to the experience section of your resume. Paid or not, work is work. By volunteering to help a charitable organization, for example, you could expand your experience and build new skills. Also, any volunteer work for a good cause might craft a favorable impression.
No one knows how a particular employee will perceive someone with a record. Nor can anyone determine if charitable or volunteer work can create positive impressions. Performing volunteer work, however, likely delivers something positive.
Obstacles exist so people can overcome them. A job search comes with difficulties. Even though things appear tough, keep persevering until things work out in your favor!