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How to Deal with your Criminal Record with Employers

Posted by Confessions of the Professions in Articles

Jim A.


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It is always good for the potential employee to perform their own background check prior to applying for a job. Having a criminal record can haunt a person for the rest of his or her life. More and more people are running background checks as a precautionary measure before they proceed with any dealings with a person. This is especially true in an employment situation. Employers will run a routine background check on a person to make sure that there are not any red flags raised. Worker turnover is one of the most expensive aspects of a business and running background checks prior to hiring an employee helps to mitigate this risk to a large degree.

There are Options

Having a criminal record is not the end of the world though. There are steps that employers as well as volunteer and sports organizations can take to help increase the chances or hiring the right person. The first step that should always be taken is to be forthcoming with information regarding the criminal record. The employers, volunteer and sports organizations are going to run a background check anyway so do not wait for them to find out before addressing the issue. Waiting for them to find the criminal record can reflect even more negatively on the person because they may feel that the potential employee is trying to hide this information. If they are trying to hide this information, then what else might they try to hide?

Be Upfront

The best thing to do is to address the issue head on. During the interview process, be up front and clear about what is on the criminal record. Give a detailed list of all of the information that is on the criminal record and then offer explanations as to how this happened. The employer can take this additional information given and then make a clearer evaluation on whether or not to make the hire. If they feel that the crime was accidental or just something that is out of normal character for the potential employee, they may be willing to look past that.

One thing to keep in mind is the possibility of getting parts of the criminal record expunged before applying for a job. Always review your own criminal background check report to see if records are eligible for expungement. If they are eligible then take the steps to get them expunged before applying for the job.

Benefits of Expungement

There are more benefits beyond getting a job that make expungement appealing. One of those is loans. There are some lenders that will look poorly on a criminal record as they believe it to be evidence of a failure to pay back a loan. Expunging a record will make that process easier on the individual.

Living arrangements are another area where people can benefit from expungement. It is not uncommon for apartments or landlords to have a background checks on their tenants. By having a record expunged, it can make it much easier to omit a past criminal record.

There is often a stigma that can come with a criminal record. By choosing to eliminate a criminal record, it can provide a peace of mind for the individual.

About the Author

Michael Klazema

Michael Klazema has been developing products for pre-employment screening and improving online customer experiences in the background screening industry since 2009. He is the lead author and editor for a background checks blog and community. He lives in Dallas, TX with his family and enjoys the rich culinary histories of various old and new world countries.

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