While attending a Business Networking meeting recently, a participant disclosed that they had recently been convicted of a misdemeanor (no not me!) and is also in a job search. So how do you handle this when seeking employment?
First and foremost, you must not lie or be deceptive about this situation. A basic background check will uncover this and if you lied, you can be fired immediately. However, a couple thoughts on this subject:
1) If you have a misdemeanor, and are asked if you had a felony, you do not need to respond.
2) If you are not asked, you may not need to share this information.
3) If you were NOT convicted, no worries - no mention or disclosure is required.
I found an interesting article that discusses this subject in more detail. There was one paragraph that caught my attention, regarding a "Certificate of Relief from Disabilities". "As an ex-offender you can restore your rights to engage in certain types of employment by obtaining a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct.".
Consult with your attorney to learn more, and to determine how this may benefit you in your search.
However, in the same light as being asked why there is a gap of time in your employment record: have a concise and short response ready to explain the offense. Don't caste blame, owe up to your offense, stay positive and explain how you may have learned from the situation. You might even consider carrying a brief statement document that outlines the offense and any supporting statements from a lawyer or law enforcement officer. Naturally, if you suspect the position will require a clean record (security guard, law enforcement, security clearance positions), shy away - why subject yourself to a negative situation.
Lastly, if the offense is of a serious nature; use this opportunity to seek another line of work that may be more accepting and beneficial. Stay positive, think creatively and you will find something great - no matter your situation.
Readers: If you have thoughts or experience or successful methods for handling this situation, please leave a comment or email me. I will keep responses confidential but know you are doing something positive for someone in need.
Click here to read the article mentioned previously.