With the current job market already abysmal, those who have been arrested or charged with a crime may face increased anxiety about the prospect of finding employment. It is true that certain aspects of an individual’s criminal record will appear on employee background checks; however, it is still possible to obtain employment in Orlando in spite of previous scrapes with the law. While the severity of your criminal offense has the largest bearing on how it will affect your job prospects, you can take certain steps to minimize the effect of any arrest or indictment on your employment possibilities.
Research the possibility of having your arrest or charge sealed or expunged. To have something expunged means to have it completely erased from your record. In sealing a record, existence of the record persists; however, the details are sealed from public inquiry. In both instances, the record will no longer appear in employer background checks. This possibility is particularly relevant to first-time offenders since courts are much more amenable to granting a sealing or expungement if the requestor has a minimal criminal record. Juvenile and misdemeanor criminal records are also good candidates for expungement. A licensed criminal attorney can assist you in filing for a records expungement or sealing.
Amp up your credentials. Even if you are unable to receive an expungement of your criminal record, by demonstrating that you can bring something extra to a position you increase your chances of overcoming the initial negative impression your criminal record may leave on a prospective employer. In fact, in the United States it is generally illegal for most employers to automatically disqualify a candidate based on a past criminal history. Oftentimes on a job application, you may notice a disclaimer to this effect concurrently with their request that you disclose any past arrests or convictions. An attorney with knowledge about Equal Employment Opportunity laws can advise you about your rights against employment discrimination.
Be realistic. A criminal conviction automatically disqualifies you from certain jobs, such as government or military jobs requiring certain security clearance. Don’t waste your time applying to these jobs, and instead focus on realistic opportunities.
Research resources that are available to you. Many government programs and non-profit organizations specifically target individuals with a criminal record, and assist them in seeking employment. They may be able to provide you job seeking services, and connect you with employers who are open to hiring employees with criminal records.