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4 Key Ways a Criminal Record May Affect Your Job Search

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If you are hunting for a new job and have a criminal history, there is nothing more daunting than the dreaded criminal background check. And post 9/11, many more employers are including routine criminal background checks in the pre-hiring process. According to a study conducted by Society for Human Resource Management, the percentage of employers who perform background checks has risen 41%, with 92% of employers conducting background checks prior to hiring.

Although it may be challenging, it is not impossible for someone with a criminal record to find a job. The secret to landing a job when you have a criminal record is to understand the impact that it has on your job search so that you can strategize accordingly. Here are 4 key ways that a criminal record may affect your job search:

You May Be Excluded From Certain Professions

Many private businesses and government agencies are required by law to perform a routine background check before hiring someone who will work directly with children, work in an airport, drive with a commercial license, operate a firearm, work in a financial institution and other similar occupations. Depending on the nature of the crime and how long it has been since you were convicted, you may be excluded from employment opportunities in certain professions.

Your Credibility May Be Called Into Question

If the offense involved dishonesty or money, prospective employers may automatically assume that you are not as trustworthy as an applicant without a dubious past. It is imperative to be as honest as possible and to provide excellent professional or character references from people who have no criminal history and will attest to the fact that you deserve to be trusted.

You May Automatically Be Disqualified

Larger companies and banks often have unwritten policies that are set in stone regarding the hiring of employees with criminal records. Harry J. Holzer, Steven Raphael and Michael A. Stoll, authors of Employment Barriers Facing Ex-Offenders, conducted a survey in four major cities (Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta and Detroit) to determine how many employers would consider hiring someone with a criminal record.

Out of 3,000 employers, 60% would not consider hiring someone with a criminal past. The main reason cited by these employers is their fear that the company could possibly be held liable in the event that the employee then commits a crime while working.

You May Find it Difficult to Advance in Your Career

You may have stellar references, be able to market yourself well and be employed by a great corporation. However, many people with criminal records never advance in the company because they are considered a risk to the company's reputation. Although your employer is aware of your history, they will most likely reserve top positions for solid employees who represent the standards and ethics that the company presents to the public.

Fortunately, there are laws in place that are designed to protect job applicants. Potential employers must obtain your written permission prior to performing a background check. They must also disclose the name of the agency that provided negative information and adhere to numerous other federal and state regulations.

The criminal defense process is stressful, confusing, and time consuming. With help from a Columbia criminal defense attorney, this can be greatly reduced. A Maryland lawyer has years of experience handling cases of all varieties.

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