Most of these tips apply to any job search, but they are especially important to keep in mind when you’ve got a criminal record following your job applications around:
- Work your way up. It’s easier to get a job when you have a job.
- Apply for jobs you are truly qualified for. I cannot count how many letters I receive daily from people saying they apply and apply, but never get an offer. When I ask them what type of jobs they are applying for they tell me jobs that require experience, education or some skill(s) they have yet to gain. When I tell them they have to crawl before they walk, sometimes they get angry. I do not know anyone who has been hired for a manger position without manager experience or a degree.
- Dress for success. I work with many different organizations and make many speeches about dressing for success, because I see so many people going into interviews dressed very inappropriately. If you are apply for a secretary job, wear clean pressed pants with a nice top that has an appropriate neckline, not jeans and a sweatshirt with cats on it (a true example, believe it or not).
- Research. Research all you can about the company (or companies) you apply to. I have people write me and say they went into an interview and were asked all kinds of questions about the company they did not know the answers to. In some cases, they tell me they thought the company did something completely different than what they really do. This is where the proper research can make or break the interview. Before I applied for an upscale retail job, I read one of their company-published books. When I brought this up in my first interview, the interviewer was shocked and we started to talk about the book. That was my way of making a connection with her, and I was asked to go on to the second interview.
- Know your states’ laws about how far a company can go back on records. I know that my state only lets employers go back as far as 7 years. I also know that many companies only pay to go back on records as far as 3 years. One should really read the application when it comes to the question about the felony convictions.
Have in-depth questions about job hunting with a criminal record? Post them below!