Six Tips For Getting A Job With a Felony
Read these six tips for getting a job with a felony to begin a prosperous and happy life. These tips will help you land the job of your dreams without having a conviction hold you back financially.
How to Get a Job With a Felony Conviction
A felony conviction creates obstacles for many who seek employment. It’s hard enough to have well-paid and gainful employment without roadblocks in the way. As serious as it is, a felony conviction does not have to be the end of your employment chances. If you live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and have a criminal history, follow along as we provide tips for getting a job with a felony on your record.
1. Know Company Policies Before Starting the Hiring Process
Not all big corporations are the same. Before applying to a company for a job, find out their hiring policy on felony convictions. While many have policies against hiring anyone with a felony, others have more lax requirements. One common theme for businesses is only to require a background check based on a specific number of years passing. For example, some companies only go back around seven years during their background search.
If you have a felony conviction within the companies timeframe and know they do not employ those convicted of felonies, you can save some time by ruling these companies out of your job search.
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2. Understand Louisiana Public Employment Policy
One of the most critical pieces of legislation dealing with prior convictions in the state of Louisiana is the passing of the “Ban the Box” signed into law in the recent past. This law does not let anyone with a felony conviction work at a public company, but it does remove one barrier.
When an application is filled out for employment for a public job in Louisiana, the check box asking about felony convictions is no longer on the form. In the past, applications with this box checked were thrown out at the application stage without an interview.
The removal of the box doesn’t allow for the question of a criminal history to come up until the interview or background check stage of employment. The point behind this is to get an applicant’s foot in the door. At this point, the applicant can show the benefit of hiring them even with a felony conviction.
3. Apply to Small Businesses
People with felony convictions on their record will have an easier time gaining employment at small businesses. The problem with large companies and organizations is they usually have a large blanket policy in place for several different locations. This doesn’t recognize the diversity of people with convictions who have turned their lives around after making a one-time mistake during a point in their lives.
Smaller companies tend to have policies more malleable to the market they serve. These companies put a human face on those applying for jobs more than larger businesses do. Getting yourself in for an interview is half the battle. Once in an interview, smaller companies will be more apt to hire you based on your knowledge and experience.
PRO TIP: Read this article on what is a good excuse to miss probation if you find yourself unable to attend.
4. Be Honest During Your Interview
If you go through your interview with a potential employer, don’t hide your felony conviction only for them to learn about it during the background check phase. Some companies will take this as a sign of dishonesty. Be upfront with the interviewer and let them know you are not the same person you were and that you made a mistake that you own up to.
5. Start Your Own Business
When all else fails in the job hunt with a felony conviction, think about starting your own company. In fact, this has been a blessing in disguise for many cases. Examples of successful business owners are out there. There are tons of people who started their own businesses due to a felony conviction.
It’s rare anyone asks about your criminal record when they hire your company to provide a product or service. If you do not have any skills to offer, take up a trade class to learn a new skill or think of a product you can sell to make your business a reality. And don’t forget to help out others who were in your same circumstance when you started out.
6. Have Your Felony Record Expunged
The state of Louisiana developed a method for those with misdemeanor and felony convictions to have their records expunged. An expungement means your criminal past is not available to potential new employers. There are some restrictions, like applying for a job as a correctional officer or a job in law enforcement. Still, most employers will no longer see your past convictions after an expungement.
The state has several rules for expunging a felony, such as obtaining a letter from your district attorney’s office stating you are not currently or have been in trouble since your conviction, a large amount of paperwork, fingerprinting, and fees to pay.
The best way to seek an expungement is to hire an attorney to help clients with expungements from the state. The attorney also needs to work locally, so they are familiar with the community district attorney’s office and the local courts.
We hope you have learned all about tips for getting a job with a felony and wish you luck!