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How to Find a Job With a Criminal Record

how to find a job with a criminal record

In today’s world, job searching is very difficult, especially if you have a past offence sitting on your police record. Regardless of whether you’ve been convicted of a minor offence or have a major conviction, many Canadian employers will be reluctant to give you an opportunity if you have a criminal record. Unfortunately, you can’t control whether an employer will hire you, but you can take matters into your own hands and increase your chances of landing a job you want. Here are some things you can do to improve your chances to land a job if you have a criminal record: 

Before you apply…

Certain convictions will make you ineligible for certain positions, which is why you need to consider both the nature of your conviction and the nature of the job before you submit an application. The best thing to do is to eliminate positions for which your record might disqualify you (jobs in financial institutions, government jobs, or jobs that require working with children). Also, consider how the position relates to the nature of your conviction. For example, if you have been convicted of assault, then it will be difficult for you to find a job working with people (such as sales). If this is the case, you may also want to seek opportunities that don’t require human interaction (maintenance, stock management and so on). Obtaining a pardon might be the best way to land a job, because it gives you the opportunity to seal your past convictions, making them invisible to potential employers.

Make connections

how to find employment with a criminal recordThere’s always somebody who knows somebody. If you make meaningful connections or talk to friends and family, you might come across a great opportunity. People who know you can serve as your advocate by putting in their own recommendation to potential employers. Also, try to expand your network by creating a professional profile on job-seeking networks such as LinkedIn and try to find people from the industry of your interest. Talk to them and share your thoughts in groups and chats. You can also attend various industry meetings to expand your connections.

Start small

When a potential employer sees your record, they may be reluctant to hire you for a position that bears a lot of responsibility. You need to be aware of your limitations and start small. If you need to, start with a lower-paying job and take it from there. Don’t let this discourage you even if you’re overqualified for the initial position. Chances are, you’ll soon be able to prove your worth and work your way up.

Be honest, but careful

Honesty is always the best policy, and if you have a conviction on your record, it is better to disclose it with your potential employer right away. However, before you go and tell your potential employer everything about your conviction, make sure you read the fine print. For example, if a job application asks you if you had ever been convicted of a felony, then you do not have to disclose minor charges such as misdemeanour. Furthermore, if an application only asks about specific convictions that do not apply to you, then you don’t have to disclose other convictions that are not related.

Consider alternative options

finding a job with a criminal recordIf you’re business-savvy with marketable skills, you can put in some extra work and make your own opportunities. In today’s competitive market, many people are turning to self-employment as a way to establish their careers. Consider your skills and the types of jobs you can do based on those skills. However, be careful with the type of business you want to start because you may come across some licensing difficulties. For example, if you want to become a massage therapist, but your conviction involved any kind of personal or sexual assault, it will be difficult for you to obtain your license.

Get your record sealed or expunged

Getting a pardon can greatly help you in finding employment if you have an offense sitting on your record. A Canadian pardon essentially makes your conviction invisible during criminal background checks, and once you obtain it, you can legally answer “no” to any conviction questions in your application.

Start your application today! Call 1 (800) 543-2137 or visit https://pardonsandwaivers.com/ to find out more.


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Federal Pardon Waiver Services assists individuals in obtaining a Pardon (Record Suspension) by removing a past criminal offence from public record in Canada. We also help individuals obtain US Entry Waivers adn Arrest Record Purges

Erase Your Criminal Record, Take back Your Life!

HEAD OFFICE: 400-135 Queens Plate Dr., Etobicoke, ON, M9W 6V1

Toll-Free: 1 (800) 543-2137
Toronto, ON: (416) 628-1537 | Calgary, AB : (403) 508-9117 | Vancouver, BC: (604) 265-1132

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