Life with a criminal record can be difficult and things are worse when you’ve been through the system. Unfortunately, being an ex-con means that you now have to live by a new set of rules. Sometimes, prejudice will get in the way, and there might be certain legal barriers to you getting a job. That’s just the way it is. However, there are things that you can do to make things easier for you, and if you’re just out of prison, then the next few months will be crucial to make sure that you don’t slip back into bad habits. Let’s take a look at how you can make the job hunt easier.
Know Your Rights
Know that you still have rights either as an ex-felon or someone with a criminal record. You first have to get in touch with your department of labor and see what the pre-employment screening laws are in your state. You also have to look at other legislation that could protect you, like the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Under this law, any business that rejects you after performing a background check has to provide you with a report from the commercial reporting agency they used. They also have to provide it before they reject you. This way, you can verify that there aren’t any errors there.
Check for Errors on Your Criminal Record
Speaking of errors, you have to check if you have any on your criminal record as they are more common than many of us imagine. It has been estimated that about 50% of all FBI background checks come back with either erroneous or outdated information and most don’t state the difference between arrests and convictions. It’s also estimated that over 600,000 people every year are affected by bad information on background checks when looking for work.
That’s why you have to make it a priority to double-check your criminal record for inaccuracies. You can send a request to have any information revised or removed. Know that you may have to go at it multiple times as these records are maintained by many organizations and agencies.
Have Entries Expunged
Know that there are many states that will allow you to have some things either erased from your criminal record or blocked from the public. Minnesota is an example. Know, however, that it’s usually limited to minor offenses, so if you committed a criminal felony, the chances of you being able to expunge something are lower. Also know that you cannot remove federal convictions from your record.
This is why you’ll need to get in touch with an expungement lawyer to make sure that you’re eligible. If you are, they will take the steps necessary for you to have the charge removed from your case and this alone could help you tremendously. For instance, some states will even allow you to could say no if an employer asks you if you were ever arrested or convicted for a crime.
These are all things that you can do to make the job hunt a bit easier for you. We suggest that you speak with a counselor today and look for reinsertion programs that could help you gain crucial job skills.