Summary Offense – What to Do When You’re Applying For a Job

Are you trying to get a job with a summary offense on your record? If so, it can be a frustrating experience, one that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.

If you are wondering what is a summary offense, it’s a minor criminal act that is often referred to as a non-traffic violation. You can get a summary offense for disorderly conduct, failing to license your dog, loitering, and more. These acts usually result in a small fine and an updated criminal record.

While a summary offense is not as serious as a misdemeanor, it can still have a major impact on your employment.

Although federal law prohibits employers from discriminating based on a criminal record, it’s something that happens all the time. The average application will include a section for your criminal history and most employers run a background check.

Once an employer is aware of your criminal history, however minor, they might not trust you and want to hire you to work for their company. This makes getting a job more than just a little difficult.

If you are trying to get a job and aren’t having any luck, this short and simple guide is for you.

Start By Doing Your Research 

The first step for dealing with a summary offense and employment is doing your research. It’s important to understand the law, including what potential employers are allowed to ask you and what information you are required to give. This is helpful should any potential employer step outside of the lines during the hiring process.

Clean Your Criminal Record 

If you have a summary offense, consider trying to expunge the summary offense from your record. In some cases, you might be able to clean up your record and make your employment search that much easier. You can click here for more information on how to get a summary offense expunged.

Clean Your Digital Record 

One important step to take when searching for a job is to clean up your digital record. Many hiring managers will check your social media accounts to determine if they should hire you. Consider locking your accounts or removing anything that might mention inappropriate or criminal activity.

Understand Your Options

When you are looking for a job, you need to understand your options. A great way to do this is to search online. Look for the types of jobs you can get with a criminal record, what to expect during the hiring process, and more.

Contact a Local Organization 

Many second-chance organizations will help you find a job, even with a criminal record. In some cases, these organizations might hire even hire you. A quick online search can help you find a reputable second-chance organization.

Ask For a Referral

As any hiring manager will tell you, a candidate with a referral from a trusted employee, business associate, or friend, will get special consideration. You can use this to your advantage and find a job regardless of your criminal history. Ask friends, family, associates, and more, for job recommendations and referrals.

Target Your Job Search 

If you have a criminal record, searching for a job can require some creative thinking. Before using a job search engine, you need to know what type of jobs you qualify for. By knowing the companies you can work for with your criminal record, you can job search more productively.

Prepare to Discuss Your Record 

Once you are called for an interview, you need to prepare yourself. The hiring manager might ask about your criminal record and give you a chance to discuss what happened. Make sure to prepare a statement, to reassure the hiring manager you are a great fit for the role regardless of your record.

Gather References 

Providing references is an important part of any application process, especially when you have a criminal record. References offer a hiring manager verification and more information about your skills and talents. Going the extra mile with your references is a great way to impress a hiring manager and make up for your criminal record.

Consider Entry-Level Positions 

While you might have executive experience, your criminal record may require that you start over. This is an unfortunate result of having a criminal offense on your record. While starting over may not be what you want to do, it might be your only option.

Highlight the Benefits of Hiring You 

During the interview process, consider highlighting the benefits of hiring you. Aside from taking advantage of your skills and talents, there are other opportunities for your potential employers.

The company may be able to receive a work opportunity tax credit just for hiring you. They might also qualify for federal insurance if they are concerned about problems from bringing you on as an employee.

Highlighting these benefits can help a potential employer decide to give you a second chance.

Consider Self-Employment 

If you have looked and looked and cannot find the right job, consider self-employment. There are a variety of opportunities available to you, ranging from designing websites to selling items online. While self-employment does take effort, it can be rewarding and profitable.

This Is How to Apply for a Job With a Summary Offense

If you are wondering how to get a job with a summary offense on your record, this guide is for you.

Start by cleaning up your criminal and digital record. You should also use alternative methods to look for jobs, such as working with a second-chance organization or asking for a referral. Make sure you can explain your situation to a hiring manager and highlight the benefits of bringing you on.

Follow these tips to make your job search easier, even with a criminal record.

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