/ Asked by Manuel
I got a couple misdemeanors in my young adulthood and now realize I can't expunge them. What options do I have and could I still find a good, stable job after finishing college? Also, how can improve my chances of getting hired given my past history?
Answered by Ellen, Hiring Expert at Hospira, on Monday, December 8, 2014
According to the National Institue of Justice, one-third of young adults are arrested before turning 23.  Many end up with misdemeanor convictions on their criminal records.  While misdemeanoer offenses typically do not look as bad on paper as felonies, they can still be an obstacle in your job search.  It is essential that you know how to handle your conviction and develp an appropriate job search strategy to ensure your past does not hurt your future career endeavors.  Most companies do conduct background checks which include criminal checks.  You might want to consider applying to private and small companies.  This might be a better way to begin your career.  Above all, state the facts if the questions are asked about any arrests.  It is important that you are honest.  Given the misdemeanors were as a young adult you will have to help the company know the lessons learned.  Good luck!
Answered by Dana, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Thursday, December 11, 2014
That is a tough situation, and I appreciate the fact that you recognize this may prove to be indeed challenging, and that you are thinking ahead about your best options prior to graduation. 

Different states have different laws regarding the subject of employment and conviction-status, and there is currently a "Ban the Box" initiative in many places, which is gaining some momentum. You may want to research this topic, and decide if a relocation is possible, and/or if it may help you land a position after college. 

I would also recommend being honest about your background if asked by a potential employer, if this is part of their formal application process. But use this as an opportunity to talk about where you've been, what you've learned, where you are now, how you've changed, and what you want to achieve in the future. It may help tell a richer story about what makes you a compelling and worthwhile candidate, and highlight your current ambitions and your taking responsibility for your past actions. Honesty is always the best policy, but frame things in a positive light, and you may see some genuinely wonderful results.

You might also find some helpful information in a previous posting, listed below!

Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, December 12, 2014
This can be problematic, but should not be a reason that prevents you from finding the right job for you.  The most important thing is to be up front about it and own it.  When you are offered a job (no need to bring it up before then), give the recruiter a heads up that they will likely see these on your background check.  Explain what happened and own your mistakes.  They will appreciate your honesty and in many cases, if the incident does not impact that type of work you are doing, will proceed with your employment.  Where you may run into issues still is if the charge(s) have something to do with they type of work you are pursuing (ex. having a DUI charge and applying for a truck driving position).  Therefore, you might want to avoid these situations.  The worst thing that you can do is to try and hide it.  If you do not disclose the charge, and it is later discovered on a background check, in all likelihood, your job offer will be pulled back.
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