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!