You want to find a new job, but you must do so as an applicant with a drug charge. How should you handle interviews and job applications?
Monster offers tips for navigating a criminal history during a job search. Learn how to show companies you have the skills they need, no matter your interactions with law enforcement.
Strengthen your resume
While you may not control what hiring managers think about your drug charge, you can let them know what you bring to the table as an employee. Look over your current resume to ensure it looks as professional as possible. Make it so companies focus more on your professional abilities and less on your criminal background.
Get a copy of your rap sheet
Before applying for jobs, see what recruiters see when they access your Record of Arrests and Prosecutions sheet. Get a copy of your rap sheet to make sure it only contains accurate information. Another reason to review your criminal record is so you know if you have sealed records.
Listen to what companies ask for
On job applications, pay attention to the wording for questions about your criminal past. For instance, if the application only asks about felonies, you need not mention a misdemeanor. During interviews, if asked about convictions from the past two years, you do not need to bring up a conviction that happened three years ago.
When you must discuss your drug charge, speak honestly. Rather than leave anything to the imagination, offer context for your charge. Also, share what you learned from the charge and how you plan to remain on the right side of the law.
A drug charge need not bring your career to a halt. When you know how to handle your job search, you could better your chances of landing a new position.