How will a criminal record affect your job search?

If you are facing a drunk driving conviction for the third time in the state of Missouri, you are no longer in the misdemeanor category, you are facing a felony. The penalties are harsh, but a felony also affects your future. As an applicant with a criminal record, how likely are you to find employment?

Looking for work

With a felony conviction on your record, certain occupations will no longer be open to you. For example, perhaps you are a college student and had hoped to continue your education to become a teacher, nurse, doctor, lawyer or commercial driver. Occupations like these require certification or state licenses, and your criminal record may disqualify you as a potential applicant.

How an employer sees it

The task of assessing applicants varies from employer to employer. However, it is common these days for a potential employer to perform background checks. Once a recruiter sees the mark on your record, you may be passed over for an applicant who has a clean record and appears to be more trustworthy.

How the EEOC sees it

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are not prevented from acquiring and using your conviction record. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission forbids such information to be used against you in a discriminatory way. If you are competing for a job with another applicant who has a criminal record, you cannot be treated differently due to your race, national origin or other protected characteristic.

Losing liberties

Because of your multiple arrests for DWI and your experience with laws and the legal system, you are no doubt aware that as a convicted felon, you will lose certain liberties. For example, you will no longer have the right to vote, and you cannot obtain a passport. However, your first concern will probably be finding a job. There is no law that prohibits a business owner from hiring someone like you who has a criminal record, and that is to your benefit. With determination and a positive attitude, you can make a success of your job search.