Can I Get A Job Without A Background Check?

Everyone makes mistakes that could come back to bite them. However, some mistakes can make it hard to get a job. We asked our career experts to give their thoughts on handling this situation from one of our readers:


"I was recently convicted of a Misdemeanor B. I am having a very hard time finding a new work. I am a Jewish guy, recently went to Culinary School, and I am trying to turn my life around. Can I get a job without a background check? Where can I look for a career that will not have any serious background checks and how much information do I have to give?"
Here's what our experts had to say about the matter: "If you're explicitly asked about your criminal history, be up front, but I wouldn't volunteer the information just to share it. One more piece of advice - don't let your past define you. You have a lot of living left to do!" (Ben Eubanks) "The majority of organizations aren't too concerned about misdemeanors, unless they involve injury or theft. Most companies are more concerned about felonies, so don't be too overly worried about a misdemeanor. Be honest and admit it but it most likely won't cost you a job." (Stacy Harshman) "The only way to deal with a criminal record is to be honest and upfront about it. An employer cannot do a background check until they have your Social Security number and your permission. When and if you give it, that is the time to tell them what happened. (Unless, of course, there is a gap on your resume and they ask for an explanation.) Don’t talk a lot and keep to the facts." (Bruce Hurwitz) "I would advise [you] to be up front with a potential employer. If they look hard enough, they will find [your] criminal record anyway." (Bud Bilanich) "By acknowledging the issue, addressing it, showing what was learned from it, and then immediately moving into connecting what the candidate has to offer to the employer, this person shows integrity. Another thing they might want to look into is that many states have Project Clean Slate which is a process by which criminal records can get expunged." (Dawn Rasmussen) Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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