Q: My son has been looking and applying for jobs for three years. He has a DUI on his record from four years ago and I know that is probably the problem. What kind of work do you suggest he apply for and have better luck? He worked in a group home for eight years and lost it because he did not report the DUI. Thank you for your help.
Ginger - Lincoln, CA
A: Your son should stay away from jobs that require being trusted with substantial finances/capital/resources such as banking, insurance, and driving. The best jobs would be in general labor such as warehouse work, office-related jobs and some construction jobs as long as he has a valid driver's license. Applying for jobs with smaller companies would be an advantage because their hiring policies are generally more flexible with respect to DUI convictions.
One of the primary questions on a job application asks if you've been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. Your son should always answer this question honestly. Most companies run background checks on potential employees. So if an applicant is caught in a lie, it could cost them the job.
One DUI conviction, while a hurdle, is not an impossible obstacle to overcome when obtaining employment. The most important thing for your son to remember is to be open and truthful when asked about his DUI incident during the interview process and will be more likely to gain the employer's trust. The goal of the interview is to prove your value to the company so the DUI charge will be less of an issue to future employers in making a hiring decision.
Lastly, I would encourage your son to look into getting the DUI expunged from his record. The Voluntary Legal Services Program of Northern California provides services to clients who need help with the expungement (clearing up) of their criminal records. Visit http://www.vlsp.org or call (916) 551-2155 more information.