Don’t Let a DUI Prevent You from Finding a Great Job and Health Insurance

A few years ago, Forbes reported that 96% of human resources professionals ran background checks on job applicants. That percentage has likely gone up considering how much companies pay for health insurance and other benefits these days. If you’re worried that a DUI on your background check may prevent you from landing a position, here are a few tips to get your foot in the door.

Do a Little Research

Before you talk yourself out of even applying for a job that offers company-paid health insurance and other perks because you think it will be a waste of time, do a little due diligence as Forbes recommends. You’ve probably already Googled yourself at some point. Take it a step further and run your own background check.

You should also research laws that pertain to whatever it is you’re hoping a company won’t discover. For example, in California, a DUI affects your driving record and your criminal record. According to the DMV, a DUI will automatically disappear from your driving record within 10 years, but it will remain on your criminal record for life unless you have it expunged.

Additionally, according to U.S. News, “Several state laws … limit or prohibit what prospective employers may ask, and in some states, there are protections on what an applicant is required to report. For example, in California, employers cannot ask candidates about arrests that didn’t result in a conviction, but they can inquire about convictions.”

Conducting some research before you apply for a job or go in for an interview will prevent you from confessing to something that no longer appears on your record, help you remove something that you’d rather not discuss, and show you whether you’re being asked something you don’t have to answer.

Reconsider Certain Industries

What kind of job are you applying for? As one attorney told NOLO, some employers care more about your driving record than others. Some will base their hiring decision upon it while others won’t even ask about it. Consequently, if you’ve been convicted of a DUI, you may want to refrain from applying for jobs that require you to drive as part of the job, regardless of whether you would be driving a company vehicle, and maybe pass on those opportunities that would have you working with children or teenagers.

Ask for Help

Anyone looking for a job needs to use their network for references and job leads. This is especially true for people with a ding or two in their backgrounds. So get out there and network with family members, Facebook friends, and former classmates. If you’re afraid of them learning about your DUI, talk to an organization that helps people with a criminal record find work.

“Some organizations geared to help include the National Transitional Jobs Network, a program that helps participants find employment while also helping them gain skills needed to find work. There’s also America Works, which assists hard-to-place job seekers with finding employment,” U.S. News said.

Be Hopeful – and Proactive

Don’t get down on yourself for making a mistake. Everyone has done something that he or she isn’t proud of. Eventually, you will find a great job and health insurance, and you’ll forget all about your DUI. In the meantime, put some effort into trying to get your conviction expunged from your record, networking with friends and acquaintances, and polishing up that LinkedIn profile to tout your experience and skills.