We now live in a day and age where almost anything you do or say can be used against you.
Gone are the days news executives relied exclusively on word of mouth. We now have YouTube, social media, and background checks to aid us in our search.
A colleague once remarked it is almost impossible to find anyone without a blemish on their record. So, if you have a DUI, five speeding tickets, defaulted on a student loan, or were fired from a job, does it automatically make you a pariah? Can you recover? Will you be hired?
Such a past does present challenges. But everyone deserves a chance or a second chance.
It’s always best to be proactive. If you happened to be convicted of DUI, for instance, you should immediately do what you can to solve the problem. Enter a diversion program. Enroll in an AA program. Do what you have to do to show you’ve learned a lesson and will never make the same mistake again.
You should always be candid with the prospective employer. Explain what happened before a background check uncovers your transgressions. Explain what you’ve done to make reparations. Every little bit helps.
When it comes to social media, use your common sense. An earlier post addressed the “digital tattoo.” Almost everyone has one. If you’ve posted anything on the web, it’s fair game for scrutiny. It doesn’t matter what level of privacy you think you have; it’s there.
I’ve had my fair share of applicants who’ve come in with less-than-stellar records. I’ve been able to hire a couple because they were candid and I was able to go to bat for them. Think of your life as your resume. Live it well. Live it righteously. Do not hide from your mistakes. Embrace them and learn from them. Then – and only then – will the world be yours.