Getting a job in today’s economy is already daunting.

Even if you don’t have a criminal record and have a well written résumé, finding a job that pays well and meets your qualifications can be difficult. To make matters worse, employers and companies are increasingly utilizing online background services like and to instantly screen candidates. This process is automated and declines your application even before it reaches the human resources department.

The general priorities for an employer to screen job-seeking candidates go something like this:

  1. Completeness of application
  2. Background check/evaluation
  3. Qualifications and past experiences
  4. Educational background
  5. Quality of cover letter

Different industries follow different procedures, but employers generally prioritize key factors in their personnel search. Employers seek to hire candidates who best suit their company in terms of experience, interpersonal skills, and availability. They want to hire someone who will integrate and get along with other members of their company, and can also get the job done on-time and on-budget.

The Interviewer’s Venn Diagram

candidate venn diagram

If you were to put yourself in the interviewer’s position during the job interview, you would have to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will this person get the job done?
  • Does he/she have the prior work experience to complete assignments autonomously and without assistance?
  • Will he/she get along with other members of the workplace?
  • Does the candidate have the appropriate attitude to maintain the company’s order of operations and command structure?
  • Is he/she a team player?

There are many other factors that can help you become a more desirable candidate for a job, but the basics are covered in this article from wikihow

If you have a prior criminal record, whether your offense is a misdemeanor or a felony, you will be swimming upstream when it comes to finding a job. A better suggestion is to first focus your efforts on obtaining a clear record before attempt to find a desirable job. This process may take anywhere from 3-6 months and can be somewhat costly, depending on your record and the services you seek.

There are a few ways you can clear your criminal record: either doing it yourself or getting legal assistance from a licensed professional.

Doing it yourself:

  • Pros: Starting the record clearing process is relatively easy, and you may only have to pay the overall court fees of $200.00-$300.00. The Texas court clerk has all the appropriate forms available online. You can find out more in our record expunction post.
  • Cons: Once you submit your petition to the court, the process becomes more difficult since you may have to represent your cse to a judge. These proceedings follow a particular structure. As such, representing yourself improperly may hurt your case and may even cause your case to be denied.
  • Conclusion: If you have prior legal experience or have a friend who has a legal background and is willing to represent you, this option is the one you should take. Just be wary of false legal companies who state they offer expungements but are actually only form submitters that do not physically represent you in court.

Hiring a professional:

  • Pros: You can almost be guaranteed an expunction if you are fully eligible and have met all the prerequisites. Having a professional represent you in court demonstrates to the court and judge that you are taking the initiative to clear your record, which reflects positively on you.
  • Cons: The cost of clearing your criminal record can be expensive, ranging anywhere from  $800.00 to $1000.00 depending on the level of service. Some expungement services do not represent you in court, and those that do may charge extra.
  • Conclusion: Though expensive, hiring a professional attorney to represent you in court may be the most sure-fire way to get a clean slate for a Texas job. Finding a firm that can split the payments into payment plans may also help buy you time until your criminal record has been successfully cleared, and you can start submitting your application for jobs.


The Job Submitting Approach

These are just a few examples of places where you can submit an application or inquire about a job.

job approach diagram

After you obtain a clear record, you will need to submit your employment application to as many hiring agencies, websites, companies, and referrals as possible.

Make sure your application is as thorough as possible, and then submit it to many places to increase your likelihood of receiving a reply.
Getting a job in today’s market is very difficult since employers are becoming more selective about who they hire. Finding a job is about networking and presenting yourself as a future asset to the company for which you are applying.

Good luck, and we hope you find a job soon.