Plainly put, mistakes happen. Whether a citation for driving while under the influence was one year ago or five, Virginia job seekers face significant challenges when embarking on a career search. This dilemma can seem unfairly ironic, especially since one bad mark of the past can ultimately cast a shadow over future, proactive pursuits. In today’s fast-paced job market, is there a way around a DUI when looking for employment?
According to one headhunting expert whose work PBS News Hour highlighted in a piece on employment, just one DUI can affect employment searches. However, just because most employers complete background checks on new applicants does not mean they will handle the matter through lawful procedures. Another common concern involves referrals. PBS shares that it is generally wise for job hunters to only list referrals that can offer support. In doing so, applicants can have the peace of mind that employers will only contact those who give positive feedback about an applicant. PBS also adds that remaining honest about a past DUI can save time and trouble in the long run — by getting it out of the way, employers can shift their focus to what really matters.
A piece in Forbes also weighs in on this common issue. Using research from the Society for Human Resources Management, Forbes notes that 96 percent of human resource professionals say their companies carry out background checks on potential employees; unfortunately, there are countless stellar applicants who are turned away merely because of a previous DUI charge. Despite this, Forbes goes on to state that, out of those surveyed by Career Builder, one in two employers hired someone with a criminal record in 2013. There may be a preexisiting challenge in today’s tight job market, but times could be changing, allowing some to put their past behind them and move on to better, professional opportunities.