Because a strong personal impression can outweigh difficult facts, job-seeking must be approached through established relationships, not random applications.

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Q: Ten years ago, during a contentious divorce, my son “Paul” was convicted of a low-level felony and placed on the sex offender registry. After being employed in our family business for 30 years, Paul must now begin looking for work, as we will soon be closing the company. He is terrified that no one will hire him because of his record. Do you have any advice?

A: First, Paul needs to consult an attorney who has expertise in this field. If his was truly a lesser offense, he might be able to have his name removed from the registry.

But if removal isn’t possible, Paul should employ the same strategy as anyone who risks being screened out due to unalterable circumstances. Because a strong personal impression can outweigh difficult facts, job-seeking must be approached through established relationships, not random applications.

Implementing this strategy means becoming a proficient networker, so Paul should look for books and online resources to sharpen his job-seeking skills. He will then be ready to capitalize on his greatest asset — that is, connections made through 30 years of employment.

Paul’s family business contacts should be able to jump-start his job search with networking referrals, job leads and favorable references. After that, he must do everything possible to become an impressive applicant.