By nature, every person will make mistakes at various points in their life. These mistakes should not preclude them from moving forward in a positive way. One area of a person’s life that they can use to do this is their working life. Some people might fear that they will not be able to get a job again if they have been convicted of a criminal offense, but that does not necessarily have to be the case.

U.S. News and World Report indicates that job seekers strategically target the right positions not only based on their skills and interests, but also based on their criminal histories. The importance of a criminal offense may vary depending on how directly it may impact or relate to a particular job. For example, a person who had been convicted of embezzlement may be wise not to apply for a job as a bank teller or as a bookkeeper. A person who has been convicted of a drunk driving offense might want to avoid jobs in which they must drive a company vehicle.

Monster.com also explains that the recency of any criminal activity may factor into how significantly it might impact a person’s chances of getting a specific job. A misdemeanor drug possession charge from 20 years ago for a person who has had no other offenses since then may not interfere with a job search much, if at all.

Job seekers should be prepared to discuss their criminal records with potential employers, but should be careful not to disclose information too soon or disclose too much information. Discussions should focus on what they learned from the experience.