Would a criminal record hold you back from digital marketing work in Australia?

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Would a criminal record hold you back from digital marketing work in Australia?

Over the past few years there’s been a steep rise in the demand for digital skills from Australian businesses. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has only increased this demand as so many companies were forced to go digital to stay in business.

However, even if companies are desperately looking for digital marketing experts, does this mean that someone with a criminal record can access such a position? Things are a bit different when it comes to Australian natives or immigrants.

Can an Australian citizen get a marketing job with a criminal record?

What you need to know is that having a record does not mean that you will not get a job. First of all, an employer cannot legally deny you a job based on your criminal history if the offences on your record have no relevance to the position you’ll be holding.

For instance, you were caught driving while intoxicated and charged with it, such an offence is in no way relevant if you’re going to be working in front of a computer all day and driving is not part of your job description. Likewise, being involved in a public brawl as a teenager does not affect your capacity to work as a digital advertising expert.

As an Australian citizen, if you have a criminal record your best option is to come clean about it and mention this right from the job interview. If you’re asked about the criminal record directly, don’t lie. Chances are they will perform a police check on you anyway and it will definitely look bad if the truth comes out.

On the other hand, if you have a conviction for something like fraud or embezzlement that might pose a problem. If your position in the company gave you access to company funds, you can expect the employer to be reluctant to hire you knowing your past.

Just have a look at the figures. In 2018, 69% of Australian businesses were determined to hire digital marketers. However, most of them are not as desperate as to forego criminal background checks they routinely use for the rest of their employees.

Bottom line, you can have a career in digital marketing even if you do have a criminal record, on the condition that your offences are not relevant to the job description.

Can an immigrant with a criminal record get a job in digital marketing in Australia?

Things are a bit tricky if you want to relocate to Australia and you have a criminal record. Digital skills are in such demand you could find an employer to sponsor you to get a temporary skills shortage (TSS) visa, subclass 482. Such a visa would allow you to work in Australia for up to 4 years.

However, to get such a visa you will be asked about your criminal record and you will also have to pass a character assessment test. You will probably be required to submit a police clearance from your country so it’s best not to lie on the forms.

If you have a serious conviction, totaling more than 12 months in jail, your chances of getting a visa are extremely slim. For lesser offences, the odds are better.

What you need to know is that these applications are judged on a case by case basis so it’s worth trying even if you do have a criminal record in your country of origin.