I have a friend pretty high up at a major company (in sales) who had recently talked to me about submitting my resume for employment. I had to gently remind this very good friend of mine that I have 2 DUI’s, but both are over 5 years old. I have since cleaned up my act and hardly ever drink at all. I certainly don’t drink and drive! She then took that information and asked her co-workers whether or not I’d have a shot at the position. They for obvious reasons told her that with so many viable candidates with clean records, why would they choose me?
But there’s a twist…One of my other good friend’s fathers happens to be a Senior VP with this very company. He was an ex cabinet member and has worked as a Senior VP for this company for around 6-7 years now. Needless to say, he has influence.
In your opinion, would this Senior VP be able to bypass “the rules” written or unwritten, with a letter of recommendation? Or am I still dead in the water? I doubt you can answer this question with certainty, so again, I am just looking for your opinion. I am qualified for this job otherwise and know I would be risk worth taking. My friend obviously feels the same or she would have never mentioned it in the first place. I am worried that my past in this regard has caught up to me and might prevent me from getting a job I really want.
Everyone has undoubtedly heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” There are certainly many cases where this is true, but usually you have to both know the right people and the right things.
So, in short, yes, a Sr. VP could pull strings and get you preferential treatment, and probably guarantee you a job. But, I can’t see why he would want to.
You see, while VPs can pull strings, they can’t pull them in a cost free way. If he does this, someone will owe him (or he’ll use up his credit on someone else owing him). Usually, getting a qualified person a job would be low cost expenditure for your average Sr. VP. But, you have a big black mark next to you that increases the cost to him tremendously.
The problem with sales is that you are expected to drive around all day. Your car becomes your office, which means the company is liable for your actions while you are in the car. Unless it would be illegal to consider a 5 year old DUI, I would fight tooth and nail to keep you from getting a job which puts the company at so much risk.
I know you say you don’t drink and drive any more, but there is no way for the company to know that. For all they know you just haven’t gotten caught. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.
If you were the VPs daughter, then maybe he’d try. But, for a daughter’s friend, I doubt he would want to use up his capital and put his career on the line for you. Let’s say you get hired and you get into a car accident. Even if it is 100% not your fault, it’s going to come back and look bad on him.
Now, I don’t know what the laws are in your state regarding how convictions can be considered. If they would require the conviction to be ignored, then go out and get the job on your own. Without the big black mark on your record Mr. VP could probably (and more willingly) put a good word for you.
But, if they can consider it, I would think a company (and any VP who suggested it) foolish to put someone with two DUIs in a company car. So, yeah, I think this is where your past catches up with you.