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So, I'm bipolar. Been stable for a while, but in my past, had a manic episode that ended badly. Got picked up by tons of major news outlets. I'm currently employed, but looking for other work in the Software Engineering field. There are two things of which I'm certain:
A) Someone is going to Google my name, and find the episode.
B) I can get my record expunged in a few years, but for now it will show up on a background check.
I'm not as worried about the background check, as a lot of small software outfits just don't do it. Moreover, it would be later in the hiring process, typically, and I'd have a chance to tell my side of the story, which is what I really care about. If someone doesn't want to hire me based on what I did, fine, but I would really love to have a conversation with an actual human before my resume's chucked in the recycling. As it stands, I feel like I have a few options:
1) Mention my diagnosis in a cover letter, as a "success story that shows me overcoming obstacles." This way, I have a chance to frame the discussion before anyone googles me.
2) Change my name. This has several repercussions, but again, gives me a chance to talk to someone before a knee-jerk reaction is made.
3) Do nothing, just submit as normal and assume I'll have higher-than-normal attrition on the jobs I apply to.
Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Do folks have thoughts as to potential avenues to take, or opinions on whether some of my stated tactics are bad ideas? Thanks very much for any advice you can offer.
TL;DR - Want to give my side of the story regarding mental health event in my past, not sure how to do that in a job search.
EDIT: For more context, the initial charge was a felony, but it was reduced to and I was convicted of a gross misdemeanor via plea agreement. Currently in a Mental Health Court program as a result.
EDIT 2: I'm much more concerned with people finding news articles than I am about the record, necessarily. Lots of smaller software companies don't have an HR person and don't do background checks, and even if they do, I have an opportunity to look someone in the eye and demonstrate what I've learned, how recovery is going, and that I'm lucid and grounded, not crazy like I was when the episode occurred. This question is concerned with someone deciding to Google me before proceeding with a first round of interviews. I would need to provide my social and consent to the background check for one to occur, and this would be my opening to have said conversation. I hope this clarifies why I find this question to not be a duplicate.