If you’re regular job seeker just trying to make your way in a tough economy like the rest of us, chances are you haven’t committed a serious crime, and your past isn’t riddled with dark secrets. But you may have some issues with creditors (long-term unemployment can wreak havoc on our finances), etc. And you may be wondering how much influence the details of your past can have over your future. How long will you be haunted, for example, by a firing or lay-off? What are the odds that a previous employer will say negative things about you during a routine reference check? Can an unpaid parking ticket tank your job prospects?