Having a misdemeanor conviction on your record can have a large impact on getting a job. While a misdemeanor is less severe than a felony, it may still give an employer pause when considering your application. The impact that your misdemeanor might have will largely depend on the nature of the crime, as well as the type of job you are applying for.
Be honest about your record if asked. Some states have limits to what an employer can ask regarding criminal history. It is likely, though, that the company will run a background check on you and find out about your history anyway. It is best to answer all questions about your criminal history honestly.
Explain your misdemeanor on the application or during the interview. The employer's tolerance will depend on the crime, the age of the conviction and your history since then. Explain the situation fully, and let the employer know that you have learned from your mistakes.
Search for jobs where your misdemeanor would be irrelevant. Look at jobs that are more lenient when it comes to criminal history. Painting, maintenance and landscaping are usually not as strict as if your were applying to work with money or medications.
There are employment companies that specialize in finding jobs for convicted criminals, such as Hard2Hire.com (see Resources).