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How should I talk to employers about my criminal record?

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2019 | Criminal Defense |

A criminal past doesn’t make you a bad person. It also shouldn’t prevent you from securing gainful employment, but unfortunately, many hiring managers are reluctant to hire people with prior convictions. You can paint the issue in a more favorable light when applying for jobs by taking the right approach. In this case, U.S. News & World Report offers the following advice. 

Before your interview, consider what you’re going to say should you be questioned about the past. It’s best to have a few short sentences in mind so you can succinctly explain the situation. State when the incident occurred and why, but don’t feel the need to go into detail. Next, briefly summarize what you’ve done since to prevent the issue from happening again. You can also provide examples of how you’ve atoned for past behaviors. It’s best to keep things concise, especially if the interview has progressed favorably so far. 

You also should have an idea of when to broach the issue. Don’t feel the need to mention it at the beginning of the interview, as this might make it seem like the conviction is still highly relevant to your life. You also don’t want to wait too long, as it may appear that you’re attempting to hide or conceal your past. The best time to bring it up is usually when headed towards the second interview, which usually entails a background check. 

Also, keep in mind that the nature of your offense has a significant impact on your chances of being hired. Managers do not dismiss all applicants with criminal histories outright. Less serious issues that occurred in youth are often overlooked when a candidate is favorable. However, all employers want to ensure that other staff and customers are well-protected, which means that people with violent offenses or those that are more serious in nature can be a real issue when it comes to hiring.