Almost every job application will pose some variation of the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” In addition to this inquiry, you will most likely be the subject of a background check following your application submission.
The possibility of facing employer discrimination as someone who has been convicted of a crime is discouraging. However, there are a few things to keep in mind while job hunting, which will ensure the information you provide is completely accurate.
Know the Specifications of Your Conviction
When you decide to begin your job search, prepare by gathering information on your conviction(s) ahead of time. Contact the proper authorities to acquire records of your crimes, and understand exactly what your charges and settlements were. Some applications may require greater detail on your criminal history than others, and some employers may ask for further information in your interview.
Understand Exactly What the Application is Asking, and Answer Appropriately
Depending on the position you are applying for, the application will require varying levels of explanation about your criminal record. Read the sections related to convictions thoroughly, and make sure you fully understand what information is needed before you answer — you don’t want to provide more information than is necessary. Look out for whether or not the question details a specific timeline or asks only about more serious offenses, and only provide the amount of detail that is requested on the application.
Don’t Focus Completely on Your Criminal History
As someone who has been convicted of a crime, questions about your criminal background on a job application can be very intimidating. Remember: the purpose of a job application is to evaluate your qualifications for the position, not your criminal record. Although your record will be assessed, it is not the focus. Provide the required information on the criminal history questions, but be sure to detail your professional experience as well! These questions can be disheartening, but do not allow the criminal background section to distract you from completing a job application to the best of your ability.
Contact the Law Offices of Lowell J. Sidney to schedule a free case evaluation with our attorneys. Use our contact form or call (718) 395-2067 to get in touch!