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How To Explain Felony Convictions to an Employer

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A felony condition can often hang around one's neck like an albatross during job interviews. Many job applicants are deeply uncomfortable and nervous about explaining past criminal behavior to a potential employer. However, if certain steps are taken and certain words are spoken, a felony conviction can be described in a fashion that the employer will appreciate. Felony convictions, if properly explained, are no barrier to an ambitious individual.

Describe honestly and frankly the details of the felony conviction. Be concise and avoid unnecessary words, but be sure not to minimize or leave out important details. If you are dishonest or the employer feels you are covering something up, your chances of being hired will decrease.

Explain to the employer how the felony conviction belongs to a past that you are no longer associated with. You must emphasize that the crime was committed in foolishness, that you are disappointed with your choices at the time and that you have gained wisdom from your mistakes.

Illustrate your present qualifications for the job. Once the past is described honestly and frankly, emphasize how well suited you are for the position. Employers are more interested in work performance than tales of the past. If the employer feels you have moved beyond your past, you need only show him that you are the right person for the job.

After the interview is concluded, be impeccably polite and dignified. Present a character that is incongruous with a felonious past. Thank the employer and wait to be excused.

Tip

Remember, first impressions are tremendously important. Be well dressed and neatly groomed. If you don't look like a felon, you can distance yourself more effectively from your past. Be prepared to answer any and all questions about the conviction. Make sure to review the details of your case before the interview.

Warning

Never minimize or brush aside the details of your conviction.

About the Author

Mary Freeman is a freelance writer. She has held several editorial positions at the print publication, "The Otter Realm." She traveled throughout Europe, which ultimately resulted in an impromptu move to London, where she stayed for eight months. This life experience inspired her to pursue travel writing. Freeman received a degree in human communication from California State University.

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