Getting Hired with a Criminal Record – What You Need to Know

The job market has never been more competitive and with a criminal record, it can become near enough impossible. The job search can be stressful for anyone and ensuring you have the relevant experience, education and skills is enough of a task, but your criminal background can truly put a spanner in the works. However, this shouldn’t deter you from seeking a job.


It’s now a standard procedure for employers to carry out background checks on those they’re hiring – mainly for the reason to protect their business if further criminal activity was carried out in the workplace. This doesn’t mean to say that you’ll never get hired, but there are several aspects you may need to take on board to boost your chances as follows:


1. Be upfront

Although your first instinct may be to hide the fact that you have a criminal record, it might not work in your favour. After seven years, the record is wiped and you’ll have a clean slate again, but the internet goes back far deeper and your potential employer may go snooping into your past. In this case, it’s best to be upfront from the very beginning and come up with an explanation to set you off on the right foot. Tell your employer the facts of what happened, how you have learned from the experience and have grown. Cut out the emotion and don’t make excuses for your behaviour or you’ll only give off a bad impression.


2. Understand what employers can consider for hiring

It is illegal for employers to completely disregard your application on the sole basis that you have a criminal record. If you are given a reason as to why you did not get the job, it should be based on:


- You do not have the experience, skillset or educational background required to perform the job.

- Other candidates were more suitable for the role

- They have made it clear that a past criminal conviction is not suitable for the type of job that you have applied for – e.g., a record of violent assault would be unsuitable to work with children.


3. Volunteer

If you are struggling to get hired with a criminal record, it would be extremely valuable to start volunteering to boost your chances of securing a paid job role. This always looks good to employers and proves you have been in some form of employment and therefore, had an opportunity to demonstrate your reliability and performance.


4. Get help with your CV

Embarking on the job hunt isn’t easy and you need to show off your skills and abilities in the very best light to prove you are the right person for the job, regardless of your criminal background. The first step would be to hire a professional company to re-write your CV on your behalf to catch the attention of the interviewer immediately and improve your chances of securing an interview.