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Employment w/a Criminal Record Finding post-incarceration employment can be an almost monumental task. Find tips, job offers and stories from those of us that have experienced it first hand.

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Old 02-09-2018, 07:16 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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Default Successful people, what did you say at the interview?

There's lots of advice out there about how to discuss a felony record during a job interview.

Lots of advice, but I wonder what has been proven to work best in real life.

On the job interview that led to you getting hired, what did you tell the interviewer? What do you think made the difference?
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:23 PM
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Nickel Timer Nickel Timer is offline
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I think the most important general advice that seemed to ring true from everywhere I heard it, and certainly helped me with my job hunting endeavors since I last got out, is to keep your explanation brief, but to stress the following two points: TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for what you did (in other words, don't try to claim you were falsely accused, setup, in the wrong place at the wrong time, etc. but rather OWN UP to it) and demonstrate that you have LEARNED from your youthful indiscretions and bad choices in life and have moved to make amends in your behavior.

This helps show that while yes, these things did happen in your past, such behavior should never be repeated in the future.

I already hinted in that other thread the general line I use to try to explain my first felony away, but let me share the full "Criminal History Statement" I submitted when applying to college most recently, where my application was placed on hold until they received such further clarification:

To whom it may concern:

In 1996, having barely turned 18 years old, I was convicted for burglary for breaking into a computer store and stealing some computers. I got caught and ended up serving 6 months in prison, and was ordered to pay back over $19,000 in restitution. Over the course of the next several years, I was gainfully employed and managed to pay back every cent in restitution. I learned from my youthful indiscretions, and have never stolen anything since.

Seven years later, in 2003, I was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm, for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The firearm wasn’t illegal to own, other than my status as a felon. I simply didn’t wait long enough to get my gun rights restored, according to Idaho State Code. I deeply regret this miscalculation, and served 5 long years in prison to ponder my actions. I have learned from my experience and have pledged to do everything “by the book” from here on out.

I’ve managed to stay out of trouble since the last incident in 2003 (over 14 years ago now) and don’t foresee myself ever serving another day in prison, as I don’t intend on breaking any more laws. As these incidents happened years ago, I would hope to still be considered for admission, as I am a dedicated student otherwise, having excelled in my studies with a near 4.0 GPA ever since resuming college back in Spring 2013.

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That was good enough to pass muster and I got admitted into university, after graduating my community (junior) college.

Obviously, certain other crimes may not be as "easy" to explain away, and it undoubtedly helps the more time has passed since your last conviction, but if you put the right spin on it, anything is possible.

I've used a similar approach when interviewing for jobs and have been hired thrice so far since I last got out of prison in 2009, so it seems to be working for me, at least.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:48 PM
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Thank you.

It occurs to me that if I were a hiring manager I'd be most impressed that you completed $19,000 of restitution on what were probably low-paying jobs. Anybody can say they took responsibility. What you did was sustained and painful action.

I would think to myself "Now, if that guy ever breaks something or gets a customer mad at me, I can trust him to do the stand-up thing and get the problem fixed".

Did you ever get feedback from the people who hired you about what impressed them?
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