No doubt, attending a job interview as a convicted felony is tough for many reasons. While interviewing, the candidate must be bold and honest about his past. But, he has to ensure that his felony background would not create any problem in getting that felon-friendly job.
Now the question is how you should discuss your felony record in job interviews. In this article, we will provide some tips on how to mention your felony background in a job interview. These tips will definitely minimize your stress throughout the hiring process. Besides that, it will provide you with the confidence to stand in front of second-chance employers.
But before we provide some tips, you should understand what the employment laws say about felony employment. So, let’s take a look at what is defined in employment laws about second chance jobs for felons.
Felony Employment Laws
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has strict rules and regulations regarding felony employment. They can charge any employer if he routinely denies employment to felons. This charge will be on the basis of violating the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, if the nature of the crime relates to the offered role, they can reject candidates with felony backgrounds. So, having any felony record like robbery or child abuse means you can’t serve as a banker or kindergarten teacher.
However, the use of felony records at the time of interviewing is protected under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). But the use of this legally obtained information differs from state to state. Some states do not allow employers to ask questions regarding the felony history of a convicted applicant. Other states only require applicants to report the arrests if they are charged with a conviction.
At the same time, we should not forget the success of the Ban the Box Campaign for felon-friendly employment. The campaign was started in 2004. And the aim is to remove the check box from the interview process that needs information about the felony record. Today, there are 13 states in our country that completely ban the questioning of felony history during the interview process.
Tips on How to Talk about Your Felony Background in a Job Interview
Now, it’s time to provide you with tips on how to address your felony background in a job interview.
Be honest and upfront
While interviewing with a felony background, you can never find any universal approach. In fact, the chances of getting a job largely depend on the interviewer and the type of your crime. However, we always suggest being honest and frank whenever you discuss your felony background. We know that the approach is not at all easy. It needs some time and more effort from your side.
However, it is the ideal way to mention your felony background in any felon-friendly job interview. And the reason is very simple. Your honesty will definitely impress many employers. At the same time, they will know you’re doing your best to overcome past mistakes. So, this will build the foundation layer to secure your employment as a convicted felony.
Review your rap sheet
Do you know what a rap sheet is? Probably you have heard about it, but you are not sure what actually it is. A rap sheet is a legal document. It records all the felony history of any individual. It is actually a short form of Record of Arrests and Prosecutions. This sheet plays an important role in the background check process at the time of interviewing.
We always suggest every convicted felon review their rap sheets. This will help them to understand whether they have a clean record or not. If you have a clean record, you don’t have to address your felony background during the interview process.
In addition, not every felon-friendly employer asks you about your past. If the person only wants to learn about your felony record, there is no need to disclose your minor crime. At the same time, he may ask you only about your past three- or five-year felony record. In that case, don’t mention what you’ve done before that.
Every state government offers a rap sheet to any individual. If you find any error on it, we always recommend you to contact Legal Action Center as early as possible. Legal Action Center is completely felon-friendly and helps every ex-felon fight against any discrimination.
Prepare your resume in top shape
No doubt, whenever you apply for a felon-friendly job, you can feel that you have come with a disadvantage. But if you prepare your resume in top shape, it will surely help you to turn that disadvantage around. To prepare it in top shape, you should highlight all your skills and work history in it. At the same time, you should focus on making it completely professional.
But if you have no idea how you will prepare it in top shape, don’t worry. Reecareer is working constantly to offer job-winning, professional resume writing services for felons. Get in touch with them to have an attractive professional resume. This resume will surely increase your chance of getting a felon-friendly job as a convicted felon.
Always follow the employer’s lead
We always suggest every job applicant with a felony background follow the employer’s lead after sharing all the felony information. Many felon-friendly employers don’t even ask for any additional information about the felony record of any applicant. They show their interest in learning about your skills and work experience during incarceration.
So, it is important for you to be honest and frank. Besides that, disclose the details you feel necessary to make them understand your current situation. There is no need to overshare the reason for your offense. We know every second-chance employer pays their utmost importance to the skills of an applicant. At the same time, they consider how the person can contribute to their organization rather than assessing their offenses thoroughly.
We hope now you have received all the tips on how to address your felony background in a job interview. Always keep in mind the above tips whenever you attend a felon-friendly job interview as a convicted felon.