While you received a reduced sentence for your felony, you must still navigate a job search with a criminal charge. How do you explain your past during job interviews?
Chron offers tips for talking to hiring managers as a job candidate with a criminal past. Your actions do not have to bar you from having a satisfying career.
Do not hesitate to get specific
Rather than dance around your felony, specify the charges and resulting sentence. You never know whether potential employers do not mind hiring candidates with a criminal record, so ensure you mention whether you only have a single felony.
Explain what happened
While breaking down your charges, describe the circumstances that led to them, and remain honest. Modern companies have easy access to background checks, so even if you hold back the details or skip them altogether, count on the recruiter finding out about your felony, eventually. By being honest and breaking down what happened, you take control of the situation.
Do not downplay
As someone with a felony, you should not downplay the severity of your charge. Instead, show what your criminal charge taught you and the efforts you make to ensure you never end up on the wrong side of the law again. You want to show hiring managers that you take full responsibility for your actions and want to learn from what happened.
Mention when you received the charge
How long ago did you receive your felony? The older the better, as you want to demonstrate that you put the felony far behind you and now focus on staying out of trouble.
Your felony does not define your career. Show companies the skills and qualifications that make you a great employee.