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How should you approach your felony on a job application?

While looking for a new job in North Carolina, you came across an ideal position. You have a felony charge on your criminal record, so how do you navigate this on an application?

Chron offers tips for discussing felonies with potential employers. Protect your chances of landing a great job while showing companies you make a great candidate.

Practice honesty

Even if you skip an application question about your criminal past, today’s employers may easily conduct a background check and see your charge for themselves. Be honest when speaking about your federal crime. What if the application does not include a question about convictions? Reveal the truth during the interview, so you present yourself as an honest job candidate.

Do not shy away from specifics

Do not say you have a felony charge and leave it at that. Instead, explain the circumstances that led to your encounter with law enforcement. How much time did you spend in jail or prison? Are you still on parole? Mention how many charges and convictions you have. The fewer, the better.

Do not minimize

You already know a felony does not carry the same weight as a misdemeanor, so do not brush the charge off as something minor. Everyone makes mistakes, but the most important thing is to show you learned from your criminal past and use it to improve your present and future. Share what your conviction taught you and how it makes you a better person and job candidate. Downplaying your felony may give hiring managers the impression that you do not take the matter seriously and still have things to work on.

Having a felony does not immediately disqualify you from every job. Learn how to take control of your job prospects and your criminal past.