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Addressing your criminal history in a job application

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Talking about your past when you have worked hard to put it behind you may seem insignificant and futile. However, for many employers in Florida, a look at your past and the impressions you have left on others in your network helps them assess your commitment and job eligibility.

Difficult as it may seem, talking about your former drug charges can provide you a unique opportunity to teach interviewers more about you as a person and what you can bring to their company.

Follow directions and use honesty

From the moment you begin filling out job applications, provide honest answers about your criminal past. If an application does not ask about your criminal past you do not owe any explanation. If an application does address past crimes, answer the questions honestly but refrain from providing any context unless required.

Submit your application in a timely manner and use professional communication to inquire about your next step. If you get to the interview portion of the hiring process, research general information about the company prior to your interview, dress appropriately for your interview and know the job description for the position of interest.

Show confidence and dignity

If you have demonstrated professionalism from the onset of your application process, you will have already started building your reputation. According to Monster, nearly 75 percent of all HR professionals admitted to requiring a background check. This means at some point you will probably need to disclose and discuss your past in an interview are pretty high.

Answer questions with confidence and poise. Your belief in yourself and your dignity can outshine your past mistakes if you approach the discussion the right way. After answering questions with enough context to satisfy the interviewer, direct their attention to your skills. Highlight how your past has allowed you to strengthen your skills and establish other competencies that others may lack. Provide examples of how these skills will make a difference in the workplace.

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