Here’s How To Stop A Criminal Record From Holding Back Your Career


We all make mistakes, some with higher consequences than others, and gaining a criminal record is perhaps one of the highest consequences of all.

A criminal record can make it very difficult to find or grow within your employment, even long after your penalty has been served, so here are a few ways to tackle it to prevent it from limiting your potential and stopping you from reaching your financial goals.


#1 Be honest

For a potential employer, the one thing worse than a prospective employee who has a criminal record is a prospective employee that lies about their criminal record. Employers are increasingly asking their applicants about their criminal histories and lying about yours on your application may seem like a good idea but it could end up doing you more harm than good.

Instead, be honest about your criminal conviction and be prepared to answer any questions that your employer may have about it.

Focus on the amount of time that has passed since your conviction and the progress that you have made in that time period and ask to be given a chance, even if it involves an extended probationary period.

#2 Consider a record suspension

If you have completed your sentence and have demonstrated that you are a reformed, law-abiding citizen then you could be eligible for a record suspension. A record suspension could enable you yo have your criminal record kept separate and apart from conventional criminal records so that those accessing the police database do not immediately find it.

It’s important to realize that a Record Suspension does not erase your criminal record or guarantee you entry into other countries and it can be revoked if you are found to no longer be of good conduct or are convicted of another offense.

Many people still choose to be honest about their criminal record and to explain that they have been deemed reformed and therefore their record is now suspended as this is still better than a potential employer finding out that you hid something from them.

#3 Gain a letter of recommendation

It can be very difficult for a prospective employer who does not know you to decide whether to hire someone with a criminal record or not, after all, they only know what you tell them and have had very little time to make their own personal assessment of your character.

This is where a letter of recommendation from someone with responsibility can come in very handy. A former landlord, employer or a leading figure in your community can write a letter testifying your suitability for a role and vouching for your character to help a prospective employee see who you really are when they have no time to do so themselves.

If you have been employed since your conviction then a letter from a previous employer is perhaps the most powerful and do not be afraid of asking them to deal with the issue directly and to actively mention that they chose to invest in you despite your criminal record. 

Are you trying to get a job with a criminal record?

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