So, you’ve just been offered a face-to-face interview for your dream job. The hiring manager has spoken to you on the phone and thinks you’d be a perfect fit for the role. After a successful interview, the only thing they’ll need from you are your previous work references (not a problem because you’ve always been a fantastic employee) and a signed declaration that states you’ve never been convicted of a crime. You stop as the usual dread starts to sink in. What about the DUI six years ago?
You would think that a minor offence like a DUI, committed all those years ago, could not affect your job prospects. However, the fact remains that employers are unlikely to look favorably on candidates the law states as having a criminal record. And they are even less likely to investigate the specific details surrounding charges against you. Unfortunately, it’s more often a straight mark against your name. The hiring manager now says, “We have to wait for the background investigation to be complete, before we can finalize your offer” – keep waiting. With a tight labour market – ghosting can still exist.
This issue becomes even more concerning when you consider that a ‘criminal record’ includes a summary of all charges that have ever been made against you – even if they were dropped or dismissed.
In instances where you are applying for a job and that ‘criminal’ question comes up (more than 80% of employers now run background checks on candidates), you need to arm yourself with the very best resources to overcome this hurdle. After all, this is your career and essentially your livelihood at stake.
Across the US, many companies and individuals hiring staff are now conducting background checks that determine if a person has a criminal record. Whilst this is understandable in circumstances such as a school hiring new teachers, it does present challenges for applicants who may have minor, unrelated charges on their record.
If an employer is challenged on asking for a person’s record, all they need to do is demonstrate that it was a business necessity to make such a judgement. And as you can see, the term ‘business necessity’ is too general to be used when assessing all prospective employees across all job roles.
It is also important to note that many employers justify their need to ask about a criminal record as a method to avoid being sued for negligent hiring.
According to US law, there are circumstances where an employer could be deemed as negligent if they knowingly employee a person that is classified as unfit for the role. By first asking if a candidate has a criminal record, this protects an employer if the employee then harms another person while working. Additionally, an employer may be denied insurance payouts if they employ someone who then goes on to commit a fiscal crime that could have otherwise been predicted given the employees criminal record.
So, when viewing from this context, it’s understandable that most employers would ask the question to all prospective employees. However, this doesn’t serve to ease the frustration and anxiety of hard-working job seekers who may be adversely affected.
So, what exactly should you and do you tell an employer about your criminal record? And how do you go about framing and wording this in best possible way?
There is in fact a better method of explaining your circumstances to a prospective employer before an interview. It what’s known as a Statement of Facts.
A formal Statement of Facts is akin to a cover letter in that it introduces you to an employer and highlights your skills and suitability for a job role. The difference though, is that it contains an honest and accurate summary of the crime contained in the criminal record. In addition, it focuses on what you’ve since been doing to improve your life and atone for the crime.
An effective Statement of Facts needs to be concise, expertly written and specific to each job that you’re applying for. It needs to detail the facts surrounding the crime in a manner that will engage and resonate with the reader. Most importantly, it should help the reader understand the applicant’s point of view.
By presenting a properly written Statement of Facts, an applicant will substantially increase the chances an employer will consider them for a job. It will paint a more defined picture of the applicant, their character and their strengths; than simply another applicant with a ‘criminal record’.
Our professional staff will take the time to get to know you and hear YOUR side of the story. We can tailor an optimal Statement of Facts that addresses your strengths in an easy to read and informative manner. What’s more, our services are affordable – meaning that more people can now engage with prospective employers.
At Florida Electronic Fingerprinting Services and Background Screening Services, we understand that it can be challenging applying for work when you have a criminal record. That’s why we’ve created a service that can better explain you, your circumstances and the value to which you can provide a prospective employer.
Contact us TODAY to find out we can prepare a Statement of Facts that will vastly improve your chances of securing more meaningful employment.