What Is the Best Way to Present a Criminal History on a Job Application?


Quick Answer

One of the best ways to present criminal history if a job application requires an applicant to list down his number of convictions is to limit the answers to both criminal and non-criminal convictions, and exclude arrests that did not end with a conviction. If a questionnaire for a written job application interview inquires about criminal convictions, the applicant may write down "Will address the question in the interview," and then rehearse an appropriate answer to the question. Although a criminal history may not look well on an applicant's resume, the applicant still has rights and employers should be wary of violating them.

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Full Answer

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, states that employers who use criminal history as a basis for hiring may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the EEOC, employers who treat similar criminal history differently for applicants or employees run the risk of violating the Act.

The EEOC issued a guideline for employers when dealing with applicants with a criminal history. The guideline is aimed at helping employers comply with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 using their best judgment. The EEOC advises employers to view an applicant's criminal history with the following considerations: the nature and gravity of the offense, the time that has lapsed since the commission of the offense and the nature of the job being applied for.

During the interview, it will be a good idea for the applicant to show that he or she has nothing to hide. One way for the applicant to do this would be to state the year of the conviction, time served and what accomplishments have recently been achieved despite the circumstances of the conviction.

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