Whether you have spent time in jail, completed a probation sentence or experienced some other consequences related to a criminal conviction, when the time comes for you to find a new job, you may feel like you are experiencing yet another penalty.

Background checks may well expose your criminal past to a potential employer. However, Glassdoor indicates that you do not need to let that stop you from getting a job that helps you move forward positively.

Choosing when to disclose a criminal history

Telling a potential employer that you have been arrested for or convicted of a criminal charge does not need to be done at the outset of your job search. Your application should focus on your qualifications for the job. These qualifications may include past work experience and any relevant education or training. An interview may also highlight these areas so the employer can best assess your fit for the role in a clear manner.

When you reach the stage in the hiring process where a background check may be requested, that may be the appropriate time to share your experiences with the company.

Choosing what to say about your criminal history

When telling a potential employer about a criminal experience, your conversation should provide minimal details about the event and instead direct the focus to how you may have changed or what you learned from the situation.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people in Wisconsin some ideas about when and how to talk about a criminal record with a potential employer when applying for a new job.