You have only one time to explain a criminal record -


Some states have a band the box type law, which eliminates having to state you have a criminal background initially

Again, initially following a tentative job offer they can check your background 

Other employers like school systems, police departments and other employers are guarantied to check backgrounds

In either case, preparation can provide a chance, failure can give you the same results.


Basic rules and concepts


Before you begin there are two Letters of Explanation which maybe required.


One if you have any felony convictions and another if you have any misdemeanor convictions the reason is if you are ask if you had any felony convictions verse any convictions


Rule of thumb if not asked don't tell these letters are only to be used to explain a conviction on an application and to be use if all possible as an attachment - I DO NOT advise to say will explain at interview on an application that maybe too late.



Date: 24 January 20XX

[Company Name]

ABC Production Inc.

1469 Lostwoods Road

Chicago, Illinois 60001

[Contact Name  or Sir or Madam - if you have a chance prior to applying ask for a name]

Dear Ms. Janet Smyth; 


[Admission of Guilt - if you were arrested - and found guilty or plead guilty - you have to take the responsibility for your action (s)]

Please accept this letter of explanation regarding the request for information about conviction (s). On October 3, 2004, I was found guilty for the delivery of a controlled substance. [Regret] I have learned that my crime has caused great suffering to everyone, and it is something I will have a life time to regret.  [Understanding] I am sure you have reservations in considering the hiring me, and all can hope is to try to explain the specifics, my true regret and why it will never happen again in the future.

[Sell yourself]

Since, I have been attending college courses and have received a bachelor’s degree in computer science. additionally, I have taken various other supportive courses to assure my life and transition will be both fruitful and progressive. For the past year, I have been volunteering with my church talking with the youth so they will not follow the easy path to prison, as well as, maintained going to a local supportive group.

I personally thank you for this time and consideration.



[don't forget to sign]

Robert Smith

Robert Smith

1313 Mocking Bird Lane

Sandhill, Illinois 61212

312  555 - 1212