Consultancy_hr & Ir
Head - Hrd
Hr Mgr
Student, Graduate In May
Annie Schrader
Executive Director


I ask this question here because i need a human resources perspective and advice. I am a college student getting ready to graduate. I have a

GPA. My major is computer science specializing in networking and systems administration. Last quarter a professor made a joking comment like " don't go out here and get arrested are you wont get a job". He knows we are getting ready to graduate. I told him this was a heck of a time to be telling someone not to get a record after they had already been in college 4 years. To get to my point, i have a felony from about 7 years ago(a drug conviction). I have since straightened up and of course gone to college to help me achieve my goals in life. I remember after i had gotten in trouble and was seeking employment, i was honest on the application. I stated i had a felony. I did not recieve any job offers for six months. Thus i began just putting "no" on the question. Amazingly i got several job offers. This happened a few years back. Now i always put no.

I understand that if they find out they can fire me. Im not stupid. I do not need a lecture for what i did years ago, and that i should have known!!

As i now graduate i would like to be honest again and put the truth. But im afraid no one, except mcdonalds would call me back. I would just like some opinions for what i should do. Also as hiring managers would you even call me back if you saw my felony on my application. This is the question i would like an honest answer to. Like i said, i know they can fire me if i don't put yes and they find out. I really don't need anyone to mention that . Thanks to anyone that will post to this statement . thank you

From United States

A fact is a fact!

Reality cannot be wished away.

By replying the appropriate question in the negative, you may win albeit temporarily. Even if you win for a long time (say till the end of your working career), the guilt of past deed will NEVER leave you.

The question is whether you wish to live in the make believe and make hay while the sun shines, as it were OR you wish to live in peace and harmony with yourself no matter what!

The world has and does accept recovered addicts of all kinds anyway! There will be a period of struggle against rejections initially for some time but I know from a personal experience that ultimately you will find employers/clients who will respect you for your honesty and the ability to own the truth and also for the fact that you have demonstrated exemplary quality in getting rid of the addiction. The world that encourages reformation of criminals, will have no difficult in accepting and encouraging a recovered "you" also.

In the ultimate analysis, your competence is what matters to you and to your employers/clients. If your commitment to truth is solid as a hard rock, then you will find permanent peace and happiness, sooner than you thinks.

I admire your rationality and courage. Just get over the guilt feeling that is prompting you answer such questions the wrong way!

Best of luck, Merry Christmas and New year to follow.



December 26, 2006

From India, Pune

thank you for the well thought out and written response. I wish everyone thought as you. What im really looking for here is responses from people who have a part in hiring or are the person who does the hiring. I would like at least 10 short responses. I noticed that 36 people had viewed this post, yet no responses. I can only come to 2 conclusions. One is that people would rather just view posts than to comment on them. Second is that people would not like to disclose their hiring practice on people who have felonies. My simple question is " Would you not hire, a candidate who had the same are slightly better qualifications than a second applicant just because the person had a felony. Also any comments on a companies hiring practices towards felons would be appreciated. I am just asking this to get an idea where the market stands on this issue before i start applying for jobs. Please be honest. I promise i wont respond negatively to any comments. Please, at least 10 posts so that i can get a percentage range. Have a great day.

From United States

I thinmk you are too divided between your value system and your goals.

Hey, what's you target in life? to be successful! And let me tell you, nothing succeeds like success. And you are in a competition, just like a war.

In the first place, why do you have to still worry about, something you did in your past? come on, that's not it, it can not be a professional behaviour!!

You know, if you give the same comment to me, why should I not hire you? No, not for what you did in your past. But, for the vey reason, that you still could not digest, what you did. In the professional environment, there will be several situation where you will make mistakes, do things against your will and values will have to compromise in many a occassion. and if you reamin guilty for all these, my team will suffer.

So my advice is, simply forget what you did and try to live like a normal human being.

You wanted the name of a forum, you can join, they have a huge variety of advisors on each each topic.

for contacting me directly, just clcik onto my name.


Dr. M. Das

From India, Delhi
I would just say,"Move On". Don't give so much of importance to something which happened so long ago. Concentrate on your career moves now. I'm sure there are many other hirers who are not much bothered about the past.
Wish you luck

From India, Gurgaon

I am a Management Advisor by profession and for that reason relied upon for setting objective policies in HR matters including Recruitment!

I am a Head Hunter too and to a small extent offer placement services.

For half my working career as an executive, I have been trusted to select good people.

On that back drop, I say with some authority and conviction that, to me as a professional and to the organizations that I serve in different capacities, it is the competence that is a top consideration for recruitment. Neither the cast nor the creed, nor the province nor the past failures whether on the job or in personal life will become deciders against recruitment, if we are convinced that the candidate's past is unlikely to obstruct his future for reasons of his attitudes, history or such record as you mention. For that I have to be able to judge and I must have the confidence to go by my judgement.

HR is expected to add value to the organizational situation. We certainly want prople to be above board but the background in question cannot keep anyone perpetually under suspicion. That would be an insult to humanity!

The candidate in question needs courage and support to shun the wayward ways of life and the organizations must be selfish enough to recognize value and put it to good use for the organization.

The relationship between the individual and the organization is reciprocal and is based on mutuality of inetersts. Both have to configure the relationship to be so!

I still maintain my position on the subject even from the point of view of a recruiter.



December 29, 2006

From India, Pune
I am new to this site and was reviewing some of the postings - and upon seeing yours...I naturally read what you had to share along with the responses you received. My reason for interest - I too am a felon. Most likely one with a record much longer than yours! In fact - I went to prison for two years, and upon my release from prison, my resumes went into a "black hole", never to be seen again. It was a very humbling experience.

My reply to you is based upon the responses you received from others. Over and over I heard admonishment for you to "get on with it", like you were standing on an issue that is "old news" and "should not impact you if you are a new man today"...that kind of thing. I must say - my assumption of these replies is that they were written by individuals who were never convicted of a felony.

It has been a bit over four years since my release from prison. I started a non-profit organization made up of inmates and ex-offenders who work together to assist with pre-release planning and transitional support upon release from prison. This is especially important in WIsconsin as we have approx. 23,000 incarcerated adults, thousands of children and family members affected by the devastating effects of crime and incarceration. If you look at national statistics - you will find that a felony conviction is more common than you may have thought...even incarceration has become more common as time moves forward. You do not need to be embarrassed by your "colorful" past - but express the lessons you learned which lead you to have empathy and compassion for those around you who suffer.

Besides - you are required to answer that employment question of felonies truthfully. My advise is to always say that you would like to discuss this issue further - and then be truthful in your conversation with those in authority. If you do not - you are still engaging in manipulative behavior which as you must know - is key within the disease of addiction.

I would welcome you to visit our website. There you will see the work we are doing...there is a message board upon which you can post - which I would appreciate because people need to know your struggles...and there is a pdf version of the 1st in-prison publication in the history of the state of WI for inmates, created entirely by inmates and ex-offenders. our web address is You will also find media response to who we are and what we do. My life in particular has been laid open even in national news. I just figure it makes for interesting reading and then people are drawn into the bigger picture of what it is that we are trying to accomplish.

There is this thing with being an ex-con or a felon. During the time you are under supervision you are "state property". That is fact. Then - the consequence never goes away. The key is time, space between you and your crime...and positive life experience. That is a walk that every felon must walk - and be committed to doing so with dignity and grace. I wish that for you.

I understand your challenge. You are not alone. Lives change and life experience brings new layers to wisdom that should be shared. Don't deny who you are and where you come from. You will succeed.

Wishing you every success in your new life - Annie

It is unfortunate that the world is so unforgiving. Hopefully you will find an employer that will give you a chance. I am also a convicted felon, I was convicted in 1992. when I got out of prison I went to school got a degree with a 3.5 gpa. I did well in the beginning, but as more and more employers are doing background checks I have been turned down for many positions I was qualified for. I am employed but I do not work in the field my major is in and I do not make the kind of money I should. My employer does know I have a felony, I told them during my interview and I was hired even though I am over qualified for the position.
Do not get me wrong I am in no way saying that all employers are like the ones I have encountered. There are employers that will give you a chance, just don't give up. Good Luck

From United States, Chicago
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