Information for clients

Disclosing your Conviction


  • When applying for a job, it’s best to be honest about any convictions you have – it will protect you against being fired later on if your employer finds out.  It also develops trust and understanding between you and your boss, and relieves any stress associated with the fear of being found out later
  • If asked on an application form about criminal convictions, a good idea might be to leave the question blank (never lie), and instead discuss it openly if/when you are called for interview.
  • Alternatively, you could say yes on the application form and give a written explanation in a sealed envelope based on the points below
  • Remember, depending on your offence (see information on monitoring of sex offenders here), if you are not asked about your conviction you do not have to disclose (tell anyone)
  • If you are asked about previous convictions, be honest, but keep it short
  • You do not have to go into detail about the offence
  • Mention only the type of offence, the date of the offence and the sentence given
  • Try to tell them the circumstances that led to the offence that have now changed, for example youth, going through a tough time etc.  Take responsibility for your past actions though.
  • Tell them how far you have come and any achievements since your conviction.  Show them how motivated you are to put your past behind you.
  • Give reasons why employer shouldn’t focus on the conviction.   Explain that it’s not a work-related offence, if this is the case.  Also, if the offence is not relevant to the job, ask to be considered on your ability and not on your past behaviour.
  • Be prepared for the difficult question
  • Take deep calming breaths before meeting the employer
  • Focus on your goal
  • Sound positive
  • Don’t criticise the criminal justice system
  • Accept responsibility for your actions.  Show you regret what you did.
  • Don’t focus too much on your past.  You do not have to provide every detail, just what’s relevant to a potential employer – as mentioned above
  • It might be a good idea to imagine yourself in an employer’s position, and ask yourself honestly what he or she needs from you.  If you believe you can meet those needs, say so, positively
  • Remember your strengths

If you have any questions, please contact our head office on 01 866 2706.

IASIO has successfully assisted over 31,000 people to gain education, training, employment and resettlement support since each of the Services began.

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