We have to share a lot of personal information when trying to secure employment. Most of it feels OK to disclose.

Naturally, most applicants feel proud when they look at their CV. It gives you a chance to realise just what you have learnt and achieved. As well as providing a possible employer with an overview of the type of person you are, and what you have to offer.

However, having to reveal something negative, like a criminal conviction, on an application has the opposite effect. It can leave you feeling deflated, and remind you of a negative time in your life.

Why you need to declare unspent convictions

The temptation to leave something like this off your application is understandable. Nevertheless, you really do need to include them. You must not leave declarable convictions off your application.

This is because failure to disclose when you should can have serious consequences. If you secure the job, and a conviction becomes known later, it can be used as grounds for dismissal.

Besides which, these days, most firms use the Disclosure and Barring Service to carry out checks before they confirm employment. Therefore, you are highly likely to be caught if you leave a declarable conviction off your application. Being dishonest is never a good way to start your working relationship, and just leads to problems further down the line.

Finding out if you have a declarable conviction

However, you do not want to end up declaring unless you really have to. Some spent convictions, do not need to be declared unless specifically asked about.

Others have to be declared several years after they were spent. If you have had a conviction of any kind, you should speak to a lawyer to find out when you can legally stop declaring it on job applications.

This site also provides guidance on the matter. However, you should still seek legal advice that is tailored to your specific case.

Avoiding the long term negative effect of convictions

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Unfortunately, if you have a conviction, even a minor one, it can have a negative impact on your employment prospects. Most employers want workers they can trust to follow their rules, and working practices.

Understandably, there is a tendency for prospective employers to see a conviction as a sign that the applicant is a rule breaker that cannot be relied upon. As a result, even a minor conviction can cast a shadow over your application.

It is therefore wise to do your best to avoid any sort of conviction. Of course, following the law is the best approach. However, we all make mistakes. When you do, it is important, for your long-term future, to react in the wisest way.

For example, if you are pulled over, breathalysed and found to be over the limit, it makes sense to find yourself a drink drive solicitors firm immediately. They will look at your case, and help you to identify how to challenge the evidence, and potentially avoid a damaging conviction.

We all have lapses of judgement. Usually we realise we were in the wrong, and are willing to accept punishment, which is a good thing.

However, you do need to be careful, and still defend yourself effectively even when you were in the wrong. Otherwise, you run the risk of finding it extremely difficult to secure a job for many years to come because of criminal convictions.

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