First some history:

Many years ago I was charged with a felony I didn't commit. I spent years in court fighting it, but the outlook wasn't looking good. I was eventually offered a plea deal. A misdemeanor with no jail time. At the time, it seemed like an easy way to end the whole ordeal. So I took it to move on with my life.

I still had the same job, nothing seemed to have changed. Eventually I was laid off. Over the next 10 years, I had a terrible time getting a job. The misdemeanor made most people avoid hiring me. Other jobs hired me knowing I had a misdemeanor, but when they did a background check, they saw the felony I was charged with and they fired me, or I was forced to resign. This was the norm for a decade.

Recently, the court ruling was overturned. I am no longer convicted of any crime. Unfortunately the charges will stay on my record. It's been over a decade, so the charges might not come up in a regular background check though.

The problem:

How do I explain my work history over the past 10 years with the constant loss of jobs? I know if HR calls and asks previous employers that question "would you hire him again?" Of course they will say no. Why wouldn't they? As far as they know they think I was charged with a felony and convicted of a misdemeanor. I could just be honest and explain the entire story, but I don't think that is necessarily in my best interest.

Any ideas?

  • 2
    My answer to a previous question may be useful. I've added it below for your convenience. workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/50785/…
    – Bluebird
    Dec 23, 2017 at 3:19
  • I think you did a good job of explaining your work history in your question. Dec 23, 2017 at 4:47
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of How to tell a company I won't do a background check?
    – Jim G.
    Dec 23, 2017 at 7:00
  • @JoeStrazzere I would work for a couple months for a company,then get let go. Go wihtout a job for a few months and then repear.
    – user81118
    Dec 23, 2017 at 19:09
  • @user81118 They all ran background jobs after hiring you? You mention a period of 10 years, but what's your recent work history actually like? More short stays and large gaps?
    – Lilienthal
    Dec 23, 2017 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


I could just be honest and explain the entire story, but I don't think that is necessarily in my best interest.

That is likely to be your only option. If you don't, your history of unemployment and short jobs may prevent you from even getting to the interview stage.

If you have not already done so, I suggest finding some volunteer work. With no criminal convictions you now have more options than previously. You should look for something that requires regular, scheduled attendance. The objective is to get into work habits, as well as getting a reference, or even networking that may lead to a job opportunity. A prospective employer, even accepting that your employment problems were not your fault, may be worried that you are not use to regular work.

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