How to Pass a Background Check With a Felony

Felonies make it difficult to get a job. Unfortunately, many employers won’t even look in your direction with a felony on your record. However, some jobs will hire you with a felony, but you have to know where to look. Furthermore, some jobs that don’t usually hire people who fail background checks sometimes make exceptions when the problem is addressed. 

The good news is that many people with felonies find employment; in fact, 53% of people with felonies were employed between 2006 and 2007. Therefore, it’s possible. We’ll show you how to pass a background check and get the job. Read on to learn more below.

What Is a Background Check?

Background checks are public records searches that employers and governments use to verify someone’s identity. Alongside identity verification, background checks are useful for looking into someone’s past crimes, credit history, and sex offender status. In the United States, most jobs require a background check before employment. Depending on the type of background check, criminal records may or may not be included.

Do Criminal Records Show Up on Background Checks? 

Yes, criminal records show up on background checks. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), criminal records are public records with few limitations. That said, some states will limit what appears on a criminal record or criminal background check. 

It’s always important to check with your state’s laws before allowing an employer to do a background check. Doing so will prepare you for the types of information that will surface in the report.

What Else Shows Up on a Background Check? 

Criminal records are one of the main things that companies look for in a background check. However, background checks also reveal other information. Ultimately, anything that’s public record will show up in a background check.

We list some examples of information that shows up on background checks below.

  • Traffic records
  • Tickets, misdemeanors, and violations
  • Social security number (SSN) verification
  • Social media profiles
  • Dating profiles
  • Sex offender information
  • Employment records
  • Education records
  • Phone numbers
  • Addresses (past and current)
  • Email addresses
  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Financial records

There’s a lot of information that appears in a background check. So while criminal records are an important component, these other factors also play a role in the hiring process.

Is It Possible to Get a Job With a Criminal Record?

Yes, it’s possible to get a job with a criminal record. In fact, 30% of people have a criminal record, and more than half of them are employed. Whether or not you get a job depends on a combination of your credentials, work history, educational background, and more. Some jobs will hire people with criminal records as long as applicants are honest and provide an explanation.

How to Check Your Background

When you’re applying for any job, it’s always a good idea to check your background—which will prepare you for information that will show up on your background check. Unfortunately, having a firm run a background check on you before applying for a job is not always feasible because of the cost.

Fortunately, resources like exist. For example, has a criminal records check tool that shows you what information appears on a background check. The tool is easy to use, and all you need is your first and last name to search all public records that pertain to you.

How to Pass a Background Check With a Felony

The best way to pass a background check for a felony is to be honest. Felonies are serious crimes that result in jail time, large fines, or probation. These are all things that show up on a criminal background check. But, while this information shows up, that doesn’t mean you automatically fail the background check.

To pass a background check with a felony it’s best to be honest. Use’s criminal records search tool to see what information comes up and be ready to explain it to potential employers. In many cases, being prepared and honest are enough to pass a background check with a felony.

Unfortunately, some jobs won’t hire you if you’ve committed a felony—even if you do your best to explain it.

What Jobs Don’t Require a Background Check?

Applying for jobs that won’t hire you with a criminal record is often a waste of time. Instead, it’s better to apply to jobs that don’t check your criminal background or don’t place a big emphasis on it. The good news is that several of these jobs are available, and we list the best choices below.

  • Freelance writing
  • Copywriting 
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Some construction and contracting jobs
  • Jobs at local and small businesses
  • Multi-level marketing firms (MLMs)
  • Some sales jobs
  • House flipping
  • Small business owner
  • Startup founder
  • Investor 
  • Military service (in some cases)
  • Organizations that advertise working with reformed felons

Depending on your skills and work history, some of these job choices are profitable and rewarding.

What Jobs Won’t Hire Felons?

Many jobs will hire felons, but others won’t. Several jobs to avoid if you’re a felon are listed below.

  • Education jobs
  • Healthcare workers
  • Large, private corporations
  • Financial institutions
  • Law firms
  • Jobs with some government agencies
  • Police forces
  • EMT
  • Fire Fighters

Some of these jobs will make exceptions depending on the person and the felony. However, it’s not wise to count on that. If applying to these jobs with a felony, it’s best to disclose that information before the background check.

Pass Your Background Check Today! 

Passing a background check is not always easy, especially if you have a criminal record. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be impossible to pass a background check, even with a felony. Background checks become easy to pass when you look at the situation as being prepared vs. unprepared.

In fact, background checks have nothing to do with passing and failing. Instead, they’re about verifying information and learning about potential employees. Therefore, the best way to pass it is to be honest and upfront about your criminal history. Depending on the angle you take and the employer, getting a job with a felony is possible.


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