Three out five people in the UK say having a criminal record would be most embarrassing thing to have to tell their employers.
In a survey commissioned by Nacro for the Change the Record campaign, 61% of people said it would be the worst thing to have to reveal.
Having a mental health problem came second with 47% and bankruptcy came third with 44%.
Jackie Lowthian, Director of Policy at Nacro, says: “It’s not surprising that having a criminal record is a source of such shame. People who have a record are aware that their past will count against them in the job market. Yet the truth is that many people who commit an offence move on.
"Work is the most effective way of preventing offending. If we don’t provide the right help to these people, and the right advice to employers, we are throwing good people with valuable skills on the scrap heap.”
Minor offences such as fines and cautions for shoplifting, theft, driving offences remain on your record as well as more serious crimes.