When it comes to bankruptcy and your job search, it can sometimes be tricky. Although it is illegal for an employer not to hire or promote you due to bankruptcy, it is sometimes acceptable to consider poor credit in employment. And, according to a recent study by SHRM, nearly half of employers are conducting credit checks as part of the interview. Bankruptcies will stay on your credit report for 10 years after filing, providing some potential stress down the line in your career search.
Know Your Facts
It’s important to understand how your job search can be affected, so that you can potential combat any issues or concerns that arise.
- The Tipoff – In order for an employer to check your credit, they must ask you to sign a permission slip first. Don’t be tempted to lie on the form, as any deliberate inaccuracies can be ground for immediate dismissal if you use this to help you make it through the hiring process. If a potential employer informs you that they are conducting a “background check,” ask exactly what is included so you can set your expectations. Also, be sure to have an updated copy of your credit report at home to review and avoid surprises.
- When They Might Use It – Although some employers will run credit checks, not all will necessarily use them. Careers involving cash handling, finance, accounting or security positions are more likely to incur a check. Even still, companies will often run the checks as a final piece of information in the process. Employers may not necessarily use it as the sole basis for their hiring decisions; however, if you are already low on the list, it could be the final tip that you’re not the right candidate for the job.
- What Can You Do If They Used It – If you suspect an employer used your bankruptcy background as a basis for the hiring decision, contact them to ask if your credit played a role in the decision. If your credit was a factor, then you can be proactive and address the area of concern ahead of time in future interviews.
It’s important to be prepared and proactive to address any bankruptcy concerns during your job search. If you need help finding your next career opportunity, contact SelecSource. We match employers and top professionals across Atlanta.