When you’re about to land an employment opportunity that you’re really excited about, the last thing you want to deal with is your past coming back and threatening your chances at landing the job. If you squirm in your seat every time that a prospective employer mentions a credit check, trust that you’re not alone.
Worries that a negative credit history will seriously hurt your chances at landing a job are real, but how much can bad credit really hurt your chances? Here are 3 things to consider when your credit score isn’t where you want it to be.
Why Employers Look at Credit
The good news is that most employers or employment agencies are going to save their resources and only run credit checks for certain positions. Fortunately, there’s a good chance that you don’t have to worry about a credit check at all unless you’re interviewing for a position that involves managing finances or handling cash directly.
In the event that a credit check is conducted, what is the employer looking for? Here are the key things.
- Evidence of debt, including a high balance on credit cards, that can indicate that a higher theft risk
- Late or sporadic payments can be seen as a lack of attention to important detail or financial disorganization
- Inappropriately handling your own finances might be seen as being incapable of handling company finances successfully.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If a credit check has been mentioned, the first thing you need to do is relax. If a credit check is going to be ran, it’s most often on a candidate that they’re already strongly considering. If you’ve done your part to shine up until this point, a few dings to your credit aren’t such a big deal.
Secondly, employers see a modified version of your credit report. In fact, the details that any employer or staffing service sees when they pull up your report is limited to your payment record, and the amount your currently owe compared to your available credit.
Honesty Is Key
Finally, honesty is always the best policy. If you’ve been informed that they’re going to proceed with their background checks, it means they like what they’ve seen so far. If you have something on your credit that you’re worried about, now is the time to say so.
You don’t have to give away all the details. A quick mention that if there are any concerns with your credit report that you would be happy to clarify any issues, will typically suffice and position you in a professional light.
You credit doesn’t have to hurt your job search. If you have questions about how to best prepare yourself for the next move in your career, we’re happy to assist. Contact our staffing specialist at Top Notch Personnel and let us help.