Will Bad Credit Ding Your Job Search?

Last Updated Apr 25, 2010 9:42 PM EDT

Among the casualties of the Great Recession: the credit scores of many Americans. Will those dents in your credit report raise red flags to companies considering your job application?

TheLadders has documented the extensive background checks hiring companies conduct before extending offers to senior candidates. While credit reports are among the tools they'll use to verify your bona fides, though, employers weigh credit job seekers' histories only in a few specific cases, experts said.

Most companies will run a full credit report on any candidate with access to its finances. "For candidates that would have financial oversight responsibilities, credit checks are even more important," said Kevin Connell, founder and CEO of AccuScreen, a firm that performs pre-employment screenings.

C-level candidates are also likelier to come under close financial scrutiny than senior executives lower down the ladder, said Jill Knittel, principle of executive search firm ER Associates. "Clients want to have the foresight into someone's financial mind," Knittel said. "Seeing how [you] run the 'business of life' can identify and mitigate employers' risk for embezzlement and/or fraud." Most companies will request recent tax returns to demonstrate these top candidates' ability to manage their own finances.

In general, however, companies are aware of current economic realities and prepared to cut candidates some slack, Connell told TheLadders. "In my opinion, I believe that candidates whose reports show credit issues from the end of 2008 are going to be given the benefit of the doubt for the next couple years."
  • Matthew TheLadders

    Matthew Rothenberg is editor-in-chief for TheLadders, the world's leading online service catering exclusively to the $100K+ job market. In addition to traditional job search services, TheLadders.com also provides a host of specialized career development resources. Previously he worked at Ziff Davis Media, ZDNet, CNET, and Hachette Filipacchi.

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