When looking for a new job, it’s important to do certain things. For example: network, optimize your resume, and keep your references informed – just to name a few steps. It also might be important for a job seeker to keep his or her credit report looking clean, and reflective of a responsible person. This because a person’s credit report might be reviewed by potential employers.
Of course, there are myriad other reasons why one would want to keep a good credit record. Particularly, the behaviors that result in a positive looking credit report are ones that probably help us live responsibly, survive, and even thrive. Interestingly though, based on what I read in an article on Kiplinger, a notable percentage of employers actually check credit reports.
Apparently they don’t have access to credit scores. That being said, according to the article, about 13% of employers do actually check credit reports. However, when you narrow down the list to selected positions, this percentage increases to 47%. Persons to whom this might apply to are higher level employees, those dealing with finances, confidential information, etc.
Now, I agree the notion that you simply can’t say no if you’re asked to let them get your report and review it. There is something to be said when it comes to protecting one’s private information, but when dealing with a prospective employer in which you have an interest, you have to play by its terms for the most part. What other choice do you have, other than choose to seek a job elsewhere?
It’s noted that it’s a low level criteria considered by employers, but if it wasn’t important, it wouldn’t be considered at all. One could surmise that there could be an expectation that an candidate is responsible with personal finance affairs.
I had two immediate takeaways from this:
1) It’s yet another reason to keep good credit. Obviously the actions leading to a good report are important for other reasons, as alluded to above. But this adds an extra layer of importance. Also, it seems like another reason to check your credit report to make sure it looks right.
2) Perceptions are often reality for job seekers. This is a bigger topic that can apply to any employee, customer, business partner, or other stakeholder. It seems like there are so many perceptions that be drawn, and many of them are actually quite dubious. That being said, it’s simply something to consider, for better or worse. We’ve talked here about how there are some email addresses that are considered uncool to certain employers, and how that impacts perceptions. Also, how some data shows that people with certain email addresses are more likely to have better credit scores than others. Obviously the email doesn’t cause this, but it’s a profile variable. Anyway, bottom line this that perceptions can matter – and this is yet one more example of this.
Frankly, this makes some sense if you think about it. If you were to hire someone for a position of certain importance, wouldn’t you want to make sure that the individual is responsible? If they’re (seemingly) reckless with their own money, how will they treat an employer’s business?
My Questions for You
- Have you ever been asked to allow a potential employer to view your credit report?
- What are your thoughts on the two takeaways above (and on this concept in general)? Feel free to elaborate.
- Do you think that perceptions matter, even if not entirely fair?