Applying for a Job After Bankruptcy

The top 3 search queries bringing people to this site over the past month have been directly related to employment after bankruptcy. This is not a recent concern and I have addressed reader questions about it before.

Not surprisingly, it continues to be at the top of many people's minds.

The St. Cloud Times had an article on Sunday (not available on-line) urging people to "Prepare for a Lay Off Now" with a link to their feature, Managing the Meltdown: Age Matters in Retirement Planning. The article is encouraging people to prepare by taking actions to stop frivolous spending, bulk up savings, pay off debt, update their resume and network.

Planning is essential but a perfect storm of sorts is brewing and the best laid plans may go awry. In some cases, people will find themselves applying for employment after a bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not a bad thing. Bad things happen to good people and bankruptcies are not the end of the world or a career for the average person. Most employers check credit history. Credit history can go directly to financial accountability or be deemed an indicator of responsibility and accountability. An employer can not check a person's credit history without consent. However, without consent, application may not be considered. Nice catch-22!

How does a person address bankruptcy when applying for employment?

I advocate for full disclosure. An unfortunate event disclosed can be of little significance but the same event "discovered" goes to integrity and honesty. Be prepared for a question asking about the details. When asked, answer and do so honestly.  Bankruptcy should only be an issue in cases where there is a nexus between the bankruptcy and the position. Here is a summary of rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 

Don't let the bankruptcy define you or the be the focus of the interview. Be prepared to articulate lessons learned from the experience and then get right back to the business at hand - selling YOU for the job.

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