Bankruptcy can give you and your finances a fresh start. However, some may worry about how their recent bankruptcy filing could impact their employment search.
For those who filed and are looking for work, the circumstances may be a bit different. While it’s illegal for public and private employers to discriminate against workers for bankruptcy, that’s not always the case for job seekers. That’s because the bankruptcy protections for them are often vague.
Despite this potential barrier, that doesn’t mean finding work during or after bankruptcy is impossible.
Addressing bankruptcy during your job hunt
In some cases, employers may ask to do a credit check if you’re a prospective hire. Even if the employer finds a bankruptcy on your credit report, here is what you can do to ease their worries about you as a worker:
- Be honest: The saying often goes, “honesty is the best policy.” If an employer asks you about your bankruptcy, it’s best to give them a brief and concise explanation. Whether it’s due to divorce, medical debt or other factors out of your control, many employers may understand your situation. You should also state how these personal issues won’t have an impact on your job performance.
- Return the focus to your value as a worker: After giving a brief explanation, you can tell the employer about things you’ve accomplished in previous positions to show that you’re committed and qualified to perform the job, no matter what life throws your way.
- Provide references: If you’re a single parent, you may have had to put in many hours at more than one job to make ends meet. If you displayed devotion and a strong work ethic, you probably have previous coworkers and managers who could give you a reference. Providing these references can put the prospective employer at ease, knowing that despite your current situation, your work will be a good return on investment.
In some cases, employers won’t even do a credit screening when they’re evaluating you as a candidate. But by preparing for these discussions with prospective employers, you can give yourself an upper hand during your job hunt and get your financial life back in order.