I answered more questions on the radio this weekend

I was on public radio’s Marketplace Weekend again this weekend, taking more questions from listeners about job searching. (This was a bonus round because we got so many questions from people the week before!) We talked about:

  • what to do if you’re overqualified
  • advice to someone who’s applied for 700 jobs and isn’t having any luck
  • when you’re worried about a credit check while you’re job searching
  • how to use your network
  • and more

The segment is six and a half minutes and you can listen here:

{ 17 comments… read them below }

  1. Wakeen's Duck Club*

    To the person who has applied 700 times: Have you considered having someone else critique your cover letter and resume?

  2. Ali Bradstein*

    I work in the banking industry and was required to complete a credit check. I know one coworker of mine doesn’t have the best credit history (one charged off credit card) and was still hired.

    Somewhat relevant: Elizabeth Warren just reintroduced a bill that would make it illegal for employers to require credit checks. From what I can gather, this is something she had been working on for some time before the Equifax security breach.

    1. Rusty Shackelford*

      I have a family member who works in banking. At some point during the hiring process, she had to write a letter explaining why she’d declared bankruptcy and how she was making sure she didn’t get back into that situation. But it didn’t prevent her from getting the job.

      1. Anna H*

        I can imagine infinite ways that letter could get sassy.

        “I was rear-ended in a hit and run accident and suffered catastrophic injuries. My medical bills were insurmountable. I will prevent this from happening in the future by teleporting to work and wearing three-piece suits made of bubble wrap.”

        1. Rusty Shackelford*

          No kidding. In her case, it was more like “As you know, the largest employer in this podunk little town closed and sent all their manufacturing jobs overseas, and since my husband and I both worked there, we had no income. To prevent this from happening in the future, I would like to work at this bank instead, as long as you agree not to send my job to China.” :-P

      2. A Nonny Mouse*

        I was most definitely not hired at a bank because of my credit. But then was hired doing financial stuff elsewhere, passing their credit check.

    2. Gaia*

      I find it particularly gross that some employers tend to assume poor credit = higher likelihood of theft. There is a pretty close correlation to credit and socioeconomic class and race in this country. Being poor and being a minority means you are far more likely to have poor credit than being middle or upper class and white. People have bad credit for a number of reasons, some of which are their fault (intentionally charging up large amounts and willfully not paying – which is rare) and some are caused by unfortunate circumstances (medical issues, unemployment, divorce, etc). The trouble is, you often cannot tell the difference by looking at a credit report.

      1. Iris Eyes*

        Or just not borrowing much money in the first place. There are just so many ways that that little sliver of your financial life might not be telling a very accurate picture.

        Copious amounts of spy novels and movies have proved though that the easiest person to get to do a dirty deed are those with money problems. Too bad bookies and loan sharks don’t show up on your credit report.

      2. Observer*

        Here are some interesting statistics


        This is just a quick sampling – it indicates that a lot of what is said about the matter is not really evidenced based – on either side of the argument. I think smart employers understand this, and this would make Alison’s advice more useful.

        1. Close Bracket*

          From the abstract at the second link:

          “Results from a random sample of 2519 employees indicated that those with FH concerns were significantly more likely to engage in CWBs than those without FH concerns.”

          Details are in the paper, but the correlation sure looks evidence based to me, at least for those employed by the federal government. That’s probably why a poor financial history is one of the top reasons for denial of a security clearance.

      1. hayling*

        Thanks! I take a light train to work that goes underground so I like to download my podcasts in the Apple Podcasts app.

  3. Christmas Carol*

    I had to file bankruptcy because I was too honest to consider stealing money from my employer to pay my bills.

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