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Why Your Credit Score Could Ruin Your Dream Job

March 30, 2011

By Adam Carroll, Phoenix Thunderbird Alumni

Just as the “inexperienced” label can jeopardize you getting your dream job, so can the “irresponsible” label.

A good friend of mine graduated from a very well respected private school with a Journalism degree. She was a straight A student, very involved in clubs and organizations and had even landed some fairly prestigious internships while she was in college. Through a connection or two, she managed to get an interview at one of the most well-known magazine companies in New York. (You’ve no doubt seen the magazine with the picture of the same person every month on the cover. I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with Moprah.)

She absolutely nailed the interview. She built tremendous rapport with the HR manager. They even commented on how talented a writer she was. The position was as good as hers.

Two days later they called and said she didn’t get the position because her credit report showed she had been very irresponsible with money and that didn’t fit the overall image of the magazine.

So, what can you do to maximize your score and minimize the chance of you losing out on the job of your dreams?

  1. Pay EVERYTHING on time. If you’re someone that tends to miss payments, put them on your calendar and stick to it. Nothing affects your score greater than late pays.
  2. Open a credit card. This may sound counter-intuitive to my other advice, but having a credit card starts building a credit history. Don’t go hog wild – just put a couple things on a month and pay it off. (Remember: if you can eat it, drink it, or wear it, it doesn’t go on plastic!)
  3. Pay attention to what’s on your credit report. The easiest way to do this is log onto www.annualcreditreport.com. Don’t pay the money for your actual score, just get the report for free and make sure it’s ACCURATE!
  4. Don’t Co-Sign Loans! Most people have a hard enough time dealing with their own money problems. Why would you lump someone elses’ in the mix? It’s just bad medicine.

Companies today are looking for any reason to set a resume to the side. Don’t give them the opportunity to do so by being super-responsible with your money. After all, it’s kind of an important part of your life. Especially when the student loan bills start coming in…

Editor’s Note: Adam Carroll is an author and speaker who lives in West Des Moines, Iowa with his wife and three kids. A 2007 honorary initiate, Carroll is a frequent presenter at Delta Sigma Pi workshops, including LEAD events and Grand Chapter Congress. For more information or to check out his book, Winning The Money Game, visit www.adamspeaks.com.

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