Do a Reputation Check on Yourself

Almost all employers will google a person before hiring them to find more information about the potential hire.  If your Facebook page is open to the public and littered with pictures of you at wild parties, this is definitely going to hurt your chances of getting the job.  You need to google yourself and find out what employers can learn about you just by typing your name in to a search engine.  What do you do if you find negative information about yourself?  There isn't much you can do, except try to create positive information about yourself and delete whatever negative information you are in control of.  Do not hire one of the new "reputation" companies, who for a $3000 fee, claim they can erase negative information and plant good information about you.  There have been numerous complaints filed against these companies because they do not do what they claim they can do.

Most companies discriminate against women in their child-bearing years and who have young children.  Why?  Because they are absent from work more due to parental responsibilities.  It is illegal for employers to ask women if they are parents or plan to have children; however, many human resource managers will try to determine a woman's parental status by searching the internet for information about her personal life and looking inside her car for evidence of children, like a car seat. 

There have been several articles published in magazines claiming that people have a better chance of getting a job if they have a profile on LinkedIn, particularly if they are older.   It would be a good idea to create a profile there; however, be aware of what information you post as an identity thief might be able to steal your identity if you give away too much information.

Secondly, too many employers use a person's credit score to measure their morality.  A person who doesn't pay his or her debts might be considered to be immoral or untrustworthy by an employer. There are certain jobs, such as working at a bank, where all employees are required to have a good credit score and not have too much debt.  This is because banks are afraid employees with debt will steal from the bank.  A store manager might not hire a person in debt as a cashier for fear that he or she will steal from the register to pay debts.  People in the military are often disciplined for having negative information on their credit reports.

Unfortunately, at the present time, consumers are not entitled to get a free look at their credit scores from FICO; however, you can get free copies of your credit reports at http://www.annualcreditreport.com.  This is the official site the three credit reporting agencies -- Experian, Equifax and Trans Union -- set up to comply with the federal law requiring them to give every American a free copy of their credit report each year.  You do not have to sign up for credit monitoring or any other service at this website to get your free credit reports, although they will try to sell you various services. 

You should take a look at your credit reports if you are searching for a new job to find out if there is any negative information on them that could keep you from getting a job.  If you find negative or inaccurate information on your credit reports, you can dispute it online and try to get it removed.  For example, if you find an error on your Experian credit report, just log on to your account at experian.com and complete the online dispute form.  If you currently have a credit freeze on your credit reports, an employer cannot access your credit report, and might pass you up for the job.

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