Ina Opperman

By Ina Opperman

Business Journalist

Why a clean financial history is a must if you work in finance

Why does someone who wants to interview you for a job in finance want to check your credit record?

Candidates for financial roles face a critical requirement that is often overlooked: a clean financial track record.

While possessing the right qualifications and skills are vital, it is equally essential for individuals aspiring to work in the financial sector to maintain a healthy financial history, Simonne Adcock, a senior recruiter at REDi Recruitment, says.

“Candidates in financial roles, such as accountants, financial analysts and investment professionals, are entrusted with handling significant financial responsibilities. Their work directly affects a company’s financial health and reputation and as such, employers place great importance on the integrity and reliability of their financial staff.”

Adcock says the reason why candidates should prioritise a clean financial track record is simple: trust. “Financial professionals handle sensitive information and make critical financial decisions. If they have a history of financial troubles, it can cast doubt on their ability to make sound judgements and manage financial resources effectively.”

She says she has directly seen the impact of candidates not disclosing their credit standings and then losing out at the final hiring stage due to companies finding red flags about candidates’ personal (mis)management of credit.

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Financial problems can show youre not a good fit

“Issues such as bankruptcy, late payments, or excessive debt can raise concerns for potential employers. These problems can indicate a lack of financial responsibility, which is undesirable in a profession where prudence and trustworthiness are paramount.”

Candidates with financial issues may face difficulties in securing roles that require them to handle company finances or work with clients’ money.

“Addressing these issues upfront is crucial for candidates seeking financial roles. Disclosing any past financial challenges to recruiters at the initial stages of the job application process can help build trust and transparency,” Adcock says.

“This allows candidates to provide context for their financial history and demonstrate how they have learned from past mistakes and discuss the steps they took to improve their financial situation”.

Waiting until the final stage of interviews to address a problematic financial track record can be too late, she warns. Employers may have already formed negative opinions and the candidate’s credit record could become the deciding factor in whether they are hired.

“A clean financial history is vital for candidates in financial roles. They should proactively address any past financial issues with recruiters early on to boost their credibility and chances of landing top positions in the financial sector.

“Recruitment agencies focus on candidate readiness, emphasising that transparency at this stage streamlines the process and benefits both candidates and employers. Issues can be effectively managed when openly acknowledged and addressed by both parties.”

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