This past weekend Suze Orman talked with a lady who couldn't get a corporate credit card due to her credit report. She suggested getting several secured credit cards from credit unions in the range of $300-$500 and paying them off monthly to rebuild her credit. Stick with credit unions or banks for the secured credit card because there out cut-throat loan shark credit cards out there like the one the lady had with 59% interest rate if the balance wasn't repaid monthly. You need to pay your utilities on time because these report to the credit bureau. If you aren't being hired due to your credit you will know because you have to sign and give them permission to check your credit. Also the employer is supposed to send you a letter telling you that they didn't hire you due to an adverse credit report. Of course they don't always do this. In fact yahoo.com just had an article about this problem just the other day.
If they do ask you to sign for a credit report I would address the situation and tell them the reason your credit is bad is due to a divorce and your home being underwater due to the national or regional (Nevada, Florida, California etc) economic collapse. Suze always recommends being proactive about your credit situation with employers if credit is brought up honestly explain the reason. Many companies are doing credit checks, but not all do. Also some states have outlawed the practice of using credit checks for employment.
Obviously look over your credit report and get your credit scores by the three companies. You can get a free report from www.annualcreditreport.com
but you still have to pay for the credit score. Its best to check out all three. Also check out the book Your Credit Score by Liz Weston to learn more about how to fix your credit score over time. It's possible you could also improve your credit score by being linked as an authorized user of someone with good credit like a family member. They were talking about stopping this, but I think its still a way to bring up one's credit score and Suze in fact suggested the lady have her fiance add her as a authorized user to improve her credit score if he had good credit!
Liz Weston has other good books the best Deal with your debt, explains how to use debt for maximum flexibility and how best to pay it down safely. She has other money books as well. A great budget book by now Senator Elizabeth Warren who helped bring the National Consumer Finance Bureau into existence is All Your Worth. It recommends a budget of 50% needs, 20% savings or debt repayment, and 30% wants. She also explains what to do in a financial emergency and when and how to consider bankruptcy.
I hope this helps. Good luck with the job search
. There is a lot of competition as well some places are getting 100+ applicants for a job so it might be about more than credit. Don't give up, remain persistent and eventually you'll get a job.