Updating Your Resume With Security Clearance

Disclosing your exact security clearance can be tricky. An employer may ask for your security clearance. However, some security clearance designations can be withdrawn if you disclose the wrong details. What should you do?! Here are some tips for how to disclose your security clearance designation without getting you into hot water.

Disclosing Your Security Clearance on a Resume 

When you’re job hunting, all of your credentials matter. If you fail to list a particular skill or qualification, you may not even get the interview you were hoping for. Normally, you would list degrees under “Education” on your resume. You may also have workshops or other credentials, and those generally can go under “Professional Development.” But what about security clearance? 

Listing your resume on a job board is tricky if you have a security clearance. Think about telling the world you have a Top Secret security clearance via a wideopen job board. Military.com points out the problem:

“Having access to national security information—especially at a level where unauthorized disclosure could cause grave damage to national security, as in the case with a Top Secret clearance—means nefarious individuals might be on the lookout for ways to take advantage of you.” 

But here is the irony: You won’t even get the interview without the clearance the employer is asking for.

The first thing to consider is the importance of your clearance designation. You have worked hard to earn it and the application process was arduous—especially the higher the security level. The reality is that if you don’t have a security clearance, the recruiter or hiring manager will discard your resume. It’s that important. So, my recommendation is that if you have a security clearance, treat it like gold and put it at the top of your resume. Don’t hide it! BUT also don’t give too much away.

The reality is that recruiters receive piles of resumes each week. For a government job or one that requires a security clearance, they often use your security clearance level as an initial screening criteria. Don’t hide the clearance in the body of your resume. Put the clearance in the header of the document or some other prominent position that will immediately show the hiring team that you have the designation they’re looking for.

However, if the organization requires that you have a security clearance, the only thing you have to do is indicate that you have it. You don’t have to give any more details than that until you go in for the interview.

For example, your header could have your name, contact information, and “Security Clearance” in bold at the top of the resume. You could even have a summary at the top that says something like: 

Security Clearance—Software and Network Engineer

I am a highly qualified, security cleared software and network engineer with five years of experience in networking installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of electronic equipment and digital software. I am military trained, having served in the U.S. Army in Iraq and Germany. 

Even this short and to the point descriptor will make it more likely that you get the interview you had been hoping for.

Blackstone Talent Group works with government contractors to help them find top talent. We are standing by to help you find the right fit for your career goals. Talk to our team today.

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