Knowing that you have to go through the security clearance process could make you groan in dread. In the past, security clearance was a laborious process that could not be streamlined or mitigated—you just had to go through it. But there are some things you can do to help your chances that you’ll pass your clearance without interruptions. We have six ways to impact the process during initiation, investigation, and adjudication phases of the security clearance process.
Two Tips to Streamline the Security Clearance Initiation Phase
1. Make sure you submit complete and accurate information. A complete application will make this process seamless. List everything on the application, even if you were unemployed and couch surfing.
2. Talk with your references before you submit the application. Prep them on what they can expect when a security officer contacts them. Doing this prework will make sure your reference knows what to expect, and can return calls promptly.
Two Tips to Help with the Investigation Phase of Security Clearance
1. Make sure to review your SF-86 before the interview occurs. If there is anything missing, make sure you bring that documentation to the interview.
2. This includes being prepared with any information if it’s changed in between the application submission and when the interview occurs. For example, did you find a new job? Maybe you got married? Did you take on a new credit card or a home equity line of credit? All of these things could slow down your investigation process. That is, unless you bring documentation to the interview proactively before the interviewer asks.
Two Tips to Make the Adjudication Phase of Security Clearance Easier
1. Stay in touch with the Facility Security Officer (FSO) sponsoring your security clearance on behalf of the company. It won’t move your application up on the list for approval, but it will keep your candidacy top of mind. An FSO can reach out to their counterpart working on the security clearance process to check on your status.
2. If you’ve done all of these things and it’s been a year with no movement, here’s a tip: Consider a Privacy Act request. Typically, we play this card if we’re trying to figure out why a security clearance was denied. But you can also use this tactic to find out the status of your security clearance. Just send a simple letter saying that you are requesting, under the Privacy Act, records pertaining to X. Make sure you include identification information and make it easy for the agency to find your case and respond.
There is some good news to consider. The huge backlog of security clearance applications has been reduced. This has reduced the weeks it takes to hear back on a security clearance. The National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) also has been working on improving their workflows. Ultimately, some of the simple background checks now end up taking just a few months.
Organizations seeking security clearance talent should consider a conversation with Blackstone Talent Group. We have cleared talent and can help you improve your time to hire. Talk with our team today to find out how we can help your business.