A security clearance is an official authorization where an individual can apply for a specific position to get access to national security or any classified information. A security clearance can sometimes be mentioned as an eligibility criterion for a few jobs that may involve sensitive or classified information.
By reading just these two lines, we can easily state that these clearances are very much related to confidential matters.
If any such eligibility criteria are mentioned in the job description, then it will be better to say that you must mention these in the resumes. But what if these clearances are not required for a job you are applying for?
In such a situation, we always recommend you to list these security clearances very carefully because they can be problematic sometimes. It will be better to understand its compulsion or requirement in the resume or not.
What is Security Clearance, And Why is it Given?
There are essential eligibility criteria for getting employment as a high-level official. In a few jobs, for example, a government or military profile, it is mandatory to have a security clearance. It may sometimes be essential to get employment as caterers or custodians who generally work with people or places where this confidential data is shared.
Private organizations like trade secrets can also ask for clearance status because they generally work with classified personal information. But all these security clearances are not equal because you cannot provide any governmental data to any private firm/organization, as this can be completely illegal, and you can be arrested in worst-case scenarios.
So there are different levels of security clearance, like confidential, secret, and top secret. The top-secret data generally involves the highest level of support because it is related to national security and can be risky. In contrast, confidential data is at the lowest level where any access to the information does not prove that it will put the nation at risk or not.
Whether it’s the lowest or highest level of security clearance, it should always be used very carefully, as any information can be used as a weapon against a country if used in the wrong way. Any job profile requiring these security clearances undergoes a process of a background check where authorities collect information like residential history, acquittances, history of education or employment, etc. If the rules find any confusion or negative points while collecting personal information, they can automatically deny the security clearance.
As we are discussing listing the security clearance on the resume, we assume that your profile has already been accepted or is listed on the security clearance by your country’s government. If the job profile states anything about security clearance, mentioning this information in the resume would always work in your favor.
When Should You List the Security Clearance?
You should list the security clearance wherever it becomes mandatory, especially where it is mentioned in the job description specifically. You should always mention security clearance while providing a summary of your work history.
You should also explain to them why we think you are the best candidate but also ensure that you are not making your paragraph or summary very long. A very long section can be tedious, and the recruiters will not read it.
The most important thing is that you have worked very hard to earn this, so you should always use it carefully and use it as gold in the resume. Always remember that if the job description explicitly asks for a security clearance, then the salary will be much better than the other candidates because you will be the most desirable ones. So never be ashamed about discussing the salary package because you deserve it.
Points To Keep in Mind While Listing Security Clearance
The points that you should keep in mind while listing the security clearance on the resume are listed down below:
Step 1: Always understand the requirements of the job profile.
Step 2: Once you are confirmed that it’s the eligibility criteria for the job, then you should mention it immediately without any second thought.
Step 3: You can also include the security clearance in the professional profile summary in a single line.
Step 4: If you want to describe the security clearances, you can add details to the employment history. Ensure that you are not disclosing too much information like the name of the project or missions, locations, the name of your supervisor, and the tools you used while working. This information is personal and should always remain hidden.
What Factors Should You Keep in Mind While Mentioning the Security Clearance?
You don’t have to lie when you’re listing the security clearance. It’s okay if you don’t have any security clearance, but if you’re lying, it will negatively impact your reputation in front of the recruiters and the industry. It’s also okay if you don’t have an active security clearance; even then, you can always use bullet points to describe work and the total time you were an active security clearance. Even if it has expired, you must mention it in the resume.
Another fundamental question is, do you have the authority to disclose the security clearance? Several people are confused about this because the government rules and regulations vary from country to country, so it is very important to read your country’s guidelines. For example, it is completely banned or forbidden to provide information about security clearance in Australia.
At the same time, disclosing the security clearance in a country like America is entirely okay. So always ensure you follow all the rules in your country without taking too much of stress applying for a new job.
[Your name]Employment history
· [Previous job.1]
· [Previous job .2 ]
· Security clearance [the real life example is mentioned in next section]
123 Main Street, New York
+1 212 656 4651.
Security clearance, 7/2020 to 10/02/22
Department of Defense
· Responsible for maintaining security.
· Experience in ensuring the requirements of an investigation. Furthermore, also checking if these are fulfilling the guidelines
· Overseeing the management system for every facility.
· Maintaining personal security by escorting and screening the individuals.
· Maintaining and creating the access list.
· Supporting the government and contract inventory audits and reporting it.
· Distributing and picking up the mails.
· Authorization and monitoring of departure and entrance of the visitors and employees.
· Reviewing the data.
· Supervising the Security Assistance.
Can You Put Your Security Clearance on Your LinkedIn?
This has always been a topic of debate in various countries because LinkedIn has generally considered a social networking site that can provide a very detailed history, not only the professional life but also the personal life. This information can be used in several ways that may impact national security or your own safety.
As mentioned earlier, the rules of citing or disclosing the security clearance vary from country to country, so in the same way, saying it on LinkedIn is also not a problem. Still, it is always a personal choice to do so.
One must remember the consequences as it is a public platform and anyone can view your details, so always be careful about this.
Bonus Read: How To Use LinkedIn To Get A Job
In What Situation Should You Avoid Mentioning Security Clearance in the Resume?
A security clearance is always a plus point, as it can help to get a better salary. But one should always avoid it if you have mental health issues, double citizenship, been born abroad, extensive traveling outside the country, and have debt problems.
Another significant factor is when your spouse is a foreign individual, as it can create a few negative points against you, and your resume can be quickly disqualified. So it will always be better to be extra careful while you mention it, but obviously, it has very high advantages where the recruiter can easily trust you.
Simply speaking, having a security clearance makes you a trustworthy individual and makes you unique from others.
An active or even an expired security clearance can positively impact the mind of the hiring recruiter while you are applying for a job. So it is very important to mention it in the resume summary under the work history sections if you have it.
When specifically mentioned about the security clearance, it becomes much more critical or important to list it down. Always keep in mind that your work summary shouldn’t be too big as you also highlight your duties when you are a part of security clearance.
You can also mention the level of security clearance, which can give you an extra benefit in getting shortlisted for the next round.
Never use bluff information or words to fill the summary; instead, you can use bullet points and different techniques to make it much more visible, like bold or italics, etc. It is not always mandatory to mention the security clearance in the resume when it is not mentioned in the job profile if you already have a solid academic background and job experience.
In such a situation, you can avoid it altogether. Still, if you feel that is a very high competition, then you can mention it to make your profile much more trustworthy and unique from the other individual. Hope the information might have helped you!