Should I Put My Security Clearance on a Resume?

What should I put on my security clearance resume? You might ask yourself this question when you have just received your security clearance and are wondering how to use it in the best way possible. This is particularly true if you’re looking for opportunities within the national security community and creating a military resume or federal resume for sensitive roles.

The answer, generally speaking, is YES, you should include a security clearance on your resume. Not only is this is key requirement for many government contractor jobs, it also is a good mark of character for civilian employers. Security cleared professionals also frequently can command higher wages for certain positions.

What is a Security Clearance Resume?

A national security clearance resume is a resume for roles that require a federal security clearance. You most likely acquired a security security clearance during your military experience. This credential required a background investigation and completion of a clearance process. A cleared professional can be shown classified information without violating federal agency policies.

Who Looks for a Secret Clearance?

This qualification is relevant to many potential employer groups including federal contractor positions, federal agency roles, and civilian employers. A secret security clearance represents the minimum clearance level for many positions.

Cleared professionals also can often command a higher wage, especially in roles such as cybersecurity. Companies seeking cleared professionals often pay a 5% – 20% premium over other employer (for cleared contractor roles).

Even an expired security clearance has value. It demonstrates to civilian employers that other authorities (your government agency and military bosses) have trusted you with sensitive information. It’s a good mark of character for a hiring manager.

What Can I List on My Resume?

You’re allowed to indicate you have a security clearance as well as the clearance type. You’re also allowed to indicate you passed a polygraph on the resume and include relevant dates (be careful about how broadly you share this). The Department of Labor actually recommends that security cleared professionals mention it on their resume.

Check the job opening and it should mention the specific security clearance level required. Be sure to highlight any relevant armed forces work history in terms which civilian employers can easily understand. (And don’t break confidentiality in writing your resume, of course)

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