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The 3 Best Ways To List Security Clearance on Your Resume

The 3 Best Ways To List Security Clearance on Your Resume

For government agencies and an array of corporate entities, protecting of government and trade secrets is vital to the ultimate protection of a nation’s citizens and resources or of a corporation’s inventions, personnel, and/or intellectual properties.

To ensure the protection of such classified and critical information and resources, governments and corporations often institute a series of security clearance levels obtained by employees through investigations into their work history and personal lives.

The question is, how should security clearances be listed on a resume?

 

How should I list security clearance on my resume?

To effectively list security clearances, avoid burying such achievements in any narratives on a resume by looking to highlight the clearances as bulleted points or within the text of a brief summary. To further augment the listing of security clearances, use bold-faced and/or italicized text written in ATS-friendly fonts such as Times New Roman & Arial. 

As for the text itself, use a minimum of 11-12 point font to make it easier for hiring managers to read the resume and ultimately see any mention of security clearances.

 

The 3 Best Ways to List Security Clearance on a Resume

Generally speaking, resumes and CVs offer three main locations in which security clearances can be listed while providing good visibility to readers.

The first such section is the ‘Summary of Qualifications’ or ‘Professional Profile’ sections.

 

In Summary of qualifications section or professional profile section

At the beginning of most resumes is either a ‘Summary of Qualifications’ section or a ‘Professional Summary’ or ‘Professional Profile’.

Within either a succinct profile of 3 to 4 sentences or as a bullet point in a summary, this is an ideal location for acknowledging and highlighting a professional’s security clearance.

 

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

Operations analyst and IT specialist with expertise in logistics, supply chain, and information systems management. Advanced proficiency in leading pricing and contract negotiations, stemming from the sourcing process, and ensuring superior commercial and contractual terms for businesses and consumers. Security Clearance: Top Secret

 

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS

  • Operations analyst and IT specialist with expertise in logistics, supply chain, and information systems management.
  • Advanced proficiency in leading pricing and contract negotiations, and ensuring superior commercial and contractual terms for businesses and consumers.
  • Granted TOP SECRET security clearance and entrusted with oversight on company patents, Federal contracts, and international property rights.

 

In Job Description: Maintained Top Secret security clearance

In addition to the Summary of Qualifications section, jobseekers should consider mentioning any security clearance with the list of achievements and duties listed under relevant jobs from their work history.

What is particularly of importance in this regard is to list details regarding any promotions and resulting increases in security clearances as such achievements are most notable when applying to higher-level government and corporate jobs that deal with highly classified material.

 

Miller-Hanson Corporation ǀ New York, NY ǀ March 2017-Present

Associate Director, Patent Office

    • Maintained oversight of company’s internal patent office, managing the processing of provisional patent applications with US Patent Office.
  • Promoted from Assistant Director to Associate Director in October of 2017, which included elevated security clearance from ‘Secret’ to ‘Top Secret’.
  • Oversaw filings for 27 provisional patent applications, which ultimately resulted in company engineers and software developers obtaining 24 US Patents.

 

In a standalone “Security Clearance” section

While not a section routinely seen on resumes, jobseekers may include a separate section on their resumes specifically set for listing security clearances.

When applying for jobs requiring security clearances, such a section should be placed near the beginning of a resume, after the Education or Professional Profile sections.

 

SECURITY CLEARANCE

 

Miller-Hanson Corporation ǀ New York, NY ǀ March 2017-Present

  • ‘Top Secret’ Clearance, Active ǀ October 2017-Present
  • ‘Secret’ Clearance ǀ March 2017-October 2017

 

What are the different levels of security clearance?

It depends on the organization. Within the federal government, employees could be granted “Confidential” clearance, “Secret” clearance, or “Top Secret” (TS) clearance, the latter the highest clearance level, which includes access to secret information, personnel, or facilities deemed HIGHLY classified and of extreme importance to the Nation’s safety.

The Department of Defense also has additional specialized security clearance designations for specialized operations, assignments, and information access including “Yankee White” (clearance for being attached to the President and Vice President of the US).

 

Should you always list a security clearance you obtained?

It is not required that you list it. That said, even employers/companies that don’t require a security clearance be earned/maintained, seeing a job applicant with a security clearance will likely show employers that you are highly competent and trustworthy.

Given the importance many companies place on background checks these days, acknowledging you are having a security clearance in the past could help you appear less of a risk when it comes to hiring.

 

How does an employee obtain security clearance?

Generally speaking, a security clearance is not given until a new hire successfully completes an extensive background check, which may include interviews of a new hire’s family and friends as well as investigations of the new hire’s citizenship status, credit history, political and/or organizational affiliations, criminal history, and educational background.

 

Do I need to list that I lost a security clearance due to negligence or other reason?

Unless an employer makes it mandatory to divulge that information (which I don’t believe would be possible), disclosing the loss of security clearance is not something I have ever heard of being required.

When you go into an interview, just be mindful of the fact that a background check completed by an employer may uncover a loss of security clearance, which is possibly something that will come up in an interview.

Should you ever lose your security clearance, seek legal guidance on how and whether or not that information should be revealed.

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