When you apply for an old job, you might not hesitate to tell your family, friends or neighbors, basically anyone who is not your boss — that you submitted a request. In fact, it’s often a pleasure to share the application process with others, who can empathize with the stress of an impending interview and celebrate with you when you receive good news.
But when you apply for a job that requires security clearance, it’s not always clear whether you can talk to anyone or anyone. (Fortunately, we’ve got the answers here.) And the fear of doing the wrong thing, or telling the wrong person, can be very, scary.
When it comes to disclosing your security clearance itself, the rule of thumb is to use your best judgment: ask yourself, “Does this person need to know that I have a security clearance?” security ? And what will this person do with the knowledge of my authorization? It is always not always easy to know who to share with – because advertising on a large scale and you are aware of sensitive classified information can make you a target for counterintelligence agents – but at the same time less this provides some guidelines.
However, talking about applying for a job that requires security clearance is slightly different, and making the wrong call can cost you a callback. (And we know you really want this job!)
Of course there are people you must say, according to Charles McCullough III, associated with Rose des vents legal group, a national security law firm that advises its clients in labor law. To get started, he explains, you’ll need to contact both your former associates and your references when filling out Form SF-86, the form your potential employer will use to conduct a background investigation. Because the employer can contact these people, you should contact them to ask for their correct and up-to-date contact information, McCullough explains.
Even so, McCullough advises against going into too much detail with your associates and references. “I don’t recommend that applicants contact people just to let them know they are requesting security clearance. [job] and an investigator could come and call, ”he said. “It is often best to let the investigative process go unhindered.
Without a clear policy in place to tell you who you should and shouldn’t tell, McCullough says stealth is still the best and safest policy. “The plaintiff should use his best judgment in this regard,” he said. “Not everyone is eligible for access,” and telling the wrong people the wrong information could hurt your chances of getting that dream new security clearance job.
Here’s another reason why telling too many people (or telling too much to a few people) could hurt your employment chances: It could affect how you answer a pre-employment polygraph test, McCullough says. “In the event that a candidate takes a pre-employment polygraph test, they will not wish to interact with people who offer them unsolicited advice on how to handle the polygraph test,” McCullough said. “Merely receiving such advice, even passively, can negatively impact a test” which could give inaccurate results.
Of course, some agencies, especially federal agencies, may reprimand or prohibit applicants from speaking to anyone about their candidacy, McCullough says. “In these cases, the applicant must strictly comply with the warning,” he said. (Ignoring this could cost you the job.)
In other words, when applying for a job that requires security clearance, it’s best to only talk to your associates and references. Anything more could put you in hot water with a potential employer.