We do our best at ClearanceJobs to give you the best insight, news and analysis on security clearance and job search topics. Here’s a breakdown of the articles you found most interesting in 2011. Have a content or story idea you’d like to see us pursue in 2012? Email editor@clearancejobs.com. Happy New Year!

1. How Much Does it Really Cost to Get a Security Clearance

Just one of the many misconceptions about the security clearance process is the cost. Contrary to popular opinion it doesn’t generally cost several thousand dollars, and costs don’t fall directly onto the shoulders of defense contractors.

2. How to Prepare for a Security Clearance Polygraph Examination 

Oh, the security clearance polygraph examination – in order to work at some agencies or pursue certain career paths, it can’t be avoided. Read this articles to help separate fact from fiction when it comes to the polygraph exam.

3. Top 10 IT Certifications Held by Cleared Professionals

Certifications aren’t just nice-to-have – they’re required for an increasing number of positions, especially in the government. Read the results of our survey of security-cleared professionals to find out which certifications are the most popular held by your peers.

4. How to Lose Your Security Clearance 

Your security clearance is one of your most valuable on-the-job assets. Make sure you don’t make these dumb mistakes that will force you to lose yours.

5. Bullet-Proof Your Defense Industry Resume

Here’s a fact – your resume is one of the single most important keys to helping you land your next job or promotion. If you’re in the defense industry, you need to take specific steps to bullet-proof your resume and stand out from the competition.

6. How Long Does it Take to Get a Security Clearance

This is a popular question for professionals awaiting their first security clearance. Get the details on average processing times for Fiscal Year 2010.

7. Processing Interim Security Clearances

Interim clearances can be a lifeline for individuals in the security clearance process. While full adjudication can take months, interim clearances can take as little as two weeks. Read this article for all of the details you need to know about getting your interim clearance, and getting to work in a security-clearance career.

8. The Benefits of Working Overseas as a Contractor

Working overseas as a contractor was a growing trend in 2011. With the military withdrawing from Iraq and drawing down in Afghanistan, expect the trend for work overseas to continue in 2012. From security forces to analysts and linguists many security-cleared professionals will pursue the benefits – from higher salary to resume credentials – of overseas work.

9.BRAC Impact on Security Clearance Adjudication 

For those living in affected areas – particularly places like Washington, D.C. region, Huntsville, Ala. or El Paso, Texas – BRAC isn’t anything new. But security-cleared professionals who may not otherwise be affected by BRAC might be surprised to learn that their security clearance process is. BRAC is combining adjudication facilities. In the short term, that means growing pains and delays as new staff is hired and offices consolidate. In the long-term, the hope is the consolidation will improve the efficiency of the clearance process.

10. Overseas Contracting Considerations for Cleared Workers 

You know there are benefits to working overseas as a contractor, but there are drawbacks and considerations – especially for clearance holders. Read this article for things to be aware of.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.