The competition for cleared candidates continues to rise. The good news is there are many ways to increase your cleared recruiting success, from better job descriptions to referral programs – here are our top eight tips.

1. Choose a specialized or niche job board.

Specialized candidates use specialized resources to job hunt. Reach a more qualified audience with less effort by focusing your online job postings and resume database searches on sites exclusively serving security-cleared candidates.

2. Develop a strong job description.

Since candidates often search by key skills (keywords), include them in the job title, skills listing and job description to optimize your search engine marketing. Consider adding a separate keywords section to your job posting with variations of keywords, alternate spellings, and acronyms and their definitions.

3. Know your military jargon.

Learn common military acronyms, keywords for hardware and software platforms and often-used abbreviations. Utilize internet search engines to define unknown military jargon.

4. Post and search.

Use both. Job boards provide two main avenues for finding prospective employees: a place to post open positions and a database of candidate profiles and/or resumes to search. Both are valuable tools and each can deliver a different set of candidates. Don’t forget, most job seekers search job postings first, and only post a resume if they find positions that match their skill sets.

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5. Make the military work for you.

Transitioning military service members make great employees and most have active clearance. Contact transition offices and family service centers of bases in the areas you are hiring. Most have robust career centers and are able to refer quality candidates to you.

6. Understand the security clearance process.

Security clearances and investigations are inherently complicated. Understanding the background investigation process, how adjudication works, and why candidates can be denied clearance puts you in command of the hiring process. Subscribe to blogs like and read the Security Clearance FAQ for current information on security clearance issues.

7. Ask for referrals.

Can’t find your ideal candidate in a resume database? Contact similar candidates in the same area and industry and ask for referrals. Tap into your network with great opportunities, but never waste anyone’s time with a half-hearted message.

8. Involve your employees in the search.

Involve your own employees in the job search by asking them for referrals, having them review resumes of potential applicants and including them in first interviews. Employees who participate in the process are more committed to helping new hires succeed. Recruiters should remind their clients to practice these tactics, too.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer