Amy C., Policy Analyst Supporting the Department of Homeland Security, tells how she landed her cleared job. Want to share your story? Tell us how you got your cleared job by emailing If it’s published, we’ll send you a $20 gift card to enjoy a few afternoon cups of coffee on us!

1. What was the process that led to your job? 

I was a about to graduate from James Madison University when my mom connected me with a woman who worked at SPA (Systems, Planning and Analysis, Inc.). She gave me an informational interview, and then offered to submit my resume to Human Resources. HR set up an interview for after I graduated.

2. Did you interview with the company? How did that go?

I did interview, and it went very well! I’ve been with the company for over seven years now.

The interview was long- I think there were five or six people. The first interview was with someone in Human Resources, the last was with a Vice President. I had probably only had two other interviews prior [with other companies]. I was very honest in my interview, and I had read up about the company. They were looking for someone smart and trainable, and with a good attitude. So I made sure to convey that and be someone they wanted on their team.

3. What led you to apply/interview for the position?

I wanted to start my career, and SPA looked like a good company that has strong military values/ ties. As a military brat, I felt like I belonged and could contribute to the client’s missions.

4. What advice would you give to someone looking for a job like yours?

Network! These days you need to know someone in HR to get your resume seen. Sites like ClearanceJobs may provide more visibility. Connecting with others is the best way to get your resume seen, and to become aware of new opportunities you may not have found yourself.

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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