ClearanceJobs is celebrating it’s 13th anniversary today – that’s 13 years of connecting cleared professionals with the best security clearance careers. Thirteen years later, our commitment remains the same – to provide security for your information, an online network you can trust, and an adaptive, responsive website. We just launched our new, mobile friendly design, which means you can take ClearanceJobs with you wherever you go – from phone, to PC, to tablet.
For candidates at every stage of their career we offer a number of resources, tips and advice. In honor of our 13th anniversary we’re rounding up some of our favorite pieces of advice and resources, with our top tips for cleared candidates:
1. Bullet-proof your resume. Your career network is about way more than a resume – but that doesn’t mean your resume isn’t important. Your resume details are still one of the best ways to get noticed and picked up by an employer, and having an impressive resume – both hard copy and online – is a great way to make a first impression.
2. Tips for a better profile photo. We know you’re security conscious – but we also know that a photo is another key first impression you make to a potential employer. That’s why we offer tips on getting creative (and keeping your identity private), as well as examples of what NOT to use.
3. How to get views of your online profile. If you build it, they might not come. That’s why it’s important to follow these tips for getting your online profile noticed.
4. Translate your skills. Whether you’re a veteran, or a civilian working in the defense industry, you know that the military has its own language. Within some offices and agencies, even, the terminology is unique. Always translate the skills, certifications, training programs and titles into language any laymen can understand.
5. Take advantage of social recruiting…securely. Social media offers a number of advantages – and using sites like Twitter and Facebook can be great ways to build an online “brand.” When it comes to actually posting your resume and highlighting your security clearance experience, however, the Cleared Network is the only secure online networking platform. You can join groups, connect with recruiters, and thanks to our recent site upgrade, even offer status updates on your personalized profile.
6. Have a plan. Your career isn’t going to move in an upward trajectory on its own. In the hierarchical defense industry, it’s a good idea to map out how to get from point A to point B – and whether or not that will require overseas assignments, agencies moves, or new certifications.
7. Know when to go. Not everyone has job flexibility. But you’re far better off looking for your next opportunity while already employed, so be sure to watch for the signs that your current position isn’t the right one. And even if you’re very happily employed, never stop networking.
8. Be prepared to ace an initial applicant screening. Think a candidate screening phone call is no big deal? It’s a HUGE deal – if you don’t impress in the phone or Skype screening, you won’t make it to an in-person interview. Prepare for a pre-screen call in a similar way that you would an interview.
9. Attend conferences and tradeshows when you can. If your current employer offers up the chance to attend a conference take it. Even unemployed job seekers should way the benefits of attending relevant industry tradeshows – they’re great networking opportunities.
10. Be open to both private and public sector work. While most people demonstrate a preference for federal employee or contractor, both positions have their perks. Be up to a change if the time, and the job, is right.
11. Don’t lose it (your security clearance, that is). We often hear from job seekers who have had their clearance lapse in a previous job and are now unemployed and looking for work. Sometimes retaining a clearance isn’t an option but if all possible, find cleared work to do to keep you clearance active, especially if you anticipate a job change. Also, don’t do anything dumb to jeopardize your clearance.
12. Do your homework. When it comes to landing an interview, preparation is hands-down the biggest key to doing well. Make sure to learn about the company, the position, and even the person interviewing you. In a crowded job market, it might make all the difference.
13. Post a better status message. A status message helps your online profile stand out, and makes you appear more personable to employers. Stuck in a rut with what to post? Here are five ideas.
Have your own top job search tip? Share it in the comments!