Security clearance jobs involve more than your typical apply-hire process. Because national security positions are tied to federal job requirements, you’ll face a separate suitability and security clearance determination. Layer that on top of the government or contractor application and hire process, and it can be difficult to keep track of the hoops you have to hop through on your path to a government job.

A ClearanceJobs visitor recently asked about an employment offer that had been rescinded after an SF-86 was submitted. The individual was told he was an ideal candidate, but then the government came back and said the employment offer was rescinded. It was believed the issue was a four-year-old termination that was listed on the SF-86. There are several factors that are relevant here:

  • We know the security clearance wasn’t denied, because a Statement of Reasons wasn’t issued.
  • We don’t know that the employment offer was rescinded because of the termination – the government could have had another reason they found that the applicant wasn’t qualified or an ideal fit.
  • While this isn’t a case of security clearance denial, it could be an issue of agency suitability. Suitability determinations should be based around the same criteria as a security clearance determination…but they aren’t necessarily.

What’s a career minded clearance applicant to do? In general, a candidate does not have due process to appeal a suitability denial. The good news is, because the clearance wasn’t denied, there is nothing to preclude the candidate from immediately applying to other security clearance positions. You could spend time trying to chase down the reason for the rescinded job offer, but you’re better off investing those hours networking, applying for new jobs, and searching for your next position.

If the agency determination is ‘they’re just not that into you’ – it doesn’t mean somebody else won’t be. And a single termination from four years prior will absolutely not result in clearance denial if it is the only factor in play.

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