Persistence is a quality that most recruiters, security officers, and hiring managers are desperately seeking from their qualified candidates – motivated to accept the offer, excited about the start date, and actually shows up on the first day. But the lines between persistence and annoyance can be blurred for security clearance applicants who feel like they’ve been living in adjudication limbo for some time, and feel so close to reaching a security clearance job they can almost taste it.

One ClearanceJobsBlog subscriber took persistence to a whole new level hoping to solidify their start date by trying random FBI telephone numbers, and even resurrecting the topic a few times on the blog throughout the last two years:

I’d like to resurrect this topic. It’s been 5 months since it happened, and I am still not over it. Quickly, I was processing through a 3 letter DOJ agency for a Linguist position, passed all the tests, BI, and polygraph. Was told to come in for processing to get onboarded and then after an unfortunate circumstance (called multiple people and multiple numbers at the agency, ending with an upset security team) I was not processed and never got my TS read on. Question: some time ago a contractor inquired about my status in SC (Scattered Castles) and didn’t see anything under my name; can I contact a senator to ask of assistance in this matter? Every phase of my investigation was done but it’s not reflected in SC. Is there a way to have that somehow reflected in SC so other agencies/contractors can easily and much quicker complete my clearance? Is that something a senator could/would assist with?


The Intelligence Community’s security clearance system of record, Scattered Castles, does not communicate with the Department of Defense’s Defense Information System for Security (DISS) and will need to be verified with security officers who maintain IC programs.

The original poster mentions that they received a letter from the agency that says their background investigation was successfully completed, but due to a change of circumstances they were unable to provide the applicant a contract. And after security officers searched their personnel record, their profile turned up empty. We have noted at ClearanceJobs previously that semantics can get the best of a greener candidate who is trying to navigate the clearance process. Just because your investigation was completed and was favorably reviewed does not mean you have a security clearance. Essentially, you are just eligible for one because the investigation is only one of the steps towards obtaining a clearance.

Unfortunately for this applicant, security officers that have direct access to their personnel record in SC have the information at hand to make a decision whether this candidate can be onboarded or not. You cannot reach out to a senator to edit your personnel record within these systems or have them communicate with agency security teams to add in information.


Many commenters advised that the poster should not have bothered the agency so much when they received the initial word from their potential supervisor that they got their TS clearance and should come for processing. While I disagree with the commenters that said the applicant should have rested on their laurels and waited around for a call (persistence can get you places), the poster should have asked better questions from the start instead of dialing random telephone numbers after the fact. During the first phone call, some important questions would be: who is my potential supervisor? Can I have their contact info? Should I reach out to them? Should I connect with the security team? What are next steps or how can I streamline the process to get in the door quicker? What is the status of my clearance in SC? What is the status of the position/contract I applied for?

This applicant is beating a dead horse by wasting precious energy on an employer or contract opportunity that is just not going to pan out. It most likely wasn’t due to persistence or annoyances on the candidate’s part and was more so due to the ebbs and flows of contract extensions and losses. Move on. There are plenty of other positions out there.


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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸