How do you get a Top Secret security clearance or land the interview for the job and break into the federal careers space?

The Security Clearance Careers podcast was joined by Monique, who runs a writing and editing consulting company called RedInkdLLC. But before starting her own business, she was able to upgrade from a public trust to a TS / SCI, starting as a greener candidate fresh out of college. She has experience navigating the job search as a defense contractor and federal employee.


How to Get a Clearance Job and Break into the Federal Space

Monique shares the story about how she was able to break into the federal space by becoming a contractor straight out of college. How did she convince a company to sponsor her public trust? She believes that because it was a short-term contract and public trusts notoriously take a shorter amount of time to investigate and adjudicate, she didn’t have to do much convincing. Her first contract was a position with the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, and she maybe had a month before she landed her next job. A few years down the line, she moved from Secret clearance jobs to later holding a TS/SCI.

Monique offered some tips as you apply to national security jobs:

  • Target short term contracts
  • Target lower-level clearances
  • Target larger companies or agencies

How to Pivot from One Field to Another

Monique shares about how she started with the U.S. Census Bureau in communications, moving on to technical writing, and eventually pivoting to IT project management. How was she able to pivot from technical writing to IT PM and be successful in it? She is a poster child on why it’s so important to tailor your resume to each job that you are applying.

Monique has even supported the proposal editing process and gives us examples of what made some of the proposals she edited winning ones. The key is involving the team actually doing the work to ensure you meet the client’s big requirements.

Tune in to this episode of the Security Clearance Careers podcast to listen to Monique’s federal employment story, gain big resume no-no’s she has come across that you should avoid, top tips for a successful resume, the answer to the cover letter question when applying to national security careers, and so much more.

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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ 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! 🇺🇸