Obtaining a DoD security clearance is a key step if you want a career in the military, government, or private sector supporting national security. A security clearance is required for access to information that could potentially harm national security if leaked. So, if you want access, you have to go through the process and prove that you can be trusted and won’t be the next one to leak classified information.

5 Tips to Help You in the Security Clearance Process

If you are looking to obtain a security clearance, there are a few things that you should know to increase your chances of being granted one. While the goal isn’t to dupe the system, you should want to move through as seamlessly as possible. And sometimes, applicants are their own road blocks to getting a security clearance and working in national security.

1. Be honest and forthright.

The first step to obtaining a security clearance is to be honest and forthright in your application. Any discrepancies or omissions in your application will be noticed during the background investigation, which can lead to denial of clearance. Be sure to disclose any and all information, even if it seems minor or embarrassing.

2. Avoid illegal activities.

Engaging in illegal activities, including drug use, can seriously harm your chances of getting a security clearance. Be sure to avoid any activity that could be seen as a potential security risk. If you have a history of drug use or other illegal activities, be upfront about it in your application and demonstrate that you have taken steps to address the issue.

3. Be financially responsible.

Financial problems, such as excessive debt, unpaid taxes, or a history of bankruptcy, can also affect your security clearance. If you have financial issues, be sure to address them before applying for a clearance. Demonstrating that you are financially responsible and have taken steps to address any issues can increase your chances of being granted a clearance.

4. Maintain good relationships.

Relationships with family, friends, and coworkers can also impact your security clearance. The government will investigate your relationships to determine if there are any potential security risks. Be sure to maintain good relationships with those around you, avoid people who engage in illegal activities, and disclose any potential security risks.

5. Be patient.

Obtaining a security clearance can be a lengthy process. It can take a while to complete the investigation and receive a clearance. Be patient and prepare yourself mentally for the process.

Follow the Steps

Getting a security clearance requires honesty, responsibility, and patience. It’s not an overnight process, but you can increase your chances of being granted a security clearance and pursuing a career in the military, government, or private sector that requires one when you go through the steps correctly.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.