Obtaining a security clearance can be a pain, but the career benefits are worth it. As someone in his or her twenties, putting together a security clearance package presents unique problems. It’s said that millennials are great at multi-tasking – their memories seem to be less clear, if you ask security clearance investigators, as many seem to have trouble digging up exact addresses, employment histories, and references for their applications.
Don’t take the risk of having your clearance denied or delayed. Here are a few of the top issues, and tips for answering the tough questions (because ‘I don’t remember’ or ‘I’m a millennial, it’s not my fault I’ve had five jobs before I was 20’ won’t cut it for a security clearance investigator).
- Previous addresses from how long ago?
I think all would agree that remembering where you have lived for the past ten years is challenging. College graduates most likely move every year. I don’t know about you, but I cannot remember ten addresses. And does living in my mom’s basement for six months count as an address? (Answer: yes).
When I got my first clearance at the tender age of 18, I had two addresses to remember. After my most recent clearance change, I had to remember EIGHT different locations, to include military posts that lasted less than six months. Thank goodness for Amazon.com for keeping track of half of them. This might be a good way to track down some of these addresses. And my mom said online shopping would get me nowhere!
Add to this the dreaded question of “please list someone that knew you at this address” and the heat is on. Do you call your long lost roommate from freshman year that seldom showered and had dramatic phone calls at odd hours of the night? Is working for a government agency really worth rehashing that train-wreck of a relationship? Well if you’re frequenting Clearancejobs, and you love America, then the answer is most likely yes. So suck it up, dig up some fond memories of the smelly drama queen, and get that clearance! As painful as it may be, it’s a good idea to contact them ahead of time if at all possible, to confirm you still have their correct information. If you’re applying for a top secret clearance, it may be a huge time saver.
Read the other tips here, and drop us a comment with any tips you have for millennials filling out their SF-86!