How to NOT Get Your Security Clearance Approved
If you get an opportunity for a position with a government or defense agency, you probably need to acquire a security clearance. This is a somewhat arduous process that requires a background check and maybe a special interview, depending on the level of the clearance. Obviously, approval is a must for you to begin working in that role.
With earning a clearance in mind, here are some of things you must consider during the process. Failure with any one of these items likely dooms your chances at this opportunity. So pay close attention to ensure your security clearance is accepted.
Having a Criminal Record
Not surprisingly, a criminal record is arguably the leading reason for denying a security clearance. Depending on the level of the clearance, letting one or two older misdemeanors pass is possible. However, committing serious crimes or having a dishonorable discharge from the military will undoubtedly lead to a denial.
Alcohol and/or Drug Abuse
Evidence of alcohol or drug abuse is another obvious reason to have a security clearance denied. Investigators look for issues that may identify abuse, like a DUI, public drunkenness, or a previous arrest. Once again, the level of the clearance influences whether or not it gets denied.
Poor Credit Rating and Other Financial Issues
Financial issues, like a bankruptcy or poor credit rating, also hurt the chances of a clearance approval. Serious debts are a definite security risk, as agencies feel that person is ripe for being bribed or blackmailed. A record of gambling is something else to avoid if you want your clearance to be approved.
Incomplete Application Forms
Incorrectly completing forms when applying for a security clearance raises a red flag. Perhaps there are unexplained gaps in employment, misspellings, or other discrepancies compared to your public record? You need to treat a security clearance application with extreme care. Make sure to follow the instructions closely and proofread every form before submission. Of course, being honest is a must.
Disreputable Personal Affairs
Investigators probe into your personal life before approving any security clearance. They even analyze relationships with others, including relatives, business associates, foreign contacts, and more. For example, multiple divorces might raise a red flag. Keep this in mind if your clearance gets denied and you want to file an appeal.
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