How to List Security Clearance on Resume (Template and tips)

Do you have an active security clearance? Or maybe you had security clearance at some point in your career and wonder how to put it on your resume.

This article will teach you how to format your resume and list security clearance without breaking the rules.

Mention your security clearance in your resume summary

If you have active security clearance and are applying for a job that requires a person with such clearance, mention it on your resume summary.

This is the place where you mention your work history and explain why you'd be a good fit for the position:

I've been a Communications Engineer for 15 years where I used my skills working for the US Military and the Department of Defense where I handled region communication in conflict zones, such as Iraq and Syria. I hold an active security clearance.

It's okay to mention the type of security clearance you have in your summary.

However, there are two problems with that strategy: it makes the summary section too big, and you lose the opportunity to write about your clearance in multiple sections of your resume.

Remember: people with security clearances make higher salaries. You need to sell yourself.

List your security clearance in your job experience section

This is where you go into details about your security clearance. You can mention the level of clearance you have and for how long you have that clearance.

If you passed a polygraph test, you can mention it too:

Active TS/SCI Security Clearance, Polygraph test completed as a requirement

Security Analyst - Chinese Translator
Department of Defense (2018 - 2020)

  • Responsible for translation of documents from Chinese to English.
  • Used knowledge of Chinese culture to interpret security threats and provide DoD with intelligence on how to deal with those threats.
  • Maintained active TS/SCI security clearance.

Notice the bullet point on the last line of the job entry? You can list the level of security clearance you've had for each job in your Experience section.

How to list expired security clearance on resume

If your security clearance has expired or was attached to a job you don't have anymore, you can still list it on your resume.

However, unlike the previous examples, you shouldn't put it on your resume summary and certainly not at the top of your job experience section.

Instead, you list it chronologically as if it was a job you had:

… [newer jobs]

2010 - 2019
Held Top Secret security clearance while working as a contractor for multiple Government agencies

Software Engineer
Department of Defense (2015 - 2019)

  • Developed internal logistics software used by the US Military, using Java and PostgreSQL.
  • Responsible for database administration and setting operating system security policies.
  • Maintained active Top Secret security clearance

… [older jobs]

In this example, clearance is mentioned twice:

You should not lie and say you have security clearance if it has already expired.

Can I disclose my security clearance?

Some people say that disclosing your security clearance will make you lose it. In some countries - like Australia - it is forbidden to disclose your clearance.

However, in the United States, it's perfectly legal to disclose it.

The DoD and the NSA have created guidance documents that teach employees how to disclose clearance without breaking the rules:

How to list security clearance on LinkedIn

You know it's legal to list your security clearance on your resume. But should you put it on LinkedIn?

There's been some controversy over foreign spies using public social networks to find people with clearance jobs, establishing a relationship with them, and then gathering as much classified information as possible.

While it's not illegal to share your clearance level on LinkedIn, use common sense.

Mention you have active clearance and add "more details available upon request".

Don't "give away the farm" on a public social network like LinkedIn. Do the right thing.

Advantages of advertising your security clearance

What would disqualify you from a security clearance?

These won't disqualify you immediately but will count as negatives against you.

What are the 5 levels of security clearance?

For confidential information, the levels are Top Secret, Secret, Confidential, USAP, ACCM. For people, the levels are Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, and Compartmented.

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