The Career Coach on Security Clearance and Job Relocation

April 23, 2012 |



I wanted to follow up after reading your answer about placing a security clearance on your resume.  I have heard in the past that it was discouraged (or outright inappropriate) to place your security clearance on your resume since that is sensitive information.  Are you able to clarify that please?



Ray —

I have seen references to DOD security clearances on resumes for 30+ years. Defense contractors frequently ask for and often require security clearances on resumes, cover letters, and application forms., the federal government official jobs website, asks for security clearance information. Every military service member has to have at least a confidential-level clearance. Given all of that, I disagree with what you have heard and believe that references to security clearances on resumes is neither discouraged nor inappropriate. In fact, such references are often required and/or value-added. However, if you or anyone else out there has contrary information, please share!

Regardless, thanks for your question and for your service.

Good Hunting!

Tom Wolfe


I am relocating from Pasadena, California to the Chicago Metro Area, and I have received minimal responses from potential employers. Does this region of the country have more caution when selecting out-of-state candidates because of higher salary req’s, relocation costs, and risk of non-conformity to the company mission statement?

Best regards, 


The lack of response in your job search is more about supply and demand than than focusing on Chicago-land. Chalk it up to more good people than good jobs and your long-distance area code and zip code.

Moving yourself to Chicago will eliminate a big chunk of the problem and now you will be on equal footing with your competition, at least geographically speaking.

Good hunting and thanks for your service.

Tom Wolfe

If you have questions, general or specific, about getting started in a civilian career, email them to Tom at, and we’ll feature his answers in this blog.

Tom Wolfe is an author, columnist, career coach, veteran, and an expert in the field of military-to-civilian career transition. During his career he assisted thousands of service members in their searches for employment, placing more than 3000 in their new jobs. Prior to civilian life, he graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy and served as a surface warfare officer. He teaches transition courses, gives seminars on career and job change, writes about the career transition process, and continues to counsel current and former military personnel. His book, Out of Uniform: Your Guide to a Successful Military-to-Civilian Career Transition, was published by Potomac Books in 2011.

OUT OF UNIFORM: Your Guide to a Successful Military-to-Civilian Career Transition

Tom Wolfe, Career Coach

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.


  1. John says:

    I'm a retired veteran and applied for US Air and United/ Continental Air lines. My disappointment was not been selcted for the Flight Attendant possition. It gives me the impression that they do not hire thurstworthy veterans. What can you tell me about this trend?

    • Tony says:

      John: Do not give up trying. I too was a veteran (Vietnam Era) who saw an ad in Ebony magazine in 1974 ,got a F/A position with a major airline and became one od their best for 10 yrs. Highly selective,1 in 4000 was the ratio then. Keep trying.

      Tony P

  2. Ken Hontz says:

    With regard to relocation (I'm planning to move from Baltimore to Phoenix), I find a lot of employers are reluctant to talk to "out of area" applicants unless they have a serious lack of local applicants. I've even seen posting that state "Local applicants only."

    I too will probably have to relocate first, then rely on temping and my financial cushion while I hunt for that permanent job.

    • Dale G. DVOP says:

      Ken: the Phoenix metro area has four DES (Department of Economic Security) employment service offices and two MWC (Maricopa Workforce Connection) county one-stop locations. All locations have DVOP (Disabled Veterans Outreach Program) specialists to assist and work with veterans. Register in first then stop in the closest office with your DD214 and resume and ask to meet with a "Vet Rep."

  3. Natalie says:

    I will be relocating this month from New Jersey to Baltimore, Md. For each job that I applied for, I had to state that I was relocating to Maryland. It seems that employers are prejudiced (whether a servicemember or not) toward "out of towners". I would suggest contacting the state's Chamber of Commerce, then uploading your resume to the state's job website. It's not a prudent move to relocate without the written promise of employment first, even if yout think your'e financial cushion is comfy.You would have to have at least 6 months or more rent to put down because it may take just that long to find gainful employment.

  4. Jacob says:

    Howdy Ray,

    As a former Army Security Manager, I have some insight on your question. Regarding placement of your security clearance level on a non FOUO documents or forums, this is not an issue until you surpass the collateral secret level.

    Once you get into the Top Secret level, and particularly advertising that you have current access to any Secure Compartmentalized Information, or SCI, must be cleared through your servicing Special Security Office (SSO). Doing so without going through the appropriate SSO is a potential security violation, as you are advertising your personal placement and access to extremely sensitive information to whomever wants to know, ie someone who would want to exploit your access to SCI info.

    This is normally not an issue, as you shouldn't have access to SCI while not currently in a position that needs it to do your job.

    For example 'I have a Secret Security Clearance valid until 2015' no issue. vs 'I have a TS/SCI security clearance with access to caveats X, Y, and Z.' No Go, as you are publicly revealinge your access to SCI information.

    Hope that helps.


    • Michele says:

      As I have since retired and a former Security Manager, how can I apply at Job Fairs that require you to have a current clearance. I was under the impression that the formality of updating or changing is when they do a background check as part of your condition of employment?

  5. willie sangalang says:

    Why US goverment not issue a security clearance to the civilian looking a better jobs at overseas, and pay the expences. this is another income to the USgoverment.