About a year and a half ago, I was laid off from a secret clearance position. When I interviewed for new gov positions, there was always enthusiam from the client until a security check. My cert was still valid, but I was due for another interview in about six months.
I asked a security officer from one of the companies who rejected me, what the problem was. He said he couldn’t say, but that I should probably pursue work in the private sector and that maybe only 15% of companies requiring clearance would hire me. I don’t understand what’s going on. I called HR of my prior employer who were the only company I had a clearance with and asked what black mark they put on my record. The said “nothing”. Well, it was not a particularly amicable parting since I was laid off, so they seem to have done something to my clearance. I have since been re-interviewed about three months ago and heard nothing negative, and now I’m job searching again and the very same thing is happening…great interest in my interview, then dropped cold.
How can I find out what this black mark is?
You can always formally request a copy of your investigation. If it was NBIB/OPM that did your last investigation, go to their site and search on copy of investigation. I believe this can be done online. If it is your clearance check, it would be included in your copy of investigation However, it seems unlikely that there would be anything extremely unfavorable that you were not already aware of. Potential employers most likely would only have access to the adjudication of your last investigation; not all of the details. If it was adjudicated unfavorably, that would have affected your last job. It could possibly be a reference check that is holding you back and not the clearance.
I don’t think that you have a black mark on your file. It seems more likely that companies are initially enthusiastic because you are already cleared and can work right away. That enthusiasm disappears when they discover that they will have to sponsor you for a PR soon.
Thanks for both your insights and sorry for the delay getting back to you.
The security officer of a military base who did not hire me last year told me that there was a problem and that it was his guess that I had only maybe a 15% chance of getting hired for a secret clearance position. He would not tell me why, but he said he wasn’t talking about the fact that I’d need re-interview in six months. He said “for example, like if you copied files you weren’t supposed to.” If he really meant that is what it was; we had dlp installed and couldn’t do that anyway. I asked him multiple times what exactly it was but he would not be specific.
It’s a year later and I’ve done a very good job for this unclassified marine corp position, but my wife and I would like to relocate. So now I’m getting the same kind of interview experience that I did last year…initial excitement because I have a lot of experience along with assurances that I’m quite nearly a shoe-in, then checks on security, then nothing. But, the jobs stay posted for weeks or months. We can hardly get anyone worth anything to interview with us as it is. The job market seems very good, so maybe it is just my ex-boss doing this. We did not part amicably…after all I went out in a large layoff. But still, there were others newer to the group, much younger and certainly not as talented as I am who did not get fired. I did very good work for him, but not all bosses are good people and this one was wicked and abusive to say the least.
I did not know I could get a copy of my clearance. I also don’t know what organization performed this latest interview about three months ago. I can probably find that out. Btw; I’m about 60; does anyone have a good feel for how much that hurts me?
Thanks again for your help.
I’m almost certain it’s because you are due for re-investigation.
In the private sector almost every job request says “Secret clearance with latest investigation within last 5 years”
I suppose it could be your former boss. But I doubt it.
Hi Tim, that may have been true last year, but I was re-interviewed over three months ago. A recruiter told me last week that there were no black marks on my record, so something is still wrong. I have a very good resume with most or all the certs and credentials. Aside from that, I’m the lead on our team and I know my stuff. So something is rotten in Denmark.