Incorrect information about past experiences


Here is the story. I lied on my resume to boost experience so I listed part time grocery store job.I knew the owner and people I knew worked there so I went there and helped few times but actually not worked there. I later asked the store’s owner that if he would say yes to my employment there and the owner said he would do that.

For me to be consistent on SF-86 (Secret clearance) form I listed that job as well on the form. (It was cash job for employees there because I know since I went there often and knew the owner)

After few months of submission, I was granted interim clearance and by the time I realized I made a big mistake that whether final eligibility gets granted or not I was afraid to keep this lie so I quit the job to terminate the process. At the moment, it wasn’t about keeping the job that I felt guilty myself. (no interview was conducted).

I quit the job because I didn’t want it to be denied if found or I did not want to keep the lie even granted. If was a small market store job that it would not have even affected much on the resume but I made a poor decision at that time.

The question is, if I get a job later that requires clearance, I am willing to disclose about my false information and explain everything about the incident on SF-86 form and ask for forgiveness of my past misconduct. How would clearance adjudicator see this?

If you helped out occasionally, were paid occasionally, even under the table…I don’t see it as a major factor other than a propensity to not follow rules. You classified it as deliberately telling a lie, enough that it bothered you. Age at time of offense, time passing since this occurred, remorse for mis-characterizing the situation, and coming clean(er) about it can help mitigate it, even ending employment because you felt guilty helps mitigate it. Obviously this weighs heavy on your mind. If you were going for a Polygraph and did not yet face up to this, I would predict having difficulties as it stresses you. I would fully explain this bad judgement to the investigator and tell them how bad you felt and the steps you took to change your ways. Over report instead of under report is the best course.

And Yes, I would fully disclose on the form rather than investigator finds a discrepancy from the previous form and brings up the issue. One more question that, is lying on the resume of previous experience something that adjudicator sees as worse than drug use?

Thank you for your reply. I helped out few times but was not paid.

I think the larger concern is not what you put on your resume as much as what you put on your clearance application. That’s an official USG document. There are certainly ways to work with this fact pattern when you reapply.

I don’t see it as a question they would ask or I would divulge unless it comes up under why you departed a position.

I would explain it just like that. Technically you worked there. That no pay was given or no taxes paid…that isn’t the business they are in. Simply account for the time. If they press ahead I would explain it bothered your sense of morality and acted decisively. I see that as a positive.

Yes, I technically worked there and got paid. When reapplying for it if future job requires clearance I would explain about it.

I mean I got paid for the position I voluntarily left recently. Not the market store position. Technically I did not work there ( helping some work there few times. that was it) and I wrote on sf-86 that I was paid cash for that market store position which I was not paid cash/check because I did not work there technically. What do you mean by “That no pay was given or no taxes paid…that isn’t the business they are in. Simply account for the time. If they press ahead I would explain it bothered your sense of morality and acted decisively. I see that as a positive”?

Thank you for your reply, could you elaborate ways to actually work with this fact pattern when I reapply if required in the future?

Understood. Honesty is everything. Be forthright and open to any question asked. Adjudicators do not automatically make a leap from helping out and then try to connect to your taxes and anything like that. I’m referring tot eh position you mischaracterized. Clearance division isn’t the resume police. But I would take that off your resume unless you state “unpaid position.” If the investigator asks about the positions be honest.

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Amberbunny is correct in their assessment. As a former investigator, however, I get concerned about folks using the word “lie” and subsequently continuing it on an official federal form. In working with the fact pattern I’d really have to see the documentation you provided, etc.

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Amberbunny, that market store job was listed as 2010-2011 which I don’t put on my resume anymore because I should not. I will just be honest if the issue is confronted and would never ever commit this kind of misconduct again. thank you all.

Hello @amberbunny, I have a question that what if I got a job that requires secret clearance and I explain about my misconduct on new sf-86 form and say everything about mitigating factors such as leaving the job of feeling guilty myself etc… is it still automatic denial or since I am now giving full truth, do I have a chance to be granted?

If it truly was nothing more than chest puffery claiming it as employment, resume enhancement…framing it in the best light possible and you suddenly felt you crossed the line into being untruthful or mis-characterizing the bullet point…I would not worry once you removed it from your resume and current work history. On an SF 86 be truthful. If you literally showed up, accomplished tasks, assisted in whatever way even if not for pay, list it as such. Explain to the investigator you previously listed it as full employment and felt it did not accurately characterize the status and you since removed it from the resume and weren’t sure how to capture it for the current SF 86. Listen to the investigator and follow their input. I myself have an item listed differently on two of my SF 86’s for TS SCI with full scope Poly. I was asked why it was different and explained the initial Security Manager instructed me to capture it one way, and after my first Poly the Polygrapher made a very strong case as to why it should have been listed the way they wanted to see it. I lean towards over reporting vice under reporting. Go to lengths explaining things to be clear. Honestly, spending a week or two at a work location even if casually assisting whilst drinking coffee was time spent at an establishment. If the person you hung out with understands how and why you captured it and agrees it was correct…nothing to worry about. If the investigator feels it needs scoped…they will contact them to verify how you present it. Since you removed it, I would make it a point of order to discuss with the investigator. Obviously this troubles you. More so than what I can grasp unless there is more depth to the situation not revealed. Key points: you felt uncomfortable, you removed it, you are willing to speak to it. The clearance process isn’t about finding Angels. Rather it is to find “clean enough” people who will be honest about past mistakes, bad decisions, and misconduct. They are not going to ding you if what you are currently saying makes sense and lines up with your actions. When there is a disconnect between what you are saying, what the provable record demonstrates…or what the business will say if contacted…then there will and should be questions. But if it is as you say removed, corrected and better presented…I see no issue…as framed.

Thank you for your deep and thoughtful help. Yes, I removed from my resume and as I stated above, I was never officially hired as an employee at the market store but few times went there to help (such as moving inventory etc…) and there is no record of me at all (such as application, pay records etc… and the owner at that time is not current owner at the store anymore) I will just truly state about it. thank you.

amberbunny, I am sorry for keep asking but I forgot to ask about this. Prior to secret clearance for sf-86, I submitted sf-85p for moderate risk public trust. I said the same thing on sf-85p (such as listing the market store as if it was an employment etc…). One day, investigator called me that she would like to conduct an interview (on sf-85p) in few weeks but I was never contacted afterward. So I submitted sf-86 (another upgraded investigation) about 5 months after initially contacted by an investigator (about sf-85p) which she never contacted me after for actual interview. Question is, I know I quit the job since I felt guilty on sf-86 secret clearance and I am now willing to say upfront about my misconduct but how will prior sf-85p be viewed? I am not sure why no actual interview was conducted for public trust but it should have been disconnected once I submitted new investigation of sf-86.

I wouldn’t worry about it. The process is so long and slow…life circumstances change substantially while under review. What may or may not have been fully clear on one form may change completely by the next. The main point here is to be forthcoming, honest, and truthful. So simply list and speak to the situation as you frame it now (if truthful). If asked about a disconnect explain it further that you took no pay, it was more a “sit, drink coffee, but sure I can help load that truck” position. At stage one you saw it as definite capturable experience. In retrospect it was much more “sit, drink coffee” than “load this truck.” So you re characterized it as not happening at all, nothing more than lending a hand and the other employees are no longer there to vouch for it. Not having someone there to verify isn’t that uncommon. Most with DoD clearance eligibility list various base housing addresses. With the rate of PCS change, most neighbors rotate out within 3 years. Within 5 years the entire housing development can disappear. This happened at two military bases from my active duty time. The investigator found it hard to believe the neighborhood was gone. But it was leveled and high rise tower apartments were built in its place.

I’ve heard of people (well, just one really) who were told by investigators “you should have listed that volunteer position you held six years ago when you were in college even though you really didn’t do anything” so if that is true then this position should be no big deal.

amberbuuny, follow up question that my new job’s FSO says my old (6 months ago) sf-86 form can be used on a new clearance process that I was actually expecting to fill out a new sf-86 explaining about my misconduct but FSO says my interim SECRET clearance can be re-activated again and I just need to do fingerprints again. Question is, since I don’t get to fill out new sf-86 form, I should contact the investigator spontaneously and explain about the misconduct upfront and tell the truth right? Meaning I should approach the investigator first before he/she finds something questionable which shows I am willing to talk about the issue.