Tips for Filling out Employment Activities on the SF-86

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There are lots of questions on this site from security clearance applicants regarding what or how to list employment activities in Section 13A on the SF-86. The more accurate and thorough you are, the easier it is for investigators and records custodians to verify the information and check the block. That in turn helps speed…

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Good advise, but I would like to add a few additional suggestions -

  1. If you work a summer job in the summer of 2015, Summer 2016, and Summer 2017, do not list that you worked at this job from May 2015 to August 2017. You worked at this job from May 2015 to August 2015, May 2016 to August 2016, and May 2017 to August 2017 WITH periods of UNEMPLOYMENT from August 2015 to May 2016 and August 2016 to May 2017. You can list these 3 periods of employment with the same employer as 3 separate employment items or utilize the “additional periods of employment” option within the employment item.

  2. If you are a 1099 employee with any company, you are SELF-EMPLOYED. When self-employed, list a verifier who actually has direct knowledge of your self-employment (i.e. customer, client, not your best friend whom you never did work for/with).

  3. Do not check that you are a state employee if you are a city/local government employee.

  4. Do not list someone you have never met as your supervisor (i.e. a random person in HR).

  5. If you work for a temp agency, list the TEMP AGENCY as your employer. The company you are placed at is the Job Location.

  6. If unemployed, list a person who you actually saw while unemployed who can account for your activities during this period of your life. Do not list the random man/lady at the unemployment office.

I am sure there is more, but that is all I can think of now.

And my final PSA, listing correct employment information is especially important for the Tier 1-3 cases where you might not ever meet with an investigator. Letters are sent to employers (on some of these case types) to verify your employment, this cannot be done if you list incorrect information. It will also delay the process if the letters are sent back undeliverable. It could also be a problem if the employer shows no record of your employment (because in reality you worked for a temp agency, for example). All these things DELAY background investigations. As for the T4/T5 cases, you will be able to clarify information to your BI, but if these employments are in different areas, an investigator might already be assigned the work before you ever get a chance to sit down with an investigator. That other investigator is then spinning their wheels searching for people who do not exist. Utilize the comment section if you need to explain some oddity in the employment.

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