Let’s be honest, Security Cleared jobs aren’t necessarily roles contractors instinctively think about when considering contracting positions. It is also a sector some people feel apprehensive about pursuing due to the background checks and vetting processes involved. However, with daily contract rates up to 24% higher than non SC roles (anecdotally according to job boards and recruiters), potentially greater job security and once SC’d you have a commercial advantage over others who aren’t security cleared, it’s probably worthwhile taking a closer look.
Find below a few hints and tips that may either help or provide you with a greater insight into the Security Clearance process:
- You do not need to be security cleared to apply for a security cleared position– Sure it helps but it’s not mandatory – should your CV and interviewing skills dazzle you may still be offered the role.
- Remember you can not apply for Security Clearance-The company/organisation that you are applying for must place you forward for security clearance. They are your ‘sponsor’ and should give you guidance as to the type of clearance’s required for the role and how long you would be security cleared for (remember clearance last up to 12 month past the contract).
- It may take from two weeks to three months to become security cleared– True, this may seem like a long waiting time, but whether you’re looking for a new permanent or contracting role, the search and interview process for the job would be in a pretty similar timeframe. One thing to make you aware of is that should you be denied security clearance you would lose the position and have to start again from scratch…but remember it’s just like an interview process, there’s no guarantee.
So in summary, nobody can guarantee that should you apply for a security cleared job you will get the clearance needed, and that should they require a SC contractor immediately you may be overlooked, but remember, everyone has to start somewhere. Once you are security cleared you have a HUGE advantage over those that aren’t, making you a great catch and future positions.
For further details on the type of Security Clearance you may be required to undertake should you get a position, visit our How to Become Security Cleared page.
What Sector? What Company?
Now whether your a newbie or an oldie security cleared contractor, there is a vast array of security cleared positions available to you. Some of the sectors you could work in are:
- Anti Fraud
The most generous companies that offer a vast array of security cleared jobs are: Ministry of Defence, Central Government, Defence Estates and the Armed Forces.
How do I find work?
So, you know what area of security clearance work you wish to pursue, but where do you start? How can you be noticed as a newbie and how can you be picked from all others if you’re in a current security cleared role but wish to move forward?
Well it’s not rocket science (you’ll definitely need to be security cleared if it is) that the most obvious place to find jobs are recruitment sites…what you may not know is that not all Security Cleared jobs are placed online. Due to the sensitivity of information handled in some of these roles, rather than you applying for a position, companies may approach you should you have the skills they need. So, make sure you upload your CV to recruitment sites even if you can’t see your ideal job just yet.
Now, before you get that CV uploaded make sure you have all the essential qualities included that will make your CV stand out from the crowd, think about…
- CV Keywords– If your CV doesn’t include ‘scannable’ keywords and industry buzz words for your particular industry, your CV might not be found, despite the fact that you might be the best person for the job/contract.
- Two pages not ten– There has been lots of research on how many pages the perfect CV should have. All evidence points towards two. It’s about getting the right balance between just giving enough information to ensure the client wants to find out more about you and not too much so they get bored reading it. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of reviewing CVs you’ll understand why it needs to be two and not ten.
These are just some of the things to consider when writing your CV. For more help on writing your CV visit our Contractors Career’s Centre page, this will tell you what the most important thing to remember in your CV is and learn the Top 5 Tips.
Go to the source – Difficult, but not Impossible!
Another option is contacting companies direct. Now remember, companies such as BEA Systems hire mainly security cleared personnel, so they may not have their contact details for every ‘Chuck and Larry’ to contact them. Online community sites such as LinkedIn may allow you to search for point of contacts within the company again it may be a hunting game in finding their details.
Remember the two BIG benefits
As the old saying goes, “It’s not quantity, its quality”, and that is truly the case with a Security Cleared role. The two big advantages of applying for this type of position means…
- You have the potential to earn a higher salary than normal contracting jobs by nearly 24%.
- People may have always said you were special but this really is true here. Once security cleared you have a ‘priceless’ attribute. This makes you part of a niche of people that have an advantage over others, making your appeal much greater.
Remember these when searching for your ideal role.
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Good luck searching for that Contract, make sure you are ruthless and persistent. For further guidance and information on becoming a contractor, or appointing an SJD Tax Expert contact us on: 01442 275789 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.