Earning some form of security clearance is a requirement for many IT professionals working on government and defense projects. It’s a natural expectation when considering the importance of this work for our nation. You need to ensure your background is clean before even applying with companies active in this sector, as they will likely do a background screening before hiring you before the security clearance process is even started.

Here is a list of some factors that typically lead to a denial of a security clearance. Keep this information in mind before you embark on a government technology job search. Candidates who are already security-cleared enjoy a significant advantage over those who do not.

Significant Financial Problems

If you currently hold a lot of debt, or worse yet, have recently filed for bankruptcy, your chances of a security clearance being denied are high. Other related issues causing harm include tax liens, collections, foreclosures and a history of gambling. Keeping a spotless credit and financial record is a must.

Certain Mental Health or Personal Issues

A history of depression and/or mental illness won’t harm your chances of a clearance provided you are on medication or have sought counseling or other forms of help to navigate and deal with the diagnosis. Larger issues, however, just might. These circumstances include incidents of violent behavior or exhibiting signs of paranoia.  When it comes to personal issues, maintaining a relationship with a known criminal is another popular reason for a denial.

Criminal Activity

It’s not surprising that criminal activity is a leading reason for the denial of a security clearance. A singular misdemeanor might not cause an issue, but a history or pattern of misdemeanors or a felony will likely ruin your chances. A dishonorable discharge from the military also applies, depending on the reasons behind the incident.

Drug or Alcohol Abuse

A history of drug or alcohol abuse is another popular reason professionals are unable to get a security clearance. This includes DUIs or other related incidents on a candidate’s record. An exception is sometimes made if the problem happened years ago, and the person in question now maintains a life of sobriety.

Falsifying Information When Applying for a Clearance

Honesty is extremely important when applying for a security clearance. Expect all the information in your application to be extensively researched, and any discrepancies or falsifications will put your clearance at risk. Include all information on your application, along with negative items. Omission is another form of falsification, after all.

If you need advice on becoming security-cleared for government and defense technology work, speak with the experts at Entrust Solutions. As an experienced government IT contractor, we are able to help you achieve your dreams of working in this sector. Connect with us soon.


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