Obtaining Security Clearance

Tips for Filling out Employment Activities on the SF-86

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 up the process of getting your background investigation closed. Here are some tips from the National Background Investigations Bureau to help applicants:

– List ALL jobs beginning with the present and back 10 full years with no breaks. No job is too short or insignificant to list.

– Do NOT list tentative or future employments.

– Do not stretch employment dates to fill gaps when you were really unemployed for a month or more.

– In addition to the employer location, ensure you provide your physical work location.

– Ensure you have current up-to-date contact information for supervisors.

Pay particular attention to these questions listed after each employment entry:

– For this employment have any of the following happened to you in the last seven (7) years? Fired, quit after being told you would be fired, left by mutual agreement following charges or allegations of misconduct, left by mutual agreement following notice of unsatisfactory performance.

– For this employment, in the last seven (7) years have you received a written warning, been officially reprimanded, suspended, or disciplined for misconduct in the workplace, such as a violation of security policy?”

Whether or not you agree, if the employer would say that you were fired, terminated, or left under unfavorable circumstances, list it and explain the circumstances. If you had ANY discipline, warnings, reprimands, list it (verbal, written, formal and informal, etc.)  This will alleviate any appearance of lack of candor if something does pop up during the course of the background investigation and shows you have accepted responsibility and put it behind you.