Career Advice – Top Secret vs Top Secret SSBI

Most employers see a difference between ‘Top Secret’ and ‘Top Secret SSBI’.

It helps to know more about your security clearance. Does JPAS list your clearance as ‘SCI-eligible’? If so then that is important information that an employer should know about.

Also, with background investigations and periodic review (PR) updates being more behind than ever, then including your last investigation date on your resume can be an incentive for employers to consider you.


— Security Clearance: Top Secret – SSBI, JPAS: SCI-eligible, PR: 2014

Got career questions?

Bill Golden

Got a resume? Will be glad to share with DoD and IC employers

Got a resume?

Resumes for Defense Employers – Keep it simple!


Recommended Resume Format

Please remember that there are various kinds of resumes for various kinds of jobs. It is easy to get differing advice on format and style. That advice is not necessarily wrong. It usually represents the industry focus of the presenter.

There are a wide variety of formats that you can experience in the fields of defense and intelligence.

When in doubt, ask: what format would you like my resume to be in?

A style of resume that is popular among ‘defense contractors’ is the chronological.

Keep it simple: White copier paper, left aligned, font size of 11 or 12, Arial or Times New Roman font, and a line return (blank line) between paragraphs and/data elements.


Firstname Lastname
(703) 555-1234 /
Sometown, Virginia

Objective (Optional): Seeking mid-level position as _____.

Certifications: Top Secret SSBI / BA, MPA degrees / CCNA, MCSE

Professional Experience

2014 Apr – Present: Job Title, Company Name
Overview of scale and scope of responsibilities. Keep this as brief as possible. Names of software, systems, and key tasks performed should be included.

2009 Feb – 2014 Apr: Job Title, Company Name
Overview of scale and scope of responsibilities. Keep this as brief as possible. Names of software, systems, and key tasks performed should be included.

2006 Jan – 2009 Feb: Job Title, Company Name
Overview of scale and scope of responsibilities. Keep this as brief as possible. Names of software, systems, and key tasks performed should be included.

Prior to 2006: Summarize your professional experience older than 10 years ago in an information-rich paragraph. Do this even if it means squeezing 20 years into 75-100 words maximum. You should have a long master resume that expands on your entire career but that should not be the resume that you submit to a recruiter. Have it as a record for your own reference. It may come in handy at some point.

Education: 2011 MPA, University of Oklahoma; 2007 BA University of Maryland

Keywords: P-3 Orion, TRQ-32, MOS 352C, NSA, Czech, German … list keywords that represent you and your experience that may be of interest to an employer. Leave out religious and political words – not appropriate for applying to a defense and intelligence job.

When you finish putting your resume together
Sent it to us!

Hot Resumes

Writing an Anonymous Resume — Bill Golden sez

Anonymous ResumesWriting an anonymous resume means more than just removing your name and contact information from a resume.

There are usually two reasons that you would create such a resume:

  • #1 – to keep your current employer from recognizing that you are looking.
  • #2 – to protect your identity from those that may wish you ill or harm.

To truly protect your identity then you must avoid creating a chronological resume — although for many industries it is absolutely essential that you have a chronological resume! You just will not get employer contacts unless you do.

Below is my recommended format for creating an effective anonymous resume. Commentary on included items will be provided in (comments).


Bill / Anonymous Resume (1)

Northern Virginia (2) (3)

Current Certifications

— CISSP, MCSE, Top Secret/SSBI (4)

Skillset Keywords

— I have current expertise in the following: Create a list of keywords and/or keyword phrases that describe your knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA). These could be the names of equipment, projects, locations, tools or software that you are adept at wielding that could benefit your next employer. Since you wish to be anonymous then ONLY INCLUDE things for which you have done or used within the last five years.

Experience / Last 12 Months

— What is the general scope and scale of what you have done over the last 12 months? Example: My role has been Senior-Level Network Engineer and NOC Shift Manager for a 35 member cybersecurity team responsible for enterprise systems within the mid-Atlantic region. (5)

Experience / Last 5 Years

— Broadly outline your experience of the last five years just as you did for the last 12 months above.

Experience / Last 10 Years

— Broadly outline your experience that is older than the last five years but less than ten years.

— Your experience probably included different experiences, locations, equipment and systems, etc, for your employment of more than five years ago. So once again, appropriate to the time period (5+ years ago), outline your expertise in the following: Create a list of keywords and/or keyword phrases that describe your knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA). These could be the names of equipment, projects, locations, tools or software that you are adept at wielding your KSAs to benefit your next employer.

Education (6)

AA (1997), BA (2003)



1 – Give recruiters a first name to call you. It doesn’t need to be your real name. Pick something simple and common. Interaction requires some level of one-on-one.  A faux first name is much better than a recruiter feeling awkward contacting you via ‘Dear Anonymous’. You can give your real name once you are comfortable with the person that contacts you.

2 – Yes, you need an email address. Some websites automatically create a forwarding email address for you even if you are not anonymous. However, if you wish to truly be anonymous then create a separate email address. Get something from GMail or Hotmail and have emails forwarded to your regular email — so you don’t overlook checking. Anonymous resumes do not get a high response rate from recruiters and you may get tired of checking your special email account unless you are getting regular traffic.

3 – Yes, you need a location. Your location does not have to be exact. Recruiters are seldom interested in chatting with candidates that require relocation. So give them something to assist them in understanding your geospatial location. You could just use your city name or using a metropolitan area name. Examples: Richmond VA; Metro Washington DC; Baltimore, MD area; Northwest Florida; Southern California; Colorado Springs area, etc.

4 – If you have certifications then put that information up front. Certifications are often more valuable than formal degreed education. On an anonymous resume, certifications could be the one thing that encourages a recruiter or program manager to contact you. Anonymous resumes have very low contact rates so this is a major advertiser for why they should contact you.

5 – There is no need to mention the name of your employers. Be consistent: leave out the names of your employers. Whom you worked for can be important for you to get your next job — but since you want to be anonymous then naming employers can also expose your identity.

6 – There is no need to give the names of the schools that you went to. You could include the expertise area of your degree (if relevant to the job) if you wish, or you can just list the level of degree received. Naming schools can compromise your identity.

Before creating an anonymous resume, ask yourself why you are doing it. Such resumes have abysmally low response rates. For some individuals it is essential to have an anonymous resume. Please do not create an anonymous resume because you believe that it will give you a mystique factor — this only works for the most unique of individuals, and they probably aren’t looking for a job.

by Bill Golden

Recruiting / Things that make me crazy

Recruiting Crazy Things that make me CRAZY:

When recruiters whine that they can’t find candidates — so I ask for a job description. I can usually find folks with that. NO!! They don’t want to go through all the resumes that may get sent in. … HELLO! It is a cycle. You tell. People respond. You don’t get resumes, and I don’t get resumes, without giving candidates a reason to send in their resumes.

When candidates send me their resume and the brief note: Find me a job. If you want to use our Career Coach services then please do. Yes, it costs a few dollars. However, we also publish an online career guide with links to relevant job listings and that is free.

When recruiters put a job online and three days later say that they aren’t getting applications. The world has changed. Once upon a time candidates went directly to jobboards and applied directly. Yes, that still happens but a lot more is happening as well. Question? Are you getting applications on your own website? With the proliferation of micro-jobboards and aggregators then candidates have options to ‘search once and find many’ opportunities. However, remember those things called Google, Bing and DogPile? Much of the recruiting world depends upon search engines — and that indexing can take several days. It is not uncommon to use Google to search Indeed, and such. So if you want it yesterday then start posting your job the day before, or even the day before that.

When candidates say that there are no jobs, but they have put only several hours at most into search. Candidate whine time: There are just so many websites. I hate online forms (you aren’t alone!). It makes me crazy that I send in resumes and don’t even get an acknowledgement email (you aren’t alone!). … Yes, all of that is true and more. However, finding a job is a job. It is not uncommon for it to take 3-6 weeks for a professional to find a new position.

When recruiters refuse to accept resumes that are sent to them. Tell candidates that they need to go to our corporate website. Tell them to create an account on the corporate website and fill out the webform. Tell them … Sure. You don’t want to sort through and to read resumes. Candidates don’t want to wander through a gazillion websites filling out forms. Who can hold their breath the longest? Ask yourself: how can you simplify the process?

When candidates send in their resume and say ‘please don’t share this with anyone before contacting me’.

When recruiters do send me a job description and ask if I can find a candidate. Sure, how would like to pay for my time. Oh, you thought that I might know someone. I am willing to make referrals for entry-level. They have challenges.  If you are looking for professionals then I earn my living (getting paid somehow or some way) looking for them.

When candidates send in resumes that are totally unrelated to the job being applied for. This is why recruiters dislike reading resumes.

? I search the world. Who and what can I find for you?

Best regards,
Bill Golden

Do I have your resume? Bill Golden asks.

Intelligence AnalystsDo I have your resume?

I work with a wide variety of recruiters and companies in Defense and Intelligence. So when they ask: do you know anyone like … do I have your resume?

Send to

If I already have your resume then I’ll be glad to update it for you online. Your resume should updated online at least every 90 days whether there are changes in your status or not.

Best regards,
Bill Golden

Advice / Naming Your Resume

Naming your resume

>> A good format is: Lastname – Firstname – Year

2014 is gone so go ahead and name your resume ‘2015’.

Example: Golden – William – 2015

>> This also makes your resume easily sortable and found if a recruiter goes looking for it.

If you want to create an update then add a version number like ‘v3’.

Example: Golden – William – 2015 v3 … or:
Example: Golden – William – 2015 v3 Analyst

Arrgh!! Top 20 MOST ANNOYING Buzzwords and Phrases in the Workplace“Dynamic,” “Deep Dive” and “Leverage” Among Most Overused Buzzwords

MENLO PARK, California /PRNewswire/ — While today’s workplace is awash with buzzwords and cliches, certain terms and phrases are more common ~ and grating ~ than others, according to an Accountemps survey of human resources (HR) managers. “Dynamic,” “deep dive” and “leverage” were among the most overused and annoying business buzzwords cited by those polled.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 600 HR managers at U.S. and Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

“Clarity is still king when communicating in the workplace,” said Bill Driscoll, New England district president of Accountemps. “Jargon tends to confuse, not clarify. It’s generally best to avoid the tired cliches and trendy buzzwords in favor of clear, straightforward language.”

Managers were asked, “What is the most annoying or overused phrase or buzzword in the workplace today?” Their responses included:

++ “Out of pocket”
++ “Deep dive”
++ “Forward-thinking”
++ “Dynamic”
++ “Let me get back to you.”
++ “Pick your brain”
++ “Employee engagement”
++ “LOL”

In what may be a sign of both employee burnout and improved job prospects, some of the phrases suggest workers now feel more comfortable venting about their workloads and salaries:

++ “It’s not my job.”
++ “It’s above my pay grade.”
++ “When am I going to get a raise?”
++ “I am overwhelmed.”
++ “Crunch time”

Some buzzwords simply refuse to go away. These well-worn words and sayings also were cited in similar Accountemps surveys conducted in 2004 and 2009:

++ “Win-win”
++ “Value-added”
++ “Think outside the box.”
++ “Leverage”
++ “At the end of the day”
++ “Circle back”
++ “Synergy”

About Accountemps

Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 340 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at

SOURCE Accountemps