The opportunity to work for a branch of the U.S. military or another area of the government can be a rewarding experience. Many military and government jobs require you to attain a security clearance before you can qualify. A government investigation of your background will determine whether you have the necessary character to view confidential information as part of your job.
Since your job is at stake, you want the investigation to proceed efficiently. Sometimes delays happen during an investigation. You do not want unnecessary problems to jeopardize your security clearance and cost you employment.
Problems with your paperwork
According to the United States Marine Corps, incomplete security application packages are a common cause of delay. The U.S. government wants you to accurately and fully answer questions on a Standard Form (SF) 86. This includes describing your previous criminal history or drug use if applicable. Omitting personal facts or providing incomplete information can look suspicious and possibly result in a rejection.
Problems with your fingerprints
Supplying your fingerprints is a crucial part of allowing the government to identify you. An applicant may submit their fingerprints through a paper copy or by electronic means. However, sometimes investigators receive poor print images. Make sure you have clearly rendered your fingerprints on a medium before submitting them.
Inadequate documentation of foreign activities
U.S. authorities may also delay your clearance if they need to investigate your actions in other countries. To help the investigation proceed, you should try to provide stateside references. American citizens that can confirm your account of your abroad activities could make the difference.
Since the U.S. government requires reinvestigations to extend security clearances after certain periods of time, you will probably have to undergo another investigation if you want to keep your job. Having the proper information ready for submission may prevent a delay that could endanger your employment.