THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY
DIRECTORIES In Maryland, the defense industry
is heavily involved with military intelligence and related C4IS work, so
a good place to start is the
Intelligence Community home page. It provides links to recruiting pages of constituent organizations.
Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association site has links to seven
chapters in our area.
In addition, the
American Society for Industrial Security, the
Association of Old Crows, the
Association For Intelligence Officers, the
OPSEC Professionals Society and the
Military Intelligence Corps Association
also have sites.
JOB FAIRS In the past, AFCEA's annual meetings
have been accompanied by a job fair, usually in late spring or early summer.
Watch AFCEA's website (above) as the time approaches. TechExpoUSA
and Security Clearance Expo.com produce job fairs for the defense industry all year round.
Post resumes and see job notices at:
NETWORKING Everyone who holds a security clearance
(or works with other information that cannot be divulged) has to figure
out how to explain their skills. For those who intend to stay in the field,
this may be less of a problem than it seems. Even more than for most people,
personal reputation is your principal tool. Exploit this by staying in
regular contact with former supervisors, co-workers and customers. Network
RECRUITERS Some recruiting agencies (sometimes referred to as "headhunters") specialize partially or fully in positions requiring high-level clearances. This list focuses on firms that advertise actual job vacancies on their Websites and thus represents only a starting point. (Disclaimer: We believe these to be reputable firms but, as always when dealing with intermediaries, investigate for yourself and verify that all fees are paid by employers.)
INTERVIEW STRATEGY Jobseekers who possess confidential information and are going to a new field (or who will be interviewing with strangers) still have to figure out how to explain what they've achieved. The simplest approach is to plan your interviews around how you managed what you did and how the organization benefited (faster, better, cheaper, in very general terms, if necessary). As always, mention the results you achieved in your resume and plan to describe the procedure you used in your interviews. Whether you had people under you or not, you still had a job to manage. Management technique is unclassified and management skill is something any employer should be able to appreciate and assess.
To get ideas on how to put a management slant on your achievements, look at a current textbook on principles of management. Check college bookstores for recent ones, then try to locate a copy in a library.
The same advice applies if your skills are technical. Become very familiar with the public literature on your specialty and prepare to explain in your interview how the published procedures can be improved. Such critiques are a vivid way to display the transferable part of your expertise without violating confidences. In general, stay with published methods, and avoid content and findings. Of course, this advice will not be helpful if the simple fact of your employer's interest in a published technology is confidential. If that's your situation, your fallback is to discuss your management skills as described above.
In all cases, review the security directives, and if in doubt consult the appropriate officials.
If your job involves much proprietary or secret information,
perhaps you're fortunate: you can deflect almost any interview question by saying,
"I can't go into the details. Instead, I'd like to tell you about. . . ."