How to Find More Jobs You’re Interested In

Posted by Rob Riggins

Job postings can be a tough nut to crack. There’s no real standard way to write a posting, and contract requirements sometimes restrict the amount of information that an employer can share about a position.

That’s why the average cleared job seeker doesn’t always find all of the positions they’re qualified for, or that they may be interested in. Let’s review some search best practices to help you find more opportunities.

Search Other Security Clearance Levels

Yep, that’s right. Consider searching clearance levels lower than your current level. As an example, you may have a TS/SCI, but the job of your dreams may only require a TS or even a Secret. If you’re only searching on jobs that are on par with your current clearance, you’re never going to see those other opportunities.

This may not make sense for every cleared job seeker. If you have a polygraph, you might be wary of leaving that behind – it all depends on your priorities.

Another consideration is your profession. If you’re in a growing field such as cyber or information technology where there is a shortage of qualified personnel, then you may have the luxury of being picky. But if your work is in a skill set where there is a lot more competition, such as logistics or admin, this may be something to consider to expand your options. Again, it depends on your needs and your plans for the future.

You can always narrow down your search results after trying this broad approach. But consider being more open at the start to find more opportunities.

Contract-Restricted Security Clearance Levels

Take note if you have a polygraph that some contracts don’t allow the company to specify which type of polygraph the position requires. That’s why we have a security clearance option called Top Secret / SCI + Poly. Be sure to select that if you’ve got a polygraph.

Some contracts don’t allow any type of clearance level to be advertised. To check out those positions select Security Clearance Required.

Both of these options are most easily seen on our Advanced Search page.

Review the Keywords You’re Using

Do you know all the relevant terminology or keywords for the type of work you do?

Cleared employers may use different words to describe very similar work. If you’re not sure, check with others in your profession and ask them what keyword searches they would use in a cleared job search.

When you’ve been in a job for a time, you may think the terminology used in your agency or company is all you need. But other contractors may use different terms to describe the same kind of work. For instance:

  • Are you a linguist or a translator?
  • Intel or Intelligence?
  • Cybersecurity or cyber security?
  • Software programmer or software developer?

Give some thought to your profession and consider keywords you may not have used before that could open up a great fit for you.

Improve Your Search Strings

You’ve probably been doing Boolean searches for a while without realizing it, if you’ve put a phrase such as “Intel Analyst” in quotation marks for more precise results.

When you search for jobs using a basic term like Intel Analyst, the system will pull up every job with the word Intel or Analyst anywhere in the description. Typing “intel analyst” in quotation marks however will only pull up job descriptions that have those words, in that order. Open a job description and you’ll see that the key phrase “intel analyst” is highlighted in yellow everywhere it appears in the job posting.

Check out these simple tips to polish your search skills:

  1. Don’t use Commas or Dashes between words.
  2. Enter phrases inside quotation marks for precise search results.
  3. Use AND, OR, NOT for more complex searches. Use parentheses to create a series of options. For example:
  • java developer” AND unix for results that contain the phrase java developer and the word unix.
  • java developer” AND (unix OR linux) for results that contain the phrase “java developer” and the words unix or linux.
  • java developer” AND (unix OR linux) NOT mysql for results that contain the phrase “java developer” and the words unix or linux but not the word mysql.


Welcome to the hornet’s nest. When a hiring manager or recruiter writes a job posting, sometimes they may have confusing choices when stating the job location. If the position is in the DC metro area, do they use that as the city? Washington, DC? National Capital Region? The name of the base? Full base name or a variant such as Bolling?

Another good example of this is positions located at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. Sometimes it’s referred to as just Redstone. Or Red Stone. Arsenal may or may not be included. Sometimes the job posting says Huntsville. Lots of options there.

That’s why your best bet is to use a centrally located Zip Code, and do a radius search around that Zip Code. A quick way to grab that is to Google your location, such as Huntsville, AL Zip Code. Pull one of the options presented, plug that into the advanced search page, and you’re off.

Remote Work and Our Most Comprehensive Remote Search String

If you’re seeking remote work options, you can search for remote positions on ClearedJobs.Net by navigating to the advanced search page. Boolean search techniques will come in handy here. Put your chosen job title in quotation marks, followed by AND remote in the search bar. This could look like:

  • “software engineer” AND remote
  • “systems administrator” AND remote
  • “data scientist” AND remote

We’ve seen employers reference remote work in their job postings using many different terms. Based on that experience, our most comprehensive search string for finding remote cleared jobs is detailed below. Be sure to add your relevant keyword(s) to the beginning of the search string, joined with AND. For example:

“supply chain” AND remote OR “hybrid remote” OR “at home” OR telework OR telecommute OR telecommuting OR teleworking OR wfh OR “work from home”

If you need help crafting search strings, contact Customer Service and we’ll be glad to help.


This entry was posted on Monday, January 02, 2023 9:00 am

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