Interview with A Recruiter, Cliff Colley, CACI

Posted by Rob Riggins

From time to time we bring you Q/A sessions with recruiters, who provide insights on their company, its hiring practices and job search tips.

Cliff Colley, CACI

Tell us about yourself

I have been with CACI since 2008. As a military recruiter, I act as a liaison for veterans to aid in navigating uncharted job-seeking waters. CACI has global reach with contracts in multiple countries. Likewise, our outreach to military veterans is global. My time with the company has been interrupted by military commitments, however, CACI’s understanding of my military service is one of the greatest reasons I stay.

At what point in their transition should a service member start looking for a job with your company

Service members are advised to start perusing our company’s opportunities almost a year before their separation date. This allows the member to understand what our jobs require and potentially gain critical certifications while still in the military.  However, the application process normally does not begin in earnest before the military member is within 120 days (4 months) of separation.

What’s the best way for someone transitioning from the military to get a job with your company

The most critical factor for military veterans in attaining employment with CACI is articulating how they meet the job’s mandatory qualifications. Often this is conveyed by tailoring the resume to show how each qualification is met through a previous job activity.

What’s it like for transitioning military to work for your company

I can personally attest to the ease of transition for military veterans. First, roughly 22% of our employees have military service. This provides a common ground of understanding that eases the transition. Second, CACI has significant amounts of work with the Department of Defense, which places military veterans back into a familiar environment. Lastly, our Office of Veteran Support and Development provides resources to help transitioning members assimilate into CACI.

Any words of wisdom for cleared job seekers or transitioning military using social media

I think that social media’s greatest utility in the job search process is in helping military veterans find old friends from past units and reconnecting. These connections can produce mentors who will be helpful in the job search process, and those connections may have the ability to refer them to open position at the company. I also recommend following companies of interest on Facebook and LinkedIn, and to begin connecting with others through LinkedIn groups of interest.

Do you vet job seekers online before scheduling an interview

CACI recruiters review the resumes, cover letters, and any associated pre-screening answers submitted during the online application process. From this information, recruiters and hiring managers will determine whether candidates are qualified to move to the next stage of scheduling an interview.

Tell us about the hiring process with your company

After a candidate is deemed qualified, the typical CACI hiring process consists of a phone screen with a recruiter, then moves to an in-person interview if the individual is considered in the top percent of applicants, and then an offer is given to the top candidate. Additional interviews may be required based on the unique requirements of the position, such as the necessity for client approval. The timeline to hire is dependent on many factors, such as the need to complete a security clearance crossover, background checks, and project start dates.

What types of cleared positions do you fill

CACI fills positions related to both the operational and support roles associated with Cyberspace, Enterprise IT, Geospatial, Healthcare IT, Identity Management, Investigation and Litigation Support, Knowledge Management, Logistics & Material Readiness, Mobility and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR). CACI job openings posted on ClearedJobs.Net.

What are the toughest security cleared positions for you to fill and why

Our toughest security cleared positions for which we hire are those that combine a rare skill with a high-level clearance. An example is a JAVA developer position that requires a Lifestyle (Full-Scope) Polygraph.

What do you see security cleared job seekers or transitioning military doing wrong that you want to tell them to stop doing

Security cleared job seekers should understand that clearance alone will not secure employment. The most important action is to ensure all communications, particularly the resume and interview, convey how the job seeker meets the qualifications of the position.

What’s the craziest thing a job seeker has ever said to you

While not the craziest, the most curious interactions occur when a job applicant fails to “keep it positive.”  Every effort should be made to restrict the amount of negative communication during the job search process.

What do job seekers need to know about your job as a recruiter

Job seekers should know that the recruiter’s job is to identify the best qualified applicants for positions. Help us help you. The job seeker can help the recruiter advocate for them by ensuring clear and concise information is rendered regarding qualifications for employment.

What’s the most inappropriate thing you’ve seen on a resume

I’ve asked that job seekers choose their email addresses with caution since the email address is part of the overall application and should convey the same level of professionalism as the rest of the application package.

If I’m a security cleared job seeker or transitioning military interested in working for your company, what should I do

That’s an easy question to answer. Peruse our job opportunities at and apply with a resume that clearly articulates how you as a job seeker already meet the job qualifications.

Give us a commercial. Why do I want to work for your company

I stay with CACI because employee advancement rests on a cultural foundation of providing unlimited equal opportunity for growth, recognition and rewards. I stay because CACI continues the work I started as a military member in ensuring our nation’s security through our various business offerings. It helps me to know that I work for a company that continues to stay ahead of the curve with a nimble business model that has contributed to the success of CACI for over fifty years.

What advice would you give a job seeker attending a Cleared Job Fair

Come to a Cleared Job Fair already having researched and applied to positions offered by the companies in attendance. Your job at the Cleared Job Fair is to present both your resume and the job ad(s) to the recruiter and explain how your resume matches the qualifications. This gives a great opportunity to receive feedback from a company representative regarding your resume and get a chance to “put a face” with your application.

What advice would you give a job seeker who is uploading their resume/cover letter on ClearedJobs.Net, and who wants you to be able to find them

Resumes that incorporate keywords that clearly align with the type of work we do at CACI are more apt to be found during searches.

Check out the CACI job openings posted on ClearedJobs.Net.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 7:30 am

11 thoughts on “Interview with A Recruiter, Cliff Colley, CACI”

  1. Dear Sir,
    I have constanly been receiving Job Postings from CACI and I believe that I am 100% qualified for the Job Posting # 68207, since I am a Native Iranin and have worked in Afghanistan for the past 8 years with the U.S. Military and am currently working with the Marines as a Lead Interpreter and have also worked as a Counterintelligence Officer and Security Officer for KBR. Please consider my application and I will be looking forward in hearing and working with you.

    Lily Taheri Azar

    1. Lily,
      Thank you for your continued interest in employment with CACI. Most of our position listings are unique since they support opportunities to work with different clients. Therefore, having a current resume tailored for the specific job opportunity increases the chances of selection. Please check your resume and application and ensure that we have your most up to date information. Again, thank you for your interest!

  2. I would like the opportunity to expand my professional growth, but it seems every time I apply for positions that I am qualified for as a 25 year Intelligence professional, they hire for the position within the company.

    1. David,
      CACI has a definite interest in the re-employment of our current employees. However, our prime motivation in the selection process is to hire the best applicant for the position. At any one time, we have almost 2,000 open positions so please continue to check our openings and apply to those for which you are the most qualified. Having a current resume tailored for the specific job opportunity will also increase your chances of selection. Thank you for your interest in a position with CACI!

  3. I recruit a lot of CACI alumni for other companies but I would love to work with CACI. Do you use 3rd party recruiters? I specialize in Security Cleared IT professionals and engineers and I have a very large database of talent. I would love to discuss a working arrangement.
    Chad Slate

  4. Mr Colley,

    How does one break the code on getting hired at CACI? I have applied for about 20 or so positions to no avail.

  5. Sharon,
    The “code” that needs to be broken is contained within our job ads. I would submit that “cracking” that code is best done by ensuring that the resumes submitted address, at a minimum, all of the job ads’ mandatory qualifications.

  6. Hello Cliff,

    It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I have recently applied with CACI for two logistics analyst positions (77509 and 77513) but I have not received any feedback on them. Can you look into this? Your assistance would be most helpful. Please reply when you can.



  7. Timothy,

    You are still being reviewed for both positions.

    In order to view your submission status, please follow these steps:

    1. Sign in to your account by clicking here to access your profile: Access My Profile .
    2. Once you log in, you should notice a tab below your name that says “My Job page.” Click on it.
    3. Any jobs that you have applied to will appear on this page. Under each job title, you will see a Job Status and a Submission Status.
    – Job Status applies to the availability of the job itself
    – Submission Status applies to your individual application status
    4. You can also view or edit your submission and view any e-mail correspondence from this page as well.
    Best Regards,

    ~CACI Military Recruiting Team

  8. Mr Colley,

    I was wondering if you could share a bit more on the “security clearance crossover” process? For example:
    – Is there a rule of thumb on how it normally takes for Active and/or Current clearances?
    – Does the process vary depending upon the “From and To” endpoints of the crossover?
    – Should a person whose clearances are in the crossover process just be patient, or, in your experience, is it appropriate for a weekly/monthly status ping to be sent to the HR folks?

    1. Is there a rule of thumb on how it normally takes for Active and/or Current clearances? No, it varies from customer and program. I have FS Poly crossovers take a week and TS take over a month

      – Does the process vary depending upon the “From and To” endpoints of the crossover? It can, i.e., I have seen CIA to NSA crossovers take a long time, but have seen NSA to CIA crossovers go quickly.

      – Should a person whose clearances are in the crossover process just be patient, or, in your experience, is it appropriate for a weekly/monthly status ping to be sent to the HR folks? Patience is key, do not put in your
      notice to current employee. HR/Recruiting are waiting as well, but it certainly is no harm to check periodically.

      Unfortunately, no two cases are the same just as no two individuals are the same.


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