International contract jobs are popular among security experts and ex-military personnel. Generous compensation and the ability to travel add to the appeal of these positions. Many opportunities are based in Afghanistan, where there are more than 100,000 American defense contractors. You can fulfill your desire to work in this field by conducting a comprehensive job search, tweaking your employment skills and preparing for your security clearance background investigation.
Evaluate Your Skills
Research companies who have been awarded government contracts in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense website maintains a database of awards, which is updated on a regular basis. Check the site frequently for the most accurate information. Research the companies' duties in Afghanistan. Compare your experiences to determine which companies most closely match your skills. Keep up to date about changes in your industry and acquire additional training to maintain your competitiveness.
General Job Searches
Search job sites to locate contract jobs in Afghanistan. Companies use these job boards to post available international positions just as they post domestic jobs. Also consult several international job sites, including those that are specific to positions in Afghanistan. Clearancejobs.com is a good resource if you currently hold a security clearance. Also consider companies like KBR and DynCorp International, which are among the top private contractors in Afghanistan. Once you have found an opportunity that interests you, research the company's website to learn more about the organization and the contract position before submitting your application.
Contractor Job Fairs
Contractor job fairs are useful resources in your employment search. Prepare for the fair by researching the participants and reviewing their individual websites. Make copies of your resume and prepare a thirty-second introduction to present yourself to employers. Ensure that your resume communicates your willingness to work in Afghanistan. At the fair, collect business cards and ask specific questions about employment opportunities. Refrain from inquiring about salary or benefit information. Instead, discuss desired skill sets and take this opportunity to inquire about the specific details of working in Afghanistan. Ask about the required length of assignment and what housing options are available overseas. After the job fair, follow up with your new contacts within a week and thank them for speaking with you at the fair.
Security Clearance Preparation
In most security contract positions, a security clearance is required for employment. Though the contracting company may provide you with a conditional clearance upon hire, you will have to obtain long-term clearance to maintain your position. Preparing for a security clearance background check entails numerous tasks. Compile information regarding your education and all previous places of employment. Obtain copies of your three credit reports and carefully review them for mistakes. If you have delinquent accounts, contact your creditors to set up payment arrangements or seek assistance from a debt-repayment company. If your have ever filed bankruptcy, obtain a certified copy of your discharge document.
- Department of Army: Preparing for Security Clearance Reviews
- US Office of Personnel Management: Questionnaire for National Security Positions
- Virginia Tech: How to Prepare for a Job Fair
- Overseas Job Source: Job Lisitngs
- Department of Defense: Contracts
- New York Times: Afghan War Risks are Shifting from Soldiers to Contractors
- Clearance Jobs: Job Seeker Login
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