Skip Page Navigation
Life at the CIA Student Opportunities How to Apply Career FAQs View All Positions
CIA logo
The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence. (text)
  CIA Home compass icon  
  Privacy     Printable Text Version     What Do You Think of Our Site?  
How to Apply



How to Apply

Because of the classified nature of our work at the Central Intelligence Agency, the application process is a lengthy one. Depending on your specific circumstances, the process may take as little as two months or more than a year.

Start by reviewing each of our career paths: Science, Engineering and Technical, National Clandestine Service, Language Opportunities, Analytical Opportunities and Support Services. Each section tells you more about the career path in general and features position openings. If you don't see the right jobs for you now, check back again soon. Our needs, and postings, change frequently.

Application Recommendations
Before You Apply

Application Recommendations

We recommend submitting your resume online in response to a specific position. The online resume submission link is found at the bottom of each position listed on the employment site. Multiple online submissions for a position are unnecessary and slow the processing of your resume.

Upon successful submission of the form, a confirmation message will appear on your screen. This is the only acknowledgment you will receive. It is not necessary to call to check on your resume status or continue to send multiple resumes.

If we contact you about a position, be prepared to undergo a thorough background investigation examining your life's history, your character, trustworthiness, reliability and soundness of judgment. We also examine your freedom from conflicting allegiances, potential to be coerced, and willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling and the protection of sensitive information. The Agency uses the polygraph to check the veracity of this information. The hiring process also includes a thorough mental and physical medical examination in relation to performing essential job functions.

back to top arrowRETURN TO TOP

Before You Apply

Please read the following sections carefully before you apply to the CIA. The information is designed to help you determine your qualification for the CIA and to apply efficiently.

Drug Use
To be considered suitable for Agency employment, applicants must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last twelve months. The issue of illegal drug use prior to twelve months ago is carefully evaluated during the medical and security processing.

Personal Integrity
A career in intelligence can be enormously rewarding. It also demands the very best of the men and women who comprise the Agency's workforce. To meet the requirements of the work itself, intelligence professionals must be highly competent in their fields. To safeguard some of the nation's most sensitive information, CIA officers must be highly reliable and trustworthy. Woven through all aspects of their performance is the imperative to adhere to the highest standards of integrity. To be selected for a position of such trust and responsibility, one must be granted a security clearance.

Many applicants wonder if they can pass such scrutiny. The Agency recognizes that no one is perfect. Agency security officials consider the nature, extent, seriousness, and recency of past behavior. They weigh the potential risk and benefit of each individual — the whole person — with utmost care. Although national security is always the paramount consideration, our security experts work hard to ensure that the Agency does not turn away unnecessarily someone who could make important contributions to the nation's intelligence effort.

The Clearance Process
The clearance process, which is strictly governed by rules and regulations derived from Federal statute and executive orders, begins when you accept a conditional offer of employment from the Agency. It involves a thorough examination of your life history and fitness to safeguard the nation's secrets. Think of this process as the first step in building a bridge of trust between you and the Agency. Candor is an essential ingredient in the establishment of that trust.

The investigation addresses comprehensively one's loyalty to the United States, strength of character, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion, and soundness of judgment. In addition, it examines one's freedom from conflicting allegiances, potential for coercion, and willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling and protection of sensitive information.

The Agency uses a polygraph to check the veracity of information that bears upon the areas listed above. CIA's polygraph examiners are highly trained security professionals, among the world's best in their field. They work closely and carefully with applicants to ensure that the information upon which clearance decisions are based is as accurate as it can be and is guarded with the strictest confidence.

The clearance process can be lengthy. Since the Agency actively recruits people who have expert knowledge of foreign languages and cultures, it is not unusual for our applicants to have numerous foreign contacts. In these cases the investigation must cover more ground, which usually takes more time. Candor is critical to the timely completion of this process.

The hiring process also entails a thorough medical examination of one's mental and physical fitness to perform essential job functions.

You Should Also Note
Your responsibility to adhere to high standards of personal conduct does not end on the first day of employment. CIA employees undergo regular reinvestigations, including periodic polygraph examinations.

CIA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Agency does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or sexual orientation in granting, denying, or revoking security clearances.

 

back to top arrow RETURN TO TOP 

Careers Home CIA Home Privacy Printable Text Version Career Opportunities Flash