Intelligence analysts are on the front lines of protecting businesses, government agencies, and countries. They used their finely tuned research skills to interpret data and uncover possible threats.
If you’ve ever watched an episode of the hit TV show 24, you had a fictional front row seat to what a security analyst does.
While many leads produce no viable threat, those detected are often handled before the public knows anything about them.
As the daughter of an FBI agent, I grew up with all types of stories, some fictional, like when my dad took us on a tour of FBI headquarters and said we would see where the X-files were stored! Sorry, no aliens.
But while I never understood his job’s intricacies when I was young, I knew he was doing work to protect our country.
Intelligence analysts use a combination of surveillance, databases, human sources, and intelligence networks to predict, undercover, and prevent criminal and sometimes terrorist activity.
Resume objective for intelligence analyst
As we read through resumes to perform research for this article, we noticed most objectives included details on how many people the individual supervised, various equipment and teams they oversaw, and how they improved efficiency rates among their department.
Military.com suggests collecting as much raw data as possible related to your accomplishments and using that data to craft factual statements about what you accomplished.
The mention of inter-department collaboration was also frequently seen, most likely due to the fact that intelligence analysts have to cross-reference with other agencies and their sources and data.
Being a team player is a critical skill in working as an intelligence analyst.
Skilled Intelligence Analyst who has earned a reputation for being able to solve problems and deliver results in times of extreme pressure. I ensured 100% accountability in the handling and storage of classified materials. I was 100% accountable for 1 vehicle, 5 computer systems, and all assigned equipment.
Resume skills for intelligence analyst
In Public Safety states in an article on their site, an intelligence analyst’s most important skill is research.
They go on to say that, along with research, individuals need to write clearly and efficiently, so their meaning is easily understandable.
Some situations require fast-paced movement, and an illegibly created document could cost precious moments.
Another skill that could assist is knowledge of a second language. Intelligence analysts often have to deal with documents and individuals from other countries.
According to the CIA in 2019, the top four languages to learn to work in intelligence are Arabic, Chinese, Mandarin, and Dari/Pashto.
Additional skills sought after in intelligence analysts are collaborating, self-motivation, and working under pressure. Knowledge of cyber intelligence, information operations, and computer sciences.
Fluent in Russian |Professional Working Proficiency in Farsi | Strong research skills | Team collaborator | Knowledge of Cyber-security | Excellent communication skills both written and verbal
Intelligence analyst work experience
Intelligence analysts can work for private businesses and corporations, but most work for various branches of the government at the state, city, and national level as well as for the military.
Some intelligence analyst work is performed to help politicians and government officials make the best policy decisions for their constituents.
Many positions require a security clearance, so it is vital to make sure you meet all the requirements to pass the level of security clearance needed for the position.
Sample Work Experience
Hunting Ingall Industries/Fort Meade
Network Discoverer Intelligence Analyst, 2012-2020
Provided analysis for areas including network industry, infrastructure, technology, geographic locationS, and targeted vulnerability. Prepared reports based on current events and developed analytical procedures to meet requirements and ensure proper operations.
- Collected data using standard intelligence methods and business procedures
- Performed social network analysis
- Performed geospatial metadata analysis
- Conducted targeted research as needed
Monitored global events that could impact operations. Researched and developed intelligence reports regarding international events that could affect the security of staff or operations.
- Computer proficiency in SharePoint and Google web-based tools
- Monitored the access control and security alarm systems
- Initiated proactive action based on analysis of data
- conducted forecasting on geopolitical security issues
All Source Intelligence Analyst, 2005-2009
An enlisted member of the U.S. Army. Analyzed, processed, and distributed strategical and tactical intelligence and provided army personnel details on possible enemy action and potential battle areas.
- Maintained cross-reference intelligence and data
- Utilized a variety of computers and software programs
- Prepared maps and charts
- Assessed the reliability of incoming information
Intelligence analyst education
Becoming an intelligence analyst requires a college degree for most positions, according to Northeastern University, those who seek higher clearance and higher-level jobs should pursue a master’s degree.
Experts suggest that when looking for an educational program, you find one that offers fieldwork. Having experience with fieldwork or an internship can provide you with crucial skills needed to secure your first job.
Majors that could help your quest to become an intelligence analyst are Intelligence Studies, National Security, and political science. Some jobs will consider you if you have a military background that is relevant to the position.
Participation in a study abroad program could also be mentioned as it shows you can live, understand, and assimilate to another culture.
Master of Science Strategic Intelligence and Analysis, 2014-2017
Bachelor of Science Cybersecurity, 2008-2012
- Minor in Russian
There are several areas of study that could assist in your career as an intelligence analyst. If you took relevant course work that did not fall under your major or minor area of study, consider listing them on your resume.
Courses in political science, computers, technology, languages, communications, psychology, and and foreign study could prove useful.
FEMA offers a list of training courses approved by them,, which can be found at DHS.gov
- Science Writing & Communication
- Communication Across Culture
- Suspicious Activity Reporting: The Analytic Role
To enhance your education in the intelligence analysis arena, there are several certifications you can earn, which may, in turn, boost your ability to be hired.
The Department of Defense or DOD offers professional certification programs: Counter-Inside Threat Professional and Intelligence Planner Certification are two.
During this article’s research, I came across a handful of universities and online training programs that offer relevant certifications.
Some of those certifications are Global Studies and International Relationships, Emergency Management, and Port Security.
If your education is in a related field, but you are looking to gain more knowledge without the full commitment to an additional degree some colleges offer Master Level Intelligence Analyst certificates.
- Criminal Intelligence Certified Analyst
- CyberSec First Responder
Complete intelligence analyst resume sample
We have taken a look at advice from the experts in the intelligence analysis field and have gone through the piece by piece of putting a solid resume together.
Below is a current job posting for a position as an intelligence analyst. We will take a brief look at the posting then follow up with a complete resume example.
Given the high skill and education level of a position like this, it comes as no surprise that the job listing is long and in-depth.
Many of these positions require government clearance include additional information about requirements to obtain clearance.
It is recommended you read through all clearance requirements before applying to ensure that you will qualify.
Skilled intelligence analyst with 15 years of experience working for government agencies. In-depth experience with counter-terrorism and planning and supporting operations. Working Knowledge of OSINT, classified databases and using publicly available sources to collect and analyze data.
Fluent in Arabic | Professional Working Proficiency in Dari | Limited Working Proficiency in French | Excellent Research Skills | Designing Graphic Based Reports | Palantir | Intelink |Strong Decision Making Under Pressure
U.S. Army, Fort Meade
Intelligence Specialist (GMI Analyst), 2013-2020
Conducted Counter-Intelligence research and analysis to show patterns of foreign activities. Briefed senior officials as needed and traveled and performed field work as needed.
- Organized data for intelligence and threat support and counter-terrosim efforts
- Used OSINT and secure government databases to research and secure information
- Corss referenced data with other branches of the military and govenrment agencies
- Overasaw 10 employes and was 100% responsible for 2 vehicles and $175,00 worth of computers and equipment
Signals Analyst, 2005-2013
Analyzed foreign communications and activity and reported information to senior officials via strategical and tactical reports. Identified waveforms in weapon systems and communication systems.
- Coordinated research efforts
- Established and maintained intelligence records in accordance with top-secret standards
- Cretated maps, charts and graphs
- Peformed field work as needed
Administrative and Intelligence Analyst, 2000-2005
Performed administrative duties and maintained document organization. Developed briefing materials and coordinated the arrival of visitors.
- Responded to email inquiries and assigned requests to appropriate personnel
- Experienced in Personel Security Processes
- Input hardcopy and electronic data requests
- Maintained Active Top-Secret Security Clearance
- All-Source Analyst Level 2
- Intelligence Planner Certification
Master of Science in Applied Analystics, 2002-2005
- Master Certificate in Arab Studies
Bachlor of Arts in Political Science, 1996-2000
- Minor in Arabic
- Minor in Government
- Study Abraod Progam American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
- FEMA Terrorism Intelligence Analyst
- FEMA Fundamentals of Suspicious Activity Reporting Analysis
The pathway to becoming an intelligence aanalyst can go through the military, studying at university or a combination of both.
Intelligence analysts are hardworking, highly-skilled indvudals who work in often fast-paced environments with highly sensitive information.
While it can be a grueling journey to pass clearances and interviews, go through trainign and trial periods, it is a career path with plenty of room for growth at an above average salary.
- A second language is useful
- Willinigness to work longer hours, even overnight shifts is a possibility
- Strong research skills are a must
Tips from Experts
“There’ll be differences of opinion in just about every intelligence analysis that you make.” – Robert Mueller, Former Director of the FBI
“Nothing is more important to national security and the making and conduct of good policy than timely, accurate, and relevant intelligence. Nothing is more critical to accurate and relevant intelligence than independent analysis.” – Dennis C. Blair, Former United States Director of National Intelligence
“This process is like starting a fitness regimen for the brain. At the beginning, your muscles burn a little. But over time and with repetition, you become stronger, and the improvements you see in yourself can be remarkable. Becoming a better thinker, just like becoming a better athlete, requires practice. We challenge you to feel the burn.” ― Sarah Miller Beebe, Author of Cases in Intelligence Analysis: Structured Analytic Techniques in Action
Now that we have gone over the education, training, work experience and skills needed to become an intelligence analyst, do you think you have what it takes?
Intelligence analysts are an integral part of our national security and decision making within the government.
They need to be accurate and on point in order to present data that could affect major and minor security issues.
Those with a dedication to research, data and accuracy and who have a desire to be a part of something bigger are ideal for the role of a intelligence analysts.