Security guards provide an essential service by protecting property from theft, vandalism, and other illegal activity. They also protect people within the establishments they work at.
While security guards only need a high school diploma, a carefully crafted resume can help you stand out. Knowing what recruiters are looking for on your resume is key to your success.
In this article, we’ll look at what a security guard does, show you some examples of what your resume should look like, and give you five tips to make sure your resume is ready to go.
Security guards work for security agencies hired by third parties to protect property (or people) against theft, vandalism, and other illegal activity. How they protect an asset depends on the client’s profile and what they’re protecting.
A security guard can be armed or unarmed and use special equipment on the job. This includes items like security cameras, motion detectors, and non-lethal weapons. They’re trained to respond to emergencies with restraint.
You’ll find security services at casinos, airports, malls, and even protecting private residences.
To become a security officer, you’ll need a high school diploma. Beyond that, you can start with an entry-level job and receive on-the-job training to prepare you for a career in security. As you gain more experience, you’ll be able to demand a higher salary.
Many states require security guards to be licensed, especially if they’ll be carrying a firearm. You may also need to be trained in first aid.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for security guards in May 2020 was $31,050. Security working in casinos earned a bit more, at $35,300 annually.
With more years of experience, you could find yourself in the top 10% of earners. The highest 10% earned over $51,600.
It should be noted that security guards are not law enforcement officers.
Whether you’re applying for a job as a security guard or a doctor, you should always customize your resume.
Recruiters spend as little as 7.4 seconds skimming each resume. That’s why you need a resume that shows off your qualifications and experience. You have to impress them quickly.
Begin your resume with a summary statement or career objective that captures the recruiter’s eye. It should go over what makes you the best candidate for the job so that they’ll continue reading.
Here are five resume tips to help you get started.
To get the hiring manager’s attention, you’ll want to start your professional resume with a summary statement.
Use this opportunity to go over your work history, education and training, and certifications in a brief paragraph. Many recruiters won’t go past this section if they don’t think you’re qualified.
If you don’t know what to write, use the job description to get an idea of what the recruiter is looking for. Carry that information over into your summary statement.
While your hard skills are important, 62% of employers specifically look for your soft skills.
By soft skills, we mean things like communication skills, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities.
These are transferable skills that you might have developed in previous positions. For example, if you’ve worked in a high-pressure customer service environment, you likely have great communication and problem-solving skills.
The more certifications and licenses you have, the more likely you are to find a high-paying job.
Most states require security guards to be licensed with the state they’re working in. If you carry a gun, you’ll need further licenses and be required to pass a background check.
In your cover letter, you’ll want to expand on the bullet points on your resume.
For example, if your work experience involves monitoring access points for suspicious activity using CCTV, elaborate on how you did that.
Many organizations use an applicant tracking system to filter through the hundreds of resumes they receive.
When writing your resume, you’ll need to think about keywords. An easy way to beat the system is to use language from the job description on your resume.
There’s usually considerable crossover between the two.
Here are two security guard resume examples to use as inspiration.
This is a sample armed security guard resume. It begins with a strong resume objective, going over the candidate's criminal justice experience, skills, and licenses.
They follow it with relevant professional experience, using action verbs to detail their experience working in hospitals.
Finally, they finish with certificates and skills that enhance their ability to do the job.
Robert Smith is an unarmed security guard looking for a new position.
His header includes all of the important contact information, and he follows it up with a personal statement and relevant work experience.
What makes this resume stand out is the inclusion of skills, languages, and references on the right-hand side. It’s easy to see and sure to catch the recruiter’s eye.
There’s a wealth of opportunity out there for aspiring security guards in both armed and unarmed positions. You just need to know where to look to find the ideal security position for you.
Check out hundreds of security guard jobs on the Jobcase job board.
If you follow these resume tips, your job search should be easy.
With a compelling summary statement, a comprehensive resume and cover letter, and references, you’ll have no trouble finding a new security guard position.
You can find more tips for security guards looking for a new job by visiting our Getting Hired Resource Center.