Security jobs are easy to come by; with the population growing, increase in businesses, and unfortunately, increase in crime, guard companies are often in need of security officers. So what sets one guard apart from the other? Exactly how do companies go about selecting security guards? When looking for security jobs, here are a few pointers to assist you:
Every step after your initial contact is a Test – starting with your application continuing on throughout your interview… Be sure to Pass!
Guard managers look at everything you do following the initial contact (but not excluding it): from showing up on time, to your appearance, how you fill out the application, how you communicate, how you follow instructions, if you have a great attitude (or not), and so on.
Guard companies will specify exactly the position they have available to offer along with shifts, specific locations, hourly rates, etc.; be sure you are able to cover the shifts outlined by the company so that you aren’t wasting your time or that of the guard company’s.
Having prior training and experience helps you land a job as a security officer but some companies don’t require it; meaning, you don’t have to possess skills coming through the door, they may train you in-house (at their establishment) or have you receive training at a security training academy.
One Caveat Here: Not all training is created equal! Do your due diligence before signing up with any academy or security guard school.
If you think for a second that coming to an interview in sweat pants or your hair untamed as if you just rolled out of bed and into the interview, you’re in trouble. Well-groomed, clean-shaven, in business casual attire is always the way to go.
This is a test in itself. If you were given a time to show up for your interview, be sure to get to the location on time. Most guard managers will use this as a gauge to determine if you’ll arrive on a client’s property late as well.
To be on the safe side, arrive ten to fifteen minutes early. You are trying to make a good first impression so why not show your future employer that you are prompt.
A great attitude will take you far; again, this is one of those things guard managers look for. Will you greet the guard company’s clients with smiles, empathy, and genuine care or will you have a negative, non-approachable aura?
The guard industry can use some work in the customer service department, so those candidates who possess great attitudes will be a much better fit than someone showing up with a bad attitude, grumpy, and complaints about everything. Even if the applicant has prior training and experience, a bad attitude will cost him a security job. Bad attitudes are toxic in this profession… well, any profession.
Talking over, interrupting, and over explaining isn’t the way to go when seeking security employment. Listen, and once the interviewer or guard manager is done speaking, then add your words or answer any questions. It isn’t a good look for you to easily anger or go into debate mood when asked questions that need clarification on your application.
If you are unclear about the position being offered, the starting rate, shifts, pay, etc., ask questions before moving forward; this will save you and your future employer lots of time… you have to speak up.
Come to the interview prepared with prior employment addresses/names, references, and any additional documentation such as training certificates or licenses. Have integrity. Make sure you’re not lying or purposely leaving areas blank in hopes of negotiating terms later during the interview.
Again, you more than likely are being judged by the guard manager as to whether or not you can follow simple instructions. There’s a famous quote out there, “How you do one thing is how you do everything;” Nine times out of ten, the security manager will relate those missing areas on your application to you leaving out details in your guard shift report.
If you’ve worked for several security guard companies, don’t neglect listing those companies. Example: If you’ve worked five guard companies in the year of 2015, don’t just list two and leave out the other three… it doesn’t look good on your end; it’s as if you’re trying to hide them.
FYI, guard managers may (should) run a check on DPS’ website and retrieve your security guard background history, so it behooves you to be forthcoming.
Companies look for individuals they can grow with, rely on and invest in. It costs security guard companies money having a revolving door of people who aren’t taking themselves, guard companies, or the profession seriously. If you are sincere about your employment, you will follow these 10 helpful tips to get a security job.
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