Security Guard Resume

How To Write A Resume

Whether you’re looking for a second job, are ex-military, or perhaps on the hunt for your very first job in the security world, a security guard resume will play an important role. After hearing this, many people panic. Fortunately, you don’t have to because you’ve just come across a gold mine of information.  We will show you how to write a resume.

In this guide, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know to build a resume while applying for jobs. We’re going to show you:

  • Requirements for common entry-level security guard positions
  • Different types of resumes
  • Styles that’ll suit your experience and the role for which you’re applying
  • The purpose of a resume and what information you need to include
  • Dealing with gaps in your work history
  • Common mistakes on resumes

In fact, we’re going to explain all of the above and more. Feel free to grab a notepad and pen, or just sit back and relax as we take you through EVERYTHING you need to know.

 Basics of a Resume

Before we go any further, let’s answer the question of why a resume is needed in the first place. Often, people worry too much and give up on certain job opportunities because they feel as though their resume isn’t strong enough.

For employers, a resume is a simple document that allows them to learn all about you – that’s it. Rather than getting you to send a long email or having an interview that lasts for four hours, it’s all in the resume. Within seconds, they can look at your job history, education, skills, and more. Therefore, it’s important to really sell yourself and offer as much information as you can.

If all your information is nicely laid out over one or two pages, they’ll quickly learn whether or not they want to call you and set up an interview. Today, our goal is to get your resume in a position where you get the call!

 Resume Contents

So, what should a resume contain in the security world? Firstly, we should note that, in this guide, the terms “Security Officer” and “Security Guard” will be used interchangeably. However, we will offer some separate advice when talking about the duties, skills, and responsibilities a little later.

When it comes to the contents of a good resume, it needs to have some basic sections:

  • Contact Information
  • Short Statement/Objective
  • Professional Experience
  • Education
  • Certifications
  • Skills

With a security guard resume PDF document, this is normally the basics. In terms of the short statement, this should just be a couple of sentences to explain who you are. For example, you might write the following:

“Professional security guard with 3+ years of experience. Previously in the military and now eager to use my communication skills to become an asset to a company.”

In this short statement, you’ve explained exactly who you are, what you’ve done in the past, and what you require. Elsewhere, the skills and certifications sections are a chance to show off. Have you done special security guard training? Have you taken related courses? Even if the training wasn’t directly related to security work, it can still show intent and determination, so consider adding everything you can remember.

At all times, your resume should be geared towards getting the attention of the reader. Remember, your resume has a purpose – to convince the reader to offer you a job interview. When talking about your experience or skills, make sure they relate to the security industry. Explain how YOU can help them, not just how much the job would help you. If they can see that you would genuinely add value to their company, they’ll be interested in your name.

Resume Requirements

Within this industry, it is appreciated that everybody has different backgrounds. As we noted earlier, you may have been in the military, you may not have a high-school diploma, you might be looking for a second job, or you might have no experience at all. In this guide, we want to help as many people as we can. With this in mind, we’ve broken down the resume requirements into different sections.

Security Guard v Security Officer

Firstly, what’s the difference between a security guard and a security officer? What are the key skills for security officers? What are the important security guard skills?

Oftentimes, people think that security officers are at a higher level. Depending on the business, a security officer might organize training and therefore are on a higher pay scale. Of the two, a security officer may have more responsibilities and the role normally requires some experience. Since they run a team, officers may also be more mobile rather than looking after one station or area.

On the other hand, you can probably guess that the roles and duties of a security guard can vary from company to company. Again, depending on the company, entry-level positions may not need as much experience. Therefore, do not hesitate to apply for these positions, even if your fitness level and skills are not where they should be! More than likely, in the beginning, you will guard only one station. Keep in mind, that wherever you are stationed, you will report on any suspicious activity. Your communication and customer-service abilities are also showcased as you are interacting with customers, other employees and guests. If you lack security guard experience, be sure to hone in on these skills. Many security guards have been hired because of their excellent customer service and communication skills.

Which is suitable for you? This normally depends on your experience. Below, you’ll find some resume requirements for different roles.

How To Write a Resume When You Have No Experience

If you’re pushing for an entry-level security guard position, the resume can be difficult because you probably don’t have any or enough experience. What’s the security guard resume objective here then? You need to ensure that the different sections of your resume offer or show transferable skills.

Even if you volunteered for a project in your local neighborhood, this role probably had skills that would transfer across as a security guard. Let’s not forget, the company has advertised for “entry-level” staff, so they aren’t expecting twenty years of experience and a degree. No, they’re looking for somebody who has the skills and the potential to join the team.

For example, you could discuss:

  • Stories of where you needed to think quickly and take action
  • Examples of good communication
  • If you’ve ever kept records
  • Signs of physical strength

Unarmed Security Guard Resume

Normally, unarmed security guards will patrol certain areas and watch the entrances and exits of a building. Therefore, the interviewer needs to know that you’re capable of:

  • Securing these exits and entrances
  • Sounding alarms and taking action whenever required
  • Checking surveillance cameras
  • Communicating effectively
  • Using customer-service skills to deal with angry trespassers or customers
  • Submitting detailed and accurate reports

Since this is no longer an entry-level position, it’s your chance to shine within the experience section. When describing previous roles, make sure everything you write still applies to the vacancy. Do you have a security guard license? If so, this should also be included because this will make you more attractive as a candidate.

Armed Security Guard Resume

As our third and final example, we have a vacancy for an armed security guard. Compared to the previous two examples, the obvious difference with this one is the armed nature of the role. Guess what the employer is looking for? That’s right, your ability to handle an armed role (using a weapon).

Depending on the job, you may be required to prevent theft, vandalism or harm to an individual or yourself. With your resume in this scenario, you need to show:

  • Your training with firearms
  • Additional hours of training
  • Roles where you’ve used firearms
  • A license that allows you to carry a firearm while working

Sadly, we see some candidates concentrate too much on the firearms aspect and they forget everything else. For example, you still need to talk about how you can communicate with customers, manage visitors, and fulfill the other elements of the job. Just because you’re armed doesn’t mean you won’t come into contact with people. As an example, those working in an airport still need to be able to communicate and offer a pleasant customer- service experience to the travelers.

Security Guard Resume Purpose

With these three examples, we hope you’ve noticed a pattern; the resume has a PURPOSE. Whether you want to highlight your skills or experience, you can tailor your resume depending on what the employer requires. If it’s an entry-level position, they know you might not have the experience, so don’t spend your time worrying about this. Instead, focus on your skills and what you can offer despite this.

“Can this candidate be what we need?”- this is the question that employers ask when looking through resumes. Whether you’re applying for the position of an experienced security officer or an entry-level security guard, this is important to remember.

As well as having a figurative objective, a resume also needs to have a literal objective or statement. If you haven’t seen this, it sits at the top of a resume and briefly summarizes what you’re looking for. For example, you might want to:

  • Build a successful career in security
  • Improve your certifications and training in the industry
  • Seek new opportunities and challenges
  • Utilize your skills in a dynamic workplace
  • Become part of a team in a role with purpose

With these types of statements, the employer gets an insight into what you want from the job. Also, there’s an opportunity to state your long-term goals too.

Types of Resume

How do you make the best first impression with your resume? We’ve covered the different sections you should include, but what about the layout itself? When sending a security guard resume PDF, how do you stand out from the crowd? There are four main types of resume formats. We will only discuss three of them in this article.  Chronological, Functional and Combined (Hybrid):

Chronological

Perhaps the most traditional style, this will see your history and education listed from the most recent backward. The reason this format has been popular for so long is that it’s easy to read. After picking up your resume, they can quickly see your last job and what you’ve been doing in recent years.

In terms of education, they can also see your highest level of education quickly without sitting down and having to study it carefully. These days, it’s important to give recruiters the information they need as quickly as possible. Remember, there could be 40 other people fighting for the same job. If you present the information clearly, your resume won’t go straight into the trash.

If you already have experience in security, the chronological format is absolutely fine. Here’s a potential layout:

Contact Information – This should go at the top (make it easy for recruiters to get in touch!).

Objective or Statement – Before launching into your experience and education, you can offer a short objective.

Work Experience – Next, list your most recent role first and work backward. Remember to include the company name, your job title, location, address, and when you started and left.

Education – Same as the work experience section, list your education with location, institution, the years you attended, and so on. You do not need to put the year you graduated from college.

Skills – For those with little education and work experience, this section becomes pivotal because you can offer some skills that will be applicable to the role.

Certifications – Often an underrated section, your certifications will also show more of your character and personality (even if they don’t apply to security!).

Functional

As the second format, a functional resume is where accomplishments and qualifications are placed above work experience. In a chronological resume, you might think that your lack of work experience and education will put people off. Will they even reach the skills and certifications section if the first two sections don’t offer what they need? This is a common concern, so a functional resume resolves this.

At the top, you still lead with your contact information and objective, but then go straight into your qualifications and accomplishments. Not only is this near the top, but it will also be the most detailed section. For example, you could offer four major skills with some bullet points explaining aspects of said skills or accomplishments.

For an entry-level security guard resume, this is a great way to tell the reader about your character. Since we know education and work experience aren’t necessarily important for an entry-level position, why waste time writing about it? Instead, a functional resume expands on your skills – something the employer is interested in.

If you’re more experienced and pushing for an unarmed security guard, armed security guard, or security officer position, we don’t recommend a functional resume. In these circumstances, a detailed history of your career is more important.

Here’s an example layout:

  • Contact Information
  • Objective
  • Qualifications
  • Accomplishments
  • Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Education

Unlike a chronological resume, the work experience and education sections will only list the location, years, names, etc.

Combined (Hybrid)

For the third format, we actually come across a solution that people have started using without even realizing. As the name suggests, combined resumes look to use the best features of the first two. For example, you can still concentrate on your accomplishments and skills but with a chronological nature to it all.

Thanks to the flexibility of the format, it can actually take whatever shape you choose. As long as you’ve got your contact information and summary statement at the top, you’re then free to play around with skills, work experience, education, and accomplishments.

What’s the Best Format?

To finish this section, we want to briefly answer this question since it’s natural to compare the three. If you have some experience in the security niche and have something to put in the work experience section, it might be nice to lead with this in a chronological layout. However, gaps in employment (more on this in a moment) and a lack of experience can be highlighted in this format. We don’t want that, do we?

On the other hand, those with no experience might be better creating a functional or combined resume. Rather than endlessly talking your way through an experience you can’t actually offer, you can focus on what skills you DO have and what you would bring to potential employers.

Here’s a helpful flow chart to help make your decision:

 

Additional Security Guard Resume Tips

To finish, we just want to cover a few common mistakes that we see in the security industry with resumes. Also, we’ll address those who may have gaps in their resume.

Dealing with Gaps

Do you need to explain gaps in your work history? Will it turn employers away? For us, we don’t believe it’s necessary to explain the gap if you’ve been in employment recently. Let’s say you had a break five years ago but have been back in employment for three and a half years. In this scenario, we don’t think the gap is too important.

On the other hand, you might just be coming off this gap. If there has been a genuine reason for this break and one that won’t make you look bad for your security guard application, you can explain this. For example, you may have been fighting a serious illness or a family bereavement.

If there isn’t a reason, you may be able to hide it by labeling your work experience in years rather than months. For example, don’t put:

  • January 2015 – March 2017
  • December 2017 – Present

Instead, choose:

  • 2015 – 2017
  • 2017 – Present

Can you see how this second example looks better? In fact, the nine-month period without a job is unnoticeable.

As well as being honest and adjusting the format of your resume (we’ve seen how above!), you could also fill your resume with other experiences during this time. Although you weren’t working, this doesn’t mean you weren’t obtaining skills that a security company would find useful. For example, you may have taken a course, volunteered your services somewhere, freelanced, been a consultant, etc.

When employers see a gap in one’s work history, they immediately get images of the person lounging around on their sofa watching Netflix. Therefore, filling this gap with experiences and skills is a great way to change that image.

Common Mistakes with Security Guard Resume PDF

Whether it’s with security officer resume duties or the key skills for security guards, we see some common mistakes in this area. If you want to avoid these and put yourself in a position to make a good impression, avoid them!

Reference Upon Request – These days, this simple line is not necessary – you don’t even need to put the names and details of references. If the employer wants to contact references, they know what to do. Also, it takes up valuable space on the document itself. Normally, companies will also ask for a waiver before even calling or emailing references.

Lying – Although this might sound obvious, please don’t lie on your resume. There’s absolutely no way you can win by lying. If you don’t get found out straight away, you will eventually. Whether a job or even a certificate, just be honest and get the job in the right way.

Spelling Errors – Online, you’ll find all sorts of spelling and grammar tools so don’t send your resume to anybody without checking.

Writing an Essay – If your resume is written over 3 pages, it probably won’t even be reviewed. If possible, stick to one sheet (two at the very maximum).

Missing Contact Information – Finally, make sure all the contact information is correct – the last thing you want is to be successful and never find out.

Final Advice

When creating a security guard resume PDF, here are some things that will bring success!

Stick with Common Fonts – Yes, we would love for you to stand out. No, this doesn’t mean using a fancy font that nobody can understand. We recommend Garamond, Cambria, Times New Roman, Calibri, Helvetica, or Palatino.

Use the Job Title – If you can add the job title used by the company, this is a great tip and will be highlighted for those who scan resumes through computers before reading manually.

Use Jobscan – To tailor the keywords on your resume, use Jobscan; this will help you get noticed immediately.

Write a Career Summary – At the top of your resume, a simple career summary will go a long way for employers who have busy days ahead and want easy-to-read information.

Offer Measurable Results – Rather than simply listing what you did in a past role, tell the reader what you ACHIEVED. Offer tangible information – this includes percentages, statistics, dollars, and REAL results.

Contact Us – To finish this extensive guide perfectly, we also recommend getting in touch with us for brilliant resume help for a small fee. We have a team of reliable and passionate professionals just waiting to help. We know the key skills for a security officer and can, therefore, create a resume that gets noticed. Regardless of your history and experience, we can help you get into your desired security guard position in no time!

6 thoughts on “How To Write A Resume

  1. Stacie J.

    I like your idea of filling work history gaps! Made me laugh when you said employers have the vision of the person sitting around watching Netflix! This is so true though.

    I hope my son can get a job in the security field. He currently has one job but he wants to leave. He’s only had 5 months work experience though.

    Reply
    1. securityguardsplus1 Post author

      Hi Stacie J.
      Even though your son has only 5 months of work experience, we urge him to still apply for a security guard position. Please read No Experience as a Security Guard which is a part of a larger article called, Experience Matters for Security Guards. Many Security Companies are opened to training new employees with no experience what so ever.

      Reply
  2. Colby

    Is it okay to lead with the “Skills” section at the top? Then education, experience, etc… Or must education go before Skills if you are doing an alternative layout? My skills are my strong suit.

    Never heard of Jobscan, thanks for mentioning this. Is it free to use?

    Reply
    1. securityguardsplus1 Post author

      Colby, we show an Infographic of the type of resume format you should create because of your Skills. Our Article on How To Write A Resume indicates that you should use the Functional Resume Format. Jobscan is not free, but they do offer free trials. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  3. Rick Merrill

    If you stick to one sheet for the resume (which I totally agree with, I wouldn’t want to do a 2 page resume), do you think it’s okay to have smaller text size to make all of the vital info fit? Or would this be annoying for the person reading it, and perhaps they’d just not even look at it? I’m thinking maybe 10pt font is the smallest that could be okay. Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. securityguardsplus1 Post author

      Rick, use Font 10 – 12 pt. Keep the following information in mind also:

      Your résumé should be no longer than 2 pages.
      Your font should be 10 -12pt; no larger, no smaller.
      Your margin should be 1. “Definitely no less than .8.”
      Your career summary should be no more than 3-5 lines.
      1 percent of recruiters will automatically dismiss a résumé because it contains a single typo.
      43 percent of hiring managers will disqualify a candidate from consideration because of
      spelling errors.
      76 percent will reject the résumé if you have an unprofessional email address.
      60 percent of résumés are ignored because they’re not formatted correctly or are too cluttered.

      Reply

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