As a security guard, you have a lot on your shoulders. You’ve got extensive training on how to do everything from work with the police when crimes are committed to everyday interactions with your employers. So how are you supposed to show everything you know on a resume?
It takes careful planning. Luckily, as a security guard, you’ve already been trained in how to be diligent, have great attention to detail, and communicate both verbally and orally. Now, it’s time to put those skills to the test alongside our tips and examples.
What you’ll learn in this guide:
- How to analyze security guard resume examples for ideas and inspiration
- Why you need to be thinking about ATS from the start
- How to appeal to recruiters
- The best formatting rules to follow
- How to make your achievements more effective
- The best security guard job qualification to include
- What makes your skills stand out and which ones to include
- Why starting with an objective or summary makes your resume better
- How to target your resume for a specific role
- How to prepare for a job interview
- Why using a resume builder makes such a difference
Security guard resume template examples to get you started
Besides simply listing your certification and job history, it’s not always clear what should even go on a security guard resume. But considering how varied the role can be based on employer needs and expectations, you need to be ready to craft your resume to meet them.
To give you an idea of what a top quality security guard resume can look like, take some time to look over these examples. Take notes about what stands out about them and write down what you’d like to emulate on your own resume.
How to write a security guard resume that will get your phone ringing
Before you begin writing your resume, the first thing you need to understand is its audience. Who is your resume actually for? What are their expectations from it? You wouldn’t take an identical approach to every security role and you can’t take an identical approach to every resume you submit.
Why you need to consider ATS
In most cases, the first hurdle your resume needs to overcome isn’t a person, it’s an algorithm. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used by over half of all companies, especially larger ones, to sort resumes. They work by using artificial intelligence to read over resumes and determine whether the candidate meets the basic skills, experience, and other requirements. This saves recruiters a lot of time.
However, the problem is that ATS are far from perfect. They reject many qualified candidates simply because of an error like not being able to read a chart or the resume being the wrong file type. But before you start worrying about this, let’s break down the 3 simple steps you can follow to improve your chances of making it past ATS.
- Only submit your resume as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf as these are the filetypes most ATS are optimized to read.
- Use a resume builder to make sure your file is easy for ATS to understand. Elements like images, columns, and others can confuse ATS and lead to automatic rejection. A good resume builder structures the data in your resume just right so ATS can easily read it.
- Get smart about keywords. Remember, ATS start with a set of requirements they’re looking for in your resume. The best way to make sure they see what they’re looking for is to scan the job description and make a list of the requirements it mentions. Then, try and get as many of them in your resume as you can. When possible, use the same wording to be extra sure the ATS isn’t confused by what you’ve included.
How to give recruiters what they’re looking for
Once your resume sails past the ATS, it still needs to impress a human recruiter. So what is this person looking for? Fortunately, that keyword optimization you just did for ATS will also make your resume more effective to a recruiter. This is because they too will have a set of requirements they have for you as a candidate. Your mission is to make it as easy as possible for them to hire you by making it clear that you meet their requirements.
Throughout the process of creating your resume, try and put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. How can you appeal to them? Great design, clear and easy to understand writing, reasonable length, etc. are all key elements which will make your resume stand out to recruiters. We’ll discuss all of these in more detail throughout this guide.
How to format your resume
Bad resume formatting is a common complaint amongst recruiters. Imagine you’re given a guide for a new security guard role and it’s 200 pages long with extremely critical pieces of information hidden in odd places. It would drive you nuts, so imagine how recruiters feel when they get long, poorly structured resumes.
To avoid this, you only need to follow a few key rules. The first is to put more important information towards the top of your resume. This ensures it’s also the first information a recruiter reads. This is why your experience should be in reverse chronological order, meaning your most recent jobs at the top.
Then, be sure to regularly review your resume from a recruiter’s perspective. Imagine what questions they might have as they read some section and see if you can get ahead of those questions. Remember, you want that recruiter to think “this person is an easy yes.”
How long should a security guard resume be?
This is one of the most common resume questions out there. The good news is that the rule to follow is pretty simple: as short as possible. Recruiters are busy people and you should only make them read through information that’s relevant and tells them something they need to know. So go through your resume and get rid of any fluff or unnecessary information. Overall, you should aim to get it down to 1-2 pages.
Which sections should a security guard resume include?
- Resume objective or summary
- Relevant work experience
- Any noteworthy achievements
- Hard skills
- Soft Skills
How to highlight your most important achievements
If you’ve successfully coordinated with local law enforcement to help bring a suspect to justice or reduced the number of security incidents at a facility, you want to show them off. But how you frame your achievements has a substantial effect on how they’ll impact a recruiter. Let’s run through a few examples to see how you can more effectively list your achievements.
I successfully reduced the number of incidents through my determination and hard work.
There are a few issues with the wording here. The first and most glaring is that this achievement is written in the first person. Everything on your resume should be written in the third person. Just as important, this kind of vague achievement doesn’t really tell a recruiter anything worthwhile. Because they have no idea what you actually did or specifically achieved, they’re more likely to ignore this.
Reduced safety incidents by 30% by increasing patrol frequency and routes.
This example is shorter but packs far more information. Here we know precisely what was accomplished and what the candidate did to achieve it. Beyond the accomplishment itself, examples like this communicate things like the tendency to be proactive and find ways to improve. This is an example of saying more with fewer words, something that will make your resume stand out to recruiters.
What are ideal security guard job qualifications?
A big part of what most employers are looking for in a security guard is someone who is diligent about following procedures. It’s a complex role and every job will have its own way of doing things, which is why being reliable enough to study and follow those rules is the single most important qualification an employer will likely look for.
Many states also require some kind of security guard license or certification. Otherwise, you may also be required to have a firearm permit if carrying one is a part of your duties.
how to list them correctly
If there are some specific concrete requirements like licenses and permits, these should be clearly listed at or towards the top of your resume so they are noticed immediately. One approach is to list them in your resume objective or summary (more on how to write both below). Otherwise, a simple list will work well. Just be sure to include the year you obtained any qualification or license next to it.
How to list your skills
Just about any security guard resume you look at will have a simple list of skills. While this is easy for a recruiter to read and works well for getting past ATS, you can do better. By applying the same techniques we did for your achievements and providing examples of your skills, you can make them far more impactful. This is particularly important for soft skills, which are otherwise more vague and difficult to concretely prove.
After all, anyone can simply state that they’re diligent, have great attention to detail, or are an excellent listener. Simply reading that won’t convince a recruiter you truly have that skill. If you’re wondering what you can do to improve your skills, these two examples will show you.
Again, simply stating you’re good at this doesn’t mean much for a recruiter. Let’s see what this skill looks like with an example.
-Completed UC Irvine’s online Conflict Management Specialization course in 2018
In this case, because the candidate didn’t have an example of when they had to resolve a conflict, they took an online course to show their skills. This shows not just that you possess that specific skill but that you were proactive enough to go out and take the course on your own. That’s a quality any employer will be looking for in a security guard.
The best soft skills to include
- Conflict resolution
- Attention to detail
- Ability to follow rules and regulations
- Problem solving
- Customer service
The best hard skills to include
- Writing reports
- First aid
- Drivers license
- Firearms safety
- Physical fitness
- Familiarity with relevant equipment like cameras and recording systems
- Criminal justice and experiencing coordinating with police
How to start off your resume more effectively
We’ve mentioned how important it is to put the most relevant information towards the top of your resume. The most effective way to do this is with a resume objective or summary. These sections are more flexible than others, allowing you to choose what to emphasize.
The goal is to create a strong first impression and communicate the most important information about you as a candidate right from the start. This is also an excellent place to get ahead of answering questions which might arise elsewhere in your resume like why you changed careers to become a security guard or why there’s a gap in your work history.
How to write a resume objective
A resume objective will be only a single sentence, so it needs to be concise and information dense. It should focus on explaining who you are and what you aim to achieve. This should be something beyond “getting hired” and focus on ways your work will provide value for the employer. Let’s look at some examples to see this in action.
Experienced security professional looking to use my skills to improve security at your workplace.
This example makes the mistake of being vague and clearly communicating that this candidate didn’t spend the time to do the job right. For a role where the details are incredibly important, that kind of vague language can be disqualifying. Your resume needs to read as detailed and precise as a security guard report.
CA BSIS Certified security guard with 4 years experience looking to help reduce security issues at Acme Corp’s warehouses.
Instead of vaguely boasting about experience and skills, this resume objective, this candidate showed they’re certified, experienced, and are focused on a specific goal. It communicates professionalism and attention to detail right from the start, making a strong first impression.
How to write a resume summary
A resume summary has the same goal as an objective but can be a few sentences long. That’s why it’s ideal if you need more space or flexibility to communicate critical information about yourself as a candidate. Just note that if you’re asked to submit a cover letter, you can put this information there and stick to a shorter resume objective.
After working in law enforcement for 14 years I’ve decided to retire and work fewer hours as a security guard. I know my law enforcement experience will make me an excellent candidate and I look forward to discussing the role further.
This candidate is writing as if they’ve already been hired. Besides the mistake of writing in the first person, this summary communicates that they think being a security guard is an easy job. Law enforcement experience may be a plus, but companies do not want to hire security guards who won’t take the job seriously, particularly when there are so many critical differences between security work and law enforcement.
Law enforcement professional with 14 years experience looking to use experience in de-escalation, detailed report writing, and professionalism to enhance the security and safety of the film lots at Horizon Studios. Currently taking a special course designed for aiding law enforcement professionals transitioning into the security guard industry.
By focusing on how this candidate’s law enforcement experience will benefit them in a new security guard role and making it clear they’re treating it as a new job with its own required expertise, this summary makes a powerful first impression. Also, by mentioning the employer by name, this person is telling the recruiter that they took the time to customize this resume just for that specific role.
How to target your resume for each application
Why is customizing a resume for each specific role so important to begin with? Firstly, it says that you took the time to do the job right, one of the most important qualities a security guard can have, But considering the variation between security guard roles, a single resume can’t possibly work well for them all. One security guard might be more of a customer service position while another could be far more focused on crime prevention.
To customize your resume, start with the keyword targeting techniques mentioned earlier in this guide. Carefully study the job description and ensure your resume addresses as many of the requirements as clearly as possible. By doing this, you’ll maximize your chances of getting past ATS and making a good impression on the recruiter. Applying for any job with a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to be very effective, least of all for a security guard position.
How to prepare for a job interview as a security guard
Because interpersonal skills are so critical for being a great security guard, you’ll be expected to demonstrate these in an interview. Focus on being composed, professional, and detailed in your answers.
One of the best ways to further prepare yourself is to look at the job description and your resume to brainstorm likely questions you might face. Then, you can practice your answers to both be ready for those specific questions and to get more comfortable with the process as a whole.
Which questions are likely to be asked during the interview process?
- Why did you decide to become a security guard?
- Describe an instance when you had to deal with a violent or aggressive person, what did you do?
- How would you describe the role of a security guard to a friend?
- What do you do when you have no pressing duties but are still on the clock?
- What would you say is the most challenging part of being a security guard?
- Do you have any experience with weapons?
- Are you familiar with computers and other relevant equipment?
- How do you work on a team? Can you provide any examples of when you’ve worked well on a team?
You may also be asked to perform tasks designed to test your ability to quickly notice details or make difficult decisions under pressure.
What makes a great security guard resume?
Ultimately, all of the advice in this guide will add up to an excellent security guard resume. Again, because you’ll be expected to consistently notice small details about your environment and communicate them in detailed reports, your resume should be immaculate to demonstrate you have the qualities to do that.
But beyond all the written details, the design of your resume is another way to tell a recruiter that you go above and beyond in your work. A modern and clean design is ideal for making your resume stand out visually, be easy to read, and simple to navigate. But if you’re not a designer, how can you get access to a modern design template?
Why you need a resume builder
The right resume builder makes just about every aspect of the resume creation process easier. From giving you a wide selection of modern security guard resume templates to making it easier to create many custom variations for different positions, you’ll save time and improve your chances of getting hired.
However, perhaps the most important benefit of using a resume builder is increasing your chances of making it past ATS. As mentioned in the beginning of this guide, it’s vital to ensure the file you submit is ATS-optimized, so using a resume builder which has been designed from the ground up to do just that is your best bet. Resumebuild.com offers all of this and more, from security guard resume examples and templates to the ATS optimization you need.
- Secure gates
- Access control
- Logging trucks
- Patrolling perimeters
- Traffic control
- Daily Activity Report (DAR)
- Monitor property entrance, authorize entrance of people and vehicles.
- Security at venues, sport events, convention events, and theater events.
- Checked guests in, show them where they need to go.
- Work stairs so guest can find where they need to sit.
- Contribute to team effort by accomplishing related task
- Observing and reporting any irregular activities within the premises
- Quickly responding to calls made by tenants and assisting them to the best of my ability
- Typing daily reports on what happened during my shift
- Secured premises and personnel by patrolling property; monitoring surveillance equipment; inspecting buildings, equipment, and access points; permitting entry.
- Obtained help by sounding alarms.
- Prevented loss and damage by reporting irregularities; informing violators of policy and procedures.
- Completes reports by recording observations, information, occurrences, and surveillance activities.
- Secure premises and personnel by patrolling property; monitoring surveillance equipment; inspecting buildings, equipment and access points; permitting entry
- Obtain help by sounding alarms
- Control traffic by directing drivers
- Complete reports by recording observations, information, occurrences and surveillance activities; interviewing witnesses; obtaining signatures