Getting the “good” jobs in the security industry
Two sides to every coin
Before you start
Where to look
- If there are legal licencing requirements to go through prior to working in the industry the have this completed prior to looking for work . Nobody is going to wait for you to start so be prepared.
- Call a venue during the day (late afternoon and early evening are usually good times) and ask if they are hiring. Ask to speak to a manager and enquire as to what would be a good time to come in person and speak to whomever hires security staff. Get a first name if possible.
- If you are calling to a venue call early in the afternoon/night (if it’s a bar/club) and ask for the person you wish to speak to.
- Dress professionally and present yourself as if you were going to work.
- Bring an up to date CV with you but also try to get an email address to send a digital copy. I know from experience that a CV handed to me at the door is very lucky to make it through the night and to the office for a follow up. Similarly a CV handed into a busy reception area will rarely make it to the right desk.
- If you know somebody who works there and who is willing to vouch for you then mention it. Always mention this to your friend first.
- Don’t show up at a venue at rush hour when the place is in full swing and the security are busy and then ask to speak to the head of security. It just isn’t going to happen and it shows a complete lack of understanding of the industry.
- If your looking for work on a door dont go looking for work while on a night out with your mates while you are having a few drinks. From experience, there is nothing more annoying than the guy after a few drinks who hangs around the door talking to door supervisors and then asks for a job.
- Don’t get involved or try to help out if you see an issue to try to impress the security team. Believe it or not this happens so let me tell you how it looks. If I am removing/arresting/de-escalating somebody and another patrons attempts to get involved he/she will be treated as a risk until I’m satisfied that they aren’t. If you are seen to be getting involved in a conflict situation you will be removed and you are your job prospects will be left on the footpath.
- Don’t embellish or falsify your CV. The security industry is close knit and a Head of Security in a good venue will know people all over a local town or city and will have connections even further afield. Even if they don’t your lack of experience will be obvious once you start work.
Going for interviews
- I mentioned it above but dress as you would expect to see a security operative. The interviewer needs to be able to visualise how you will look representing their venue so help them showing up in some shirt and trousers and a pair of shoes. Showing up in jeans and a t-shirt makes you look like a patron or customer.
- Do your research. Look at the social media sites. Why do staff and customers go there? Have they any events are coming up? What interesting things they done previously? Is the customer profile obvious?
- Take a walk around the venue of you can and make yourself familiar with it. You may be asked about the venue so the more you know the more comfortable you will be to talk about it.
- Make sure your CV is up to date and suited to the security industry. If you have done some form of training in the industry tell them who it was with. This is just as important as the training itself.
- Try to be yourself. How your personality fits with the culture and group dynamic is important. I have people with excellent skill sets not do well in a venue simply because their personality doesn’t fit with the customers or the staff. Not that this is intentional but it just makes the work environment more difficult and the employment is usually Short lived.
- Leave your ego at the door. Nobody is looking to hire a tough guy. Trying to look or act tough will not get you hired. It will almost certainly have the opposite effect. Confidence is good, ego isn’t.
- Be prepared to start immediately. Most venues are quite reactive when it comes to hiring.
Take a good look at your CV. Download a template such as the one from our resources page and fill it out carefully. Make it specific to the job you want. Don’t just print a pile of generic CV’s and hand them out. Employers will notice and you won’t stand out. Nothing says I dont care like an [insert job name] mistake on your CV or cover letter. Whether you’re actively seeking a new role or not its always a good idea to keep your CV up to date. You never know when opportunity may come knocking.