While there is no definitive way to display your skills and experience to a recruiter in the security industry, a carefully thought out CV can help you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of employment. Having a clear and compelling CV is crucial, particularly in the initial stages of a job application where the recruiter will on average only spend a few seconds scanning over your CV. To increase your odds of reaching the interview stage, there are a few simple steps that can help push your CV to the top of the pile.
Emphasise your certifications & training
Formal qualifications are highly desirable from a recruiter’s perspective, and even a degree that is unrelated to the security industry should still be listed near the top of your CV. However, although qualifications are generally preferred, they are not always imperative- impressive accomplishments can sometimes be of more importance and should be accentuated on your CV to encourage the recruiter to focus on your strengths.
As well as formal education, additional training and certifications are of high importance in the recruiting process as it shows a willingness to learn about the industry. If you have numerous security qualifications, you should however, avoid listing every training course you have attended – instead, try to focus on relevant and recognisable certifications, such as those provided by Wilplan Training.
Make it job-specific
When actively looking for a career in security, your CV needs to highlight your assets and avoid unnecessary, unrelated material that will make the recruiter quickly lose interest. An unspecific, diluted CV that can be applied to a whole range of security jobs is likely to be dismissed. Your skills, qualifications and attributes need to be directly related to the job that you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a career in private investigation, door supervision training will be deemed irrelevant. The recruiter should be able to easily identify the job-specific attributes that you can bring to the role.
Have a strategic structure
CV’S that are easy to scan and have a clear, simple layout are more likely to be successful in the initial stages of recruitment. In order for the recruiter to be able to quickly extract useful information from your CV, you should consider using bullet points and sub-headings to break the text, whilst steering clear of lengthy paragraphs. You should try to find a balance between information that is simple and can still be of value to the reader.
Strategically placing your most important accomplishments near the top of the page will also help to captivate the readers attention from the outset. For example, qualifications that are particularly impressive or specific to the job role should take the lead, whilst less-relevant skills can be listed in a brief ‘additional skills/ qualifications’ section at the bottom of your CV.
Add personal touches
Although qualifications and training are a crucial part of a CV, incorporating personal information can help you stand out from the crowd and provide a valuable insight into your character. Placing a brief introductory paragraph that summarises your personal qualities, skills and strengths can encourage recruiters to view you as an ideal candidate even before they have looked at your qualifications.
Rather than having a CV that reads as a paraphrased job description, listing personal achievements and transferable skills will help set you apart from other candidates. For example, having experience in public speaking and analytical writing may not be directly related to a job in security, but can demonstrate desirable communication skills.