At first, Lauraine Edir believed her job as a private dining manager at San Francisco's Sir Francis Drake Hotel would return. But, after a year of hoping for the best, the owner sold the business in March 2021.
Edir credits enhanced unemployment benefits, government stimulus checks, and her husband's full-time job at a senior living center with keeping the family afloat, including their two boys, ages 12 and 14. "We're OK. You learn to live with less."
The 54-year-old leveraged her early career experience as a flight attendant to land a new job as a transportation security officer at the San Francisco International Airport. She's in the final stage of the hiring process.
Essential roles in safety and security could provide safe harbor to women who've lost positions in hospitality, food service, and other industries hobbled by the pandemic.
Women have seen a 45% increase in employment in this sector since 2017 (compared to 3% for men), according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzed by LiveCareer.
Many security personnel work in retail stores, office buildings, and industrial settings.
While this has been a historically male role, that seems to be changing, and as more women enter the occupation, it could become even more hospitable to women who've yet to jump on board.
Below we profile four jobs that women can get now.
4 safety and security jobs women can get now
- Security guard. Also known as security officers, security guards protect property, ensure that rules are being followed, and deter criminal activity. Some guards are assigned a stationary position from which they monitor surveillance cameras and other patrol areas. It's a job that usually doesn't require formal education, and if it does, you'll typically only need a high school diploma. Training is on the job, too, so prior experience isn't necessary.
- Gambling surveillance officer. Someone needs to make sure that everything is running smoothly and there are no suspicious activities in gambling spaces —— and that's exactly what a gambling surveillance officer does. In this role, it'll be your job to watch for cheating and theft, monitor compliance with rules, regulations and laws, and maintain recordings from security cameras. With a median annual wage of $31,050, you'll need skills in communication, observation, quick thinking, and problem-solving to perform this job.
- Lifeguard. Depending on the location (if it's poolside or by the beach), your duties as a lifeguard and the required training will vary, but in general, you'll be tasked with observing and supervising people near or in the water. Lifeguards are water-safety professionals who need to have CPR, first aid and AED certifications, as well as pass a test to specialize in the type of water they're observing. Even though this is a role that doesn't require higher education or prior experience, we highly recommend you do your research to determine what type of lifeguard you want to be and the specific requirements needed.
- Security supervisor. As a security supervisor, it's your job to oversee a company's security to protect all the assets. You may also be in charge of managing and implementing security protocols, monitoring staff, assigning work areas for officers to patrol, and maintaining law and order in your area of jurisdiction. Prior experience in security is required for this position, as well as extensive knowledge of security protocol procedures, excellent management and supervisory skills, and proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite or related software.
How to build a safety and security resume
Now you're ready to write your resume. There are three different resume formats you'll want to consider:
Functional resume format: Best when you're new to the industry or have significant gaps in employment
The functional format is a great option for people who have never worked in safety and security before. It organizes your information in a way that highlights your transferable skills and not your lack of experience, showing the hiring manager that you have the skills necessary to be a great asset. Skills may include great communication, attention to detail, physical strength, quick-thinking and organization.
Here's an example of what a functional resume might look like:
Combination resume format: Perfect when you want to put equal emphasis on your skills and work experience
If you have a couple of years of experience, the combination resume will put your skills and work experience on equal footing. Highlight the skills most relevant to the position you're applying for, like great observation, good eyesight or excellent interpersonal skills. Your work history should also show the recruiter that the jobjob you're seeking will help take you further.
Here's an example of what a combination resume might look like:
Chronological resume format: Great when you can show solid career progression and clear achievements
The chronological resume centers around career progression, so it's ideal for people who've been working in safety and security for many years. Use this format to show the hiring manager how your professional career has grown through the years and why the next job is the most logical next step.
Here's an example of what a chronological resume might look like:
How to explain career gaps on a safety and security resume
Employment gaps are more common than you think, especially during a pandemic that led to millions getting laid off or furloughed. The good news is that explaining and filling in gaps between employment is a lot easier than you might think. The key is adding activities to your resume showing you stayed busy. Here are a few suggestions that could come in handy:
- Volunteer in local organizations. Even if your role is not directly related to safety and security, you'll likely learn skills that can transfer to the new job and help you complete your responsibilities.
- Use online resources to earn certifications and learn more about the field. The American AED CPR Association provides online training classes for CPR, AED, ffirst a aid and more. SecurityGuard-License offers a great licensing guide by state for people interested in knowing what they have to do in their home state to become a security professional.
Find a safety and security job with a flexible schedule
If having a flexible schedule is imperative for you, you'll be happy to know that most jobs in safety and security, while usually 8-hour shifts, most commonly offer rotating schedules and night shifts. This means that you're more likely to find roles with different schedules. When searching for a job, look for words like "flexible schedule" in each job description and keep an eye out for early morning or night shifts. Finally, make sure that you establish your needs during the interview. Setting the ground rules initially and being on the same page with your employer is extremely important.
As a woman, you understand better than most the challenges women face getting back into the workforce. It's not enough to just find a job, you have to find one that works for you, your schedule and your specific needs. Building a resume that's tailored for jobs currently available is a major step in the right direction.