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What to Include in a Guard Resume

Keep in mind that this is not a "fill-in-the-blanks" resume template, but rather a guide for how to best highlight your particular qualifications. The content of your resume will vary depending on the amount of experience, education, and certifications you have, and the format you choose will depend on your standing in the industry and your desired career path.

By reviewing guard resume samples, you'll see there are a few format choices, but no matter which format you choose, there are some basic subsections that should be included.

The format used most often and which is most familiar to hiring managers is the chronological style. This style emphasizes your job history and therefore works best for those with no employment gaps and who are following a traditional career path in the guard industry. The resume sections in this format are:

    • Contact info (name/phone/email)
    • Resume summary
    • Work experience
    • Skills
    • Education
The second format option is the functional style, which focuses more on what you've accomplished in your career than which employer you accomplished it for. By inserting an "Accomplishments" section between the summary and work experience sections, you provide a section devoted solely to your achievements. As a result, the work experience section will be a simple list of previous employers. This format is often used by job seekers with a difficult-to-explain employment gap or those who are looking to make a career change. Recommended sections include:

    • Contact info (name/phone/email)
    • Resume summary
    • Accomplishments (new section)
    • Work experience
    • Skills
    • Education
Yet another option is the combination style that takes advantage of the best of both resume worlds.

To see what these style look like on the page, refer to the guard resume samples already identified. The right format is the one that feels right to you.

How to Write the Guard Resume Summary Statement

The first section of your resume is the summary statement, and it's important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its position as your lead statement about your qualifications. The goal of the summary is to concisely create the image of you as an interesting candidate that the hiring manager wants to learn more about. The trick is to do it in 2-3 sentences.

Before you begin, take advantage of the important reference documents available to you. First, review the employer's job description to clearly understand what they're looking for in an employee, and focus your qualifications to match their requirements.

Second, make sure you review a few of the guard resume samples for well-written resume summaries. They will help you define the tone you want to use.

A few grammar rules apply, not only to the summary, but also throughout your resume:

    • Sentence fragments are preferred over complete sentences
    • No first-person pronouns ("I," "we")
    • Hint: By eliminating first-person pronouns, you'll automatically have a sentence fragment
Here are two examples for your review:

Security professional committed to keeping a watchful eye on retail facilities and customers. Over 10 years experience working for a private oil company refinery screening visitors and ensuring no one entered without approval, lowering risk of vandalism or potential terrorist activity.

Security guard with a degree in criminal justice and over 10 years of experience in the gaming industry. Was responsible for identifying underage gamblers and notifying supervisors of suspicious activity possibly related to cheating.

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How to Write the Guard Work Experience Section

At this point, you should know whether you prefer the chronological or functional resume format, but if you're still undecided, go back to the guard resume samples you've identified to determine which format suits your work experience best.

If you've decided on the chronological style, it's most likely that you're following a traditional career path and you don't have any employment gaps. The work experience section will be comprised of sub-headings for each job (most recent first), with 3-5 bullet points highlighting your accomplishments.

The same sentence fragment construction you used in the summary should be used for the bullet points, and the accomplishments you list should tell a short story in the form of a problem, your solution, and the result. Each job and accomplishments should look something like this:

Security Supervisor
ABC Oil Company - Toledo, OH
February 2009 - February 2015

    • Interviewed, screened, and trained security staff, resulting in lower turnover rates
    • Created on-going training programs which ensured all staff were up-to-date on protocols
    • Monitored CCTV's to ensure guards were functioning properly and to provide assistance if needed
In the functional style, your achievements will reside solely in the accomplishments section, which will be inserted between the resume summary and work experience sections. Because this section will cover your entire work history, you should try for 6-10 bullet points. The advantage is that you can match the employer's requirements to your accomplishments without having to attribute them to a job that may not be directly related to a guard position.

Since all of your successes are listed in the new accomplishments section, the resulting work experience section will be a simple list of previous jobs. It's not even necessary to include dates of employment, which is helpful if you have employment gaps.

Action Verbs to Include in Your Guard Work Experience Section

The key to crafting bullet points with impact is using action verbs to describe your activities and responsibilities. Following is a list of industry-related action verbs for your consideration:

    • Protect
    • Monitor
    • Control
    • Conduct
    • Report
    • Testify
    • Detain
    • Enforce
    • Deter
    • Patrol
    • Observe
    • Prevent
    • Watch
    • Inspect
    • Direct
    • Supervise
    • Aid
    • Search
    • Prevent
    • Escort
Once again, you can make use of the guard resume samples by scanning them for verbs that may prompt ideas for your own resume.

How to Write the Guard Skills Section

You best guide for what skills to list is the employer's job description. It's their requirements you want to meet, and your skills should be listed in the same order of importance. That means that, even though you're first aid and CPR certified, if it's not mentioned on the job description as a requirement, you can still include it, just don't list it first.

Often, it's best to categorize skills by breaking them down by knowledge base or interpersonal skills. This is your resume, however, so don't feel restrained by these categories. The idea is to make your skills easier for the hiring manager to review, and if they recognize their requirements in your skills, you've done a good job.

A security guard skills section might look like this:

Interpersonal/Personal Skills:
    • Critical thinking
    • Social perceptiveness
    • Service orientation
    • Persuasion
    • Complex problem solving
Knowledge based skills:
    • Working knowledge of firearms and other security equipment
    • Understanding of sophisticated monitoring systems
    • Knowledge of safety and security policies, procedures, and strategies
    • Operation of free-standing and hand-held metal detectors
Referring once again to the guard resume samples, you may find examples of skills that you have but haven't considered listing.

How to Write the Guard Education Section

Most entry-level security guard positions don't require post-secondary education; though, employment in federal prisons as a correctional officer generally requires both a bachelor's degree and experience.

The only information you need to include in this section is the school attended/school location/degree obtained. If the degree is "in progress," indicate your expected graduation date. If your highest level of education is high school and you're a recent graduate, go ahead and list your diploma.
You should also include sub-headings for certifications, licenses, or specific training. Depending on the industry sector where you have experience, you may have received in-house training that is pertinent and should be listed in this section. Examples include:

In-house training:

    • Emergency procedures
    • Detention of suspects
    • Proper communication
    • Report writing
    • Video technology and surveillance systems and software

    • Current state registration/license
    • Certified security guard
    • Continuing education courses
    • American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) training standards
    • Firearm handling and safety
TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Guard Resume Samples.

Should I Include References in my Guard Resume

If you refer to the guard resume samples you've been using, you won't find any that have references listed. That's because references take up valuable resume real estate.
Additionally, if you make the short statement that references are available upon request, you set yourself up for some inside information. When the employer calls for your references, you'll know for sure they're interested. You can give your references a heads-up to be expecting a call, and you can ask them to let you know how the call went and what type of questions were asked. This will provide you with valuable insight about what's important to the employer.

Your references should be previous supervisors or managers. If you developed a good relationship with a client for whom the guard service was contracted, and they're willing to be a reference, go ahead and use them. Sometimes people don't know how to say no, so use your intuition and people skills, and if you sense reluctance, move on to someone else.

Guard Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

    • Don't state in your resume what you're looking for in an employer. The idea is not to ask what they can do for you, but rather, what you can do for them.
    • The importance of proofreading can't be overstated. If a hiring manager is reading the resume of someone who'll potentially be writing shift reports, they don't want to see mistakes. Even after you've read and reread your resume, it will pay to have a friend read it too.
    • Never put down co-workers or former employers to make your accomplishments look better. There's no place in a resume for negativity.
    • You'll be doing yourself a disservice if you don't take advantage of the many guard resume samples available for inspiration and guidance.

Job Prospects in the Guard Industry

      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected employment growth for all occupations is 7 percent for the period of 2014 to 2024. The following sectors in the security guard industry are projected to grow either slightly below the average or in the negative. They are listed here by industry sector and expected growth for the same time period:

Security guards
      - 5 percent growth
      • The occupation will continue to be in demand because of concerns about crime, vandalism, and terrorism.
      • Attrition will create demand, but competition for more senior positions will require more education, training, and experience.
Correctional officers
      - 4 percent growth
      • While correctional officers will continue to be in demand, changes to criminal laws may have an effect on the number of incarcerations.
Gaming surveillance officers and investigators
      - projected decline of 7 percent
      • Advances in video surveillance and anti-cheating technology will be responsible for much of the decline.
      • Those with video surveillance equipment experience and a background in law enforcement will have an edge in this declining job sector.
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