There are many job opportunities for prospective security guards, but your resume could be what gets you a well-paid job with excellent benefits, rather than a low-paid security guard job with questionable work conditions.
Let us guide you through the process of creating a modern, compelling and competitive security guard resume!
This article contains examples, expert tips and a complete sample resume, to show you how to highlight your skills and your best attributes.
Resume objective for security guards
Hiring managers don’t tend to read through every resume that ends up on their desk, and it becomes crucial to catch their attention right away. How can you do this? By mixing honesty with a few clever tricks.
We sampled a large selection of resumes while researching for this article, and we noticed that the most successful security guard resumes were written with clever use of vocabulary. A tip is to write “security officer” instead of security guard.
By using the word “officer” instead of “guard,” you automatically come across sounding more professional, even though it means the same thing.
The objective should be a summary of your resume, and you should consider adding something related to your security guard experience, personality and your career goals.
According to the Pacific West Academy, authority is very important when you work as a security guard, so try to show this, too, in your resume objective.
Professional security officer with 5+ years of corporate security experience. Polite, presentable, observant and prepared, with military training and a desire to become a valuable asset to the company.
Resume skills for security guards
When we surveyed real security guard job posts, we quickly noticed that the skill section should be highly tailored to the job you seek. A department store security guard needs to have customer service skills, for example, while this might not be as important for a construction site security guard.
As a security guard, you also need to be skilled with report writing, observant enough to notice when something is wrong and you have the determination and patience to stay motivated even when nothing is happening.
Security work often requires patience. According to PSS (Planned Security), a key skill for a security guard is the ability to stay calm in stressful situations, but you also need to be ready for calm and drama free work days.
Remember, for a security guard, a calm day without incidents is considered a good day.
Knowledge of criminal law, CCTV experience and a driver’s license are other good skills to list in your security guard skill section, and you could also list language knowledge, CPR and first-aid certificates and martial arts training.
Observant | Dedicated | Military training | First-Aid & CPR | Strong work ethics | English & Spanish | Driver’s license | Psychology background | Forklift certified | CCTV experience | Detail-oriented | Knowledge of state- and federal laws
Security guards work experience
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report in 2018 showing that there are currently approximately 1.14 million security guards actively working in the United States. A 3% increase is expected before 2029, which tells us that it is a secure profession that will likely continue to be in demand.
With so many actively working security guards and personnel, you need to ace the work experience section in your resume, to show you have the necessary experience to be a reliable candidate.
In our research we sampled both resumes and job posts, and we found that job postings for security guards often request mainly security related experience, due to the unique nature of the job.
You can gain valuable experience from other job positions as well, but if you have security guard-, law enforcement- or military experience, then we recommend that you use that in your security guard resume.
Sample Work Experience
GardaWorld, Socorro, NM
Senior Security Officer, 2016 – 2020
Enforced standards, regulations and client procedures, provided customer service and guidance, wrote detailed reports at the end of each shift and briefed store management daily.
- Successfully trained and managed a small security team consisting of four security guards.
- Identified a threat and stopped an ongoing burglary while working the night shift.
- Reduced property loss with 78.4% in the first year.
- Pushed for the installment of complex surveillance equipment with sound alerts, to ensure nobody could get close to the premises without the on-duty security guard knowing.
Omni Hotels & Resorts, Bretton Woods, NH
Security Officer, 2014 – 2016
Carried out loss-prevention rounds throughout the premises to keep guests and employees safe. Responded to emergency incidents, kept track of guest count and general hotel security.
- Used CPR and First Aid training to save the life of a young teenager going into anaphylactic shock as a result of allergies.
- Identified CCTV blind spots which reduced petty theft and property damage with 62%.
- Suggested putting up signs with a direct phone number to reach the security officer currently working, and guests reported it made them feel safer.
- Discovered internal theft where an employee was removing material, alcohol bottles and food from the premises without permission.
US Department of the Army, Fort Riley, KS
Security Guard, 2010 – 2014
Controlled that screening requirements were being met and granted access to individuals based on strict rules and regulations. Carried out interviews and identification checks with ePACS.
- Successfully used Personnel Access Control Systems (ePACS) to identify and remove a serious threat.
- Highlighted flaws in the vehicle search process and implemented an updated system.
- Reduced potential security risks by identifying flaws and loopholes.
- Detected unusual activity, informed management and stopped a potentially dangerous offender from entering the premises.
Security guard education
Institutions like the Kangan Institute highlight relevant skills a security guard should have, and they underline the importance of being properly educated and trained for the profession.
That said, in the job postings sampled, we noticed that many companies only ask for a High School Diploma or GED, especially for security guard positions in shops, office buildings and construction sites.
Higher security clearance jobs like banks, government agencies and the military seem to ask for additional degrees and completed training programs.
It is important not to get confused here, because while many jobs only require a high school diploma, there might be hundreds of applicants, and the education section of your resume is yet another opportunity to stand out among the rest.
Having a degree in social studies, behavioral science or criminal justice could be an advantage, but if you have any type of degree or higher education, it should be included here.
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Master of Arts in Security Policy Studies, 2016 – 2018
Florida International University, Miami, FL
Bachelor in Criminal Justice, 2011 – 2015
Utah Valley University, Orem, UT
Associate in Behavioral Science, 2007 – 2009
During our research process, we did not see courses generally listed on security guard resumes, unless you would have taken a course directly related to the job.
Depending on the state you live in, you might also have to complete a pre-licensing course, and that is something you should also list here if you have already undergone one. These courses are often referred to as Guard Card Training, as you are essentially training to obtain your card (license).
When you live in California, for example, these pre-courses and licenses are made available through the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.
Avoid listing general courses here, as this will just take up space on your resume, and only include a course section if you have studied something related to working as a security guard, or if you have taken a course related to law enforcement or criminal justice.
You could potentially consider including leadership courses, as it is important to be a natural leader when working as a security guard.
- 40-hour Guard Card Training
- Annual Refresher Course (2017)
- Annual Refresher Course (2018)
- Firearm Training (NRA)
- Hidden & Unusual Weapons – Officer Safety Guide
- How to Accurately Describe a Criminal Suspect
The licensing requirements for security guards vary depending on the state you live in, and it is your responsibility to look this up before applying for a new job. Some companies might provide the necessary training to acquire a license, but it is almost always a good idea to be licensed already.
If you are unsure of what you need to work as a security guard in your area, you can look up the state-by-state license requirements for security guards online before submitting an application.
For security guards that are required to carry a firearm while on duty, you also need a firearm license. The more prepared you seem in your resume, the more likely it is that you will end up in the ‘Yes’ pile.
Multiple organizations, like IFPO (International Foundation for Protection Officers) offer excellent guidance as well as training programs for security officers, but the first step should always be to read the job posting carefully, to see what a specific company requires in terms of certifications.
Below are a few examples of security guard certifications, but this does not necessarily mean you need all of them. Look up what your state requires and what requirements the individual company has.
- Security Guard License (California)
- CPR & First Aid Certificate
- Firearm Certification (FCS)
- Certified Protection Officer (CPO)
Complete security guard resume sample
Working as a security guard is a big responsibility, where a company trusts you to keep the workplace safe. We singled out one of the job posts we sampled to show you a few additional tricks!
It is important to look for keywords, and use this to your advantage when writing your resume. We are going to use this job posting as an example, and follow up with a customized sample resume.
The job post found above lists very specific work responsibilities, along with a few requirements. You need to be 18 years old, have undergone 16 hours of training and have a California Guard License, and you need a year of relevant experience.
This is what a resume could look like when applying for this job. For this example, we will pretend to have what the company is looking for, and write the resume as if this was a real application.
Dedicated and experienced security professional with up-to-date guard training and a background in corporate security. Martial arts practitioner, CPR & First Aid trained, experienced with CCTV surveillance, and with a calm and assertive personality. Excellent attention to detail.
Detail-Oriented | Thorough | Observant | California Guard License | First Aid & CPR | CCTV Experienced | Up-to-Date Annual Certificate | 4+ Years of Experience | Ability to Remain Calm | Physically Fit
Bank of the West, San Francisco, CA
Corporate Security Investigator, 2017 – 2020
Investigated suspected criminal activity, performed company loss investigations, conducted back office inspections and resolved escalated internal- and external issues.
- Facilitated law enforcement investigations by implementing a more thorough written report system.
- Identified a weak spot in the bank surveillance system and took action to have it covered.
- Installed guard dogs in the back section of the bank during nighttime, which prevented multiple trespassing attempts.
- Trained three new security officers and incorporated them in the bank safety and security team.
Four Seasons, Silicon Valley, CA
Security Officer, 2016 – 2017
Patrolled the hotel premises to ensure the safety of guests and staff; stayed in close contact with local law enforcement and guests, and was on-call for any arising security related issues.
- Increased vigilance of guests leaving the hotel premises, which led to a 84% decrease in room item thefts.
- Located a missing child on the premises with the help of CCTV, and returned the child to its parents before police arrived.
- Followed a hunch and successfully prevented an armed robbery, by notifying police already before it took place.
- Reduced company losses with 47% by putting up signs prohibiting guests from taking towels with them when leaving the hotel.
- California Security Guard License
- First Aid & CPR Certificate
Nottingham High School, Syracuse, NY
High School Diploma, 2011 – 2014
- 16-Hour Guard Card Training (2015)
- Up-to-date Annual Refresher Course (2020)
Securing a job as a security guard is not always as easy as it sounds, and especially if your resume does stand out.
We sampled dozens of security guard resumes and scanned job postings from all over the country, and below are a few of the key points to consider when crafting your own resume, based on what our research showed.
- An increase in the demand for security guards is expected in the upcoming years, which means more opportunities, but also more competition. A well-written security guard resume will up your chances of being considered for the position you want.
- Do your research before applying for a job, and tailor your security guard resume to the needs and requirements of the company hiring. There are many different kinds of security guards, and you need to show that you are the kind they want.
- Having military training, physical combat training or knowing martial arts like Karate, Taekwondo or Jiu-Jitsu could make you a very strong security guard candidate.
Tips from Experts
“Proofread your documents before submitting them. Be consistent with your formatting – it needs to be easy to read and look really good.” – Brandon Mitchel, President of BrandResumes
“You need to demonstrate an ability and an understanding of why you need to remain calm under pressure, and an understanding of the law that is applicable to the role of security guard in your particular area.” – Richard McMunn, Former Fire Officer and Interview Expert
“The successful security officer is knowledgeable of current policies and procedures, and periodically reviews those procedures for revisions.” – Colt Chandler, Security Officer Training HQ
Your job as a security guard is to serve and protect people or property, and your resume needs to show that you understand the importance of such a big responsibility.
Be open, honest and professional in your tone, and list only the work experience relevant to the position. You might have had a great time picking strawberries that one summer, but it doesn’t say much about your abilities as a security guard.
Highlight any security guard certifications you have, especially if the position requires you to carry a firearm, and show yourself off as someone reliable, confident, and prepared.