Every day security companies across the Washington DC Metropolitan area are flooded with resumes and applications from people interested in starting a career as a professional security guard. This applies to all security companies in the region regardless of whether they are security companies in Maryland, security companies in Virginia or Washington DC. All of these companies have to use their best judgment to select the ideal person to join their team. Some are more selective than others. However, there are some basic things that a security company looks for. Here are 5 basic things anyone should have to be considered for a security guard position.
1. Basic problem solving skills
Security guards work in various environments and encounter a wide variety of circumstances. It is impossible to train a guard for every possible contingency that may occur while on duty. The best security guards have a good understanding of common sense. They look at the situation and make a decision based on common sense. If they are unsure they make no decisions. They call their supervisor. It is said that common sense is an uncommon thing. Hiring managers across the region will tell you that this is absolutely true. Hiring managers do not want rocket scientists to work as security guards. They want a person who can solve basic problems and ask their supervisor if they cannot figure it out.
2. Clean criminal background
Security companies in Maryland and other jurisdictions want to hire law abiding citizens. Many people interested in becoming security guards eliminate themselves from the hiring pool before they apply by having a criminal record. An applicant may have changed his life and the offense may have happened a long time ago. Unfortunately, no security company wants to be seen by their clients as the company that hires former thieves to protect their property. Even if a security company wanted to employ a person with a criminal record in most cases that person could not get approved by the state for a license. This makes persons with criminal records unemployable within the security industry. If you have a criminal record it would be best to choose a career other than security. It may not seem fair but it is the way things are.
3. Security Training & Certifications
Even though many security companies provide training after a person is hired it is better to get licenses and certifications on your own prior to being hired. Doing so better prepares you for your security career and impresses hiring managers making it more likely that you will get hired. Investing in yourself does nothing but make you a better professional. Smart people get as much training and certifications as possible. Getting them before you are hired is the best way to be prepared for your career.
4. Positive attitude
A security guard must have a positive attitude to be successful in the security industry. Being a security guard involves performing your duties repeatedly to respond in the rare case that an incident actually happens. Sometimes during patrolling a guard starts to feel that they are wasting their time. They feel useless. Guards encounter these feelings regardless of their attitude of experience level. The difference is that a guard with a positive attitude taps into their positive attitude and reminds themselves of the contribution they are making through being there in case something ever happens. In other cases guards are working with the public who are sometimes not very friendly. When a security guard encounters negativity they can feed into it or overcome it with a positive attitude. Having a positive attitude is essential for anyone looking to become a professional security guard.
Security guards must have the self-discipline to avoid doing the wrong thing when no one is watching. There is an old saying “when the cats away the mice will play”. In most cases security guards work by themselves and their supervisors are “away”. Security guards can be tempted to do everything from taking a nap to stealing a small item that they think no one will notice. The temptation for person to do whatever they can get away with is part of human nature. When providing fire watch service, self-discipline can be a matter of life or death. The best security guards have the self-discipline to resist these temptations and focus on the task at hand. That task is doing their job as they have been instructed.
These 5 things matter regardless of whether a person is interested in working for any other jurisdiction. In Maryland you must also get a Maryland security guard license. If you want to be hired as a security guard make sure that you have basic problem skills, a clean criminal record, security training & certifications, a positive attitude and self-discipline. If you have these things any security company will be glad to hire you and teach you everything else.