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Written by Susan ShorSusan Shor

Security and protective services resume example & writing guide

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Security and protective services resume example & writing guide
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Security and protective services resume guide

A noteworthy security and protective services resume will give you a lock on the hiring manager’s attention. Your goal is to get in front of a real person and you need an impressive resume to open the door. How do you go about it?

Take your advice from us! Resume.io offers a full range of resources for any job seeker with resume guides and resume examples for 300+ professions, plus an easy-to-use resume builder.

This resume guide, along with the corresponding resume example will cover the following topics:

  • What do security and protective services professionals do?
  • How to write a security and protective services resume (tips and tricks)
  • The best format for a security and protective services resume
  • Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional resume layout and design hints.

What do security and protective services professionals do?

Security and protective services professionals are entrusted with the safety of the nation, the public and of buildings, property and any other assets. The role is one of great responsibility and trust. 

Security officers may work for police forces, fire departments, the military, private companies or individuals. Many of these individuals are first responders, which means they are first on the scene of disasters and other hazardous situations. Police and fire departments are often run by a municipality, making these workers civil servants. Specialty police forces include the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Secret Service and the Capitol police among others.

Military personnel may work in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard. Firefighters may specialize in certain types of buildings such as high rises, or in fighting forest fires and fires in other outdoor conditions.

Security personnel may work for a company or individual and guard property of value. They may also work as a bodyguard, protecting an individual from potential harm.

Statistical insight
  • More than 1 million people work in about 18,000 police departments in the United States. That’s about 6% of all government personnel. (USAFacts)
  • There were about 1,115,000 career and volunteer firefighters in the United States in 2018, working in 29,705 fire departments. (National Fire Protection Agency)
  • The military counted about 1.4 million active duty personnel in 2018. (Macrotrends)
  • About 1.1 million people are employed as security guards or gambling surveillance officers. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS)

Protect your resume at all cost! Have a look at other resume examples from the same field and get inspired to start crafting your own cv:

Security and protective services job market and outlook

While the demand for police and firefighters in the next decade is expected to show average growth for each profession at 7% and 8% respectively, the private security market will grow much faster. The BLS predicts a 15% growth in jobs for security guards and gambling surveillance officers.

Demand for private security services, both armed and unarmed, are at an all-time high, the Wall Street Journal reported, and the global market was expected to reach $240 billion. 

The market for military personnel depends greatly on politics, the U.S. economy and the global environment, therefore, it is hard to predict the need for these security professionals.

Statistical insight

How much do security and protective services professionals make?

Profession Median Salary
Police officers and detectives $67,290
Firefighters $52,500
Security guards and gambling surveillance $31,080

Source: BLS

Military personnel are paid based on their years of service, their rank and whether they are enlisted, officers or warrant officers. You can find the details at Federal Pay.

How to write a security and protective services resume

All resumes contain specific sections, but especially if you are applying for a civil service job, you need to understand what sections to include. Your CV should contain the following elements:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section

Each type of security position has different requirements and each department within each category will have its own style and serves a public with different demographics and needs. Investigate the department you wish to work for to get a better understanding of its mission and how it functions. Look into the community in which you want to work and understand its pluses and challenges. This will help you develop a message that resonates with the hiring managers in that department. If you are targeting a business, apply the same strategies. Remember, safety is serious so keep your tone appropriate.

The best security and protective services resumes will do the following:

  • Direct your message to the department or company and address its needs in each CV section
  • Make a neat, professional first impression with a crisp, readable layout
  • Use keywords and phrases that will lift your resume over the ATS hurdle.

Personalize to beat the ATS

Most government departments as well as private companies use Applicant Tracking Systems. This software is programmed to search for the keywords and phrases an employer believes are most important for the advertised job. Then, the ATS ranks your resume against all the resumes for the position.

To get past this phase,analyst the job listing and match the keywords and phrases to your resume. Use the exact wording as you find it within the posting. Spell out and use acronyms to ensure that the ATS catches one or the other. This method also shows that you are well aware of what the job requires.

Choosing the best resume format for a security and protective services professional

We recommend you use the reverse chronological order resume format unless you fit into a specialized category. That is because both the ATS and recruiters like it better since it is easier to find the relevant data.

If it is your first job, you are a career-charger or have many years of experience under your belt, check out the resume formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids.

A functional resume format is typically reserved for workers with highly specialized skills or those in a highly technical field. It offers a means to emphasize niche or highly complex skills by expanding the skills section and reducing the employment history section in exchange. 

Resume summary example: a sense of security

The point of the summary of your security and protective services resume is to give recruiters a sense of who you are as a professional and your approach to your job. These 3-4 lines are the only full sentences you will write and they are free-form. 

We suggest starting with an overview sentence, maintaining a professional tone, but personably introducing yourself and your career with complimentary descriptors. Then, focus on your proudest work achievement, making sure that it illustrates your value to the position you desire. 

Finally, wrap up with something that leaves the recruiter intrigued. You could reveal why you chose this challenging, but rewarding career or why this particular workplace is your first choice.

You can find a resume example for your summary section below.

Resume example summary

Security Officer with 6+ years of experience leading and improving security operations, while effectively overseeing investigations and managing crises. Highly knowledgeable in security legislation and regulation, and committed to protecting the security of people, places, and things, 


Employment history CV sample: capture the highlights

The employment history section of your security and protective services CV shows off your career highlights. Think in terms of accomplishments, not responsibilities. The goal of your resume is to let employers know that you can do the job by giving examples of how you have succeeded in a similar position.

Space is tight, so leave out unnecessary phrases such as “In this job I” or “Given the task of” and get right down to business. Aim for 3-4 bullet points per position and limit yourself to the past 10 years of work experience.

Expert tip

Try the STAR format for organizing this section. Relate the situation, explain your task, tell what action you took and detail your results.

Below you will find an adaptable employment history resume example.

Employment history resume example
  • Oversaw and patrolled premises during business hours and after to ensure the highest level of security.
  • Worked to preserve order while enforcing regulations and directives.
  • Opened, secured, and closed the rooms or areas according to department schedule and procedures.
  • Implemented emergency response activities as appropriate.
  • Monitored surveillance equipment and inspected buildings and equipment.
  • Preserved order while enforcing regulations and directives for personnel, visitors, and the facility.

Resume skills example: lock down your attributes

Your skills section is a listing of the top qualities necessary for the job you seek. Double-check the job posting to make sure that you choose carefully the top 4-7 attributes your prospective boss seeks.

Security and protective services personnel need to make quick, accurate decisions under difficult circumstances. They must also be great communicators and be team players. Consider these skills as well as the technical knowledge you need to do your job as you compile your skills list. Also take into account that personalizing this section to target the ATS means simply swapping out skills.

Below you will find a skills section resume example.

Skills section resume example
  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Knowledge of Federal and State Laws
  • Firearms Training
  • Communication Skills
  • First Aid & CPR
  • Security and Fire Inspection Procedures

Security and protective services education resume example

The education section of your security and protective services resume is a simple listing of your academic degrees. Start with your high school diploma (unless you have a master’s degree or higher in which case you may leave it out) and list your degrees and majors.

If you have any certifications relevant to your job, list those here as well.

Expert tip

If you are looking for your first job, list any training you have done here and move this section up above your employment history. 

Remember that any job you have had shows that you have basic skills such as time management, so do list those jobs and make the link to how that experience will contribute to the position you seek.

Resume layout and design: 

In your career in security and protective services, you need to present a professional image at all times. Your uniform must be in tiptop shape and your public persona and stance must give off a sense of safety.

Your resume should do the same thing. Just as people encountering you for the first time will judge you on your outward appearance, hiring managers will judge you on the appearance of your CV.

Use the following guidelines to make a positive first impression:

  • Keep it clean and neat. Avoid color or fancy fonts. Let your words speak for themselves.
  • Use bold section headings to break up the type.
  • Make sure your contact information stands out.
  • Proofread, or use an online resume-builder (like ours) that includes spellcheck.

Key takeaways for a security and protective services resume

  • You’re entrusted with public safety, so your resume should maintain a serious tone.
  • Private security jobs are on the rise, but police and firefighters will also have opportunities in the future.
  • To get your CV in front of a person, make sure you optimize to target the ATS.
  • Take advantage of Resume.io’s online resume builder to eliminate the chance of formatting and spelling errors to smooth the path to your next job.
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