Tips to become a security guard

Written by carl hose
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Many types of businesses employ security officers to help guard property and to keep customers safe. Security officers often work for a company that provides security to clients who request it. The requirements to become a security officer vary from state to state and even within security companies, but the requirements are often easily fulfilled. If keeping people and property safe is your career goal, being a security guard might be the right job for you.

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Security Officer Training

Be prepared to take a written test to gain a security guard license. The test is designed to determine your moral make-up. The questions often present situations, with you being required to describe how you would act under those circumstances. If you are attempting to get a license to become an armed security guard, you will need weapons training and a special permit. All states require armed security guards to have a weapons license, but specific training is regulated by individual security companies. Training and testing is usually set up by the company you are applying to work for, although the license will be good for other agencies as well.

Clean Background Check

Keep a clean police record if you want to get into security work. One of the first items considered by an employer is a mandatory background check. If you have any police record at all, you will not be eligible to get a license as a security guard. Parking or speeding tickets will not generally affect your ability to get work as a security officer unless fines are unpaid. Some security companies will run a credit check as well, although poor credit is not immediate disqualification in the way a criminal record is. Additionally, most security companies will contact references you supply, including past job references.

Attitude and Motivation

The right attitude and motivation is essential to getting hired as a security guard. If you are on a power trip, security work is not for you. This motivation will be detected at your interview and you will likely be overlooked. Security guards are not police officers. Security guard training is not as extensive as police training. Your reason for getting into security work should be to guard and protect property and people, not to fight crime. Most security officers are instructed to report criminal activity to the police and to avoid any physical involvement other than observation, unless absolutely necessary. Rarely is brute force recommended. Confidence, good organizational skills and powers of observation are qualities that can help you land a job as a security officer.

Appearance

Always present a neat appearance when you apply for work as a security guard. After you've been hired, you will be expected to keep your uniform ironed and neat. The image you present in public will be a representation of the company you work for. A security guard is expected to present a professional and authoritative presence. Your ability to do this will be judged by your initial job application, so wear clean casual dress clothes and be sure your hair is neat and clean. This care for your initial appearance will help make a good impression at the interview.

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