How should I prepare for my job application by Peter French MBE, CPP, FSyI, CEO SSR Personnel

Changing jobs is an emotional roller coaster when the old job has great colleagues, and a nice place to work but you are seeking greater responsibility. Maybe you just want to leave because you have made no work friends, the journey to work has just got more expensive, or you feel you are being put upon

What can you do to make your job search a good experience and less stressful? The good thing is that there are many channels to use, increasingly employers are automating with online portals, some of these can read your CV in 1.8 seconds and will send you an automated acknowledgement, that is why you need to be clear about what skills you have. Languages, computer systems management or is it your personality, dealing with people and how can you articulate / demonstrate these skills to a prospective employer ?

Job boards are a good source of information and there are a variety of specialist jobs boards depending on your experience and skill sets.

Then there are agencies that sit between you and the client, who are increasingly pressurised by the client to add value to their attraction process which has in the past been around introducing technology to the recruitment process, but the agent or consultancy must add value that helps that future employer as well as the applicant.

Our attitude is that we can be the interpreter, accurately reflecting the clients wish list whilst keeping the applicant attuned within the process. We can be that agony aunt for the applicant as they will not be a serial interviewee. They need robust advice, we need to give advice on presentation, career development, and be a trend spotter. It can be so satisfying to work with applicants throughout their careers because they grow to trust your judgement.

In the recent SSR / Pertemps workforce survey on behalf of the Confederation of British Industry employers were reporting that application rates for some vacancies had dropped to less than 2 applications per job. This is one of the lowest application rates since 2008.

It is the job of the specialist recruitment consultancy to understand how market sectors are developing, we must be able to help applicants prepare for changing employment scenarios, how should they prepare, what personal development can they undertake that will prepare them for their future.

We also must inform our clients on workforce trends and there is some debate as to what, for instance, will be the future role of the security officer and is that an attractive role for future entrants into the workforce. In SSR surveys we have asked security officers “What attracted you to be a security officer?”. Most had fallen into that role, in-between jobs, and thought it was a temporary role until they found a better job. After 2-3 years they were still thinking this was just a temporary job.

This is a compliment to the organisations they work with. According to a recent survey by The Workforce Institute, employees who are proud of their organisations are three times more likely to be happy at work. This goes beyond pride in your actual output, but pride in your company and what it stands for—which makes sense, given that “cultural fit” is a top priority for millennial jobseekers.

For some people, knowing they work at a FTSE 250 firm with a marquis status gives them a sense of pride. For some, their company’s community engagement makes them feel good, and for others, a “cool” factor, like working at a company with amazing perks, can make the difference.

Now we want to introduce you to that great opportunity, you need to work on your CV or biography. Many people consider that a Facebook or LinkedIn profile is their open profile and there are companies that can scrape information from these sources , but as you would not put your date of birth or your bank account details online for everyone to view, your profile would not mention budget holding or particular sensitivities about the work you are doing, so, it is going to be necessary to have that personalised profile that can highlight skills that you may have that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

To develop your profile, share your draft with people whose opinion you value, also when looking to be employed in a particular company or sector your recruitment consultancy should be able to tell you what is important to the hirers. And you need to respect their judgement, so they should fill you with professional confidence.


Imagine yourself in their shoes – what would you be looking for if you were interviewing for the job you are applying for?


Make sure you fully understand the job requirements of the role you are applying for. If using a consultancy, ask them for more details.


Prepare your CV and imagine yourself going for the interview. Try to find out as much as you can about your prospective employer’. It always sounds professional when you have taken the time to find out something about them. This should be in the public domain otherwise it can sound creepy!

SSR® Personnel is the largest Recruitment Consultancy & Executive Search practice dedicated to the Security, Fire, Health and Safety sectors, both by revenues and consultants. Established in 1986.

SSR® has been voted the global Security Recruitment Consultancy of the Year. The Award was presented to “the recruitment consultancy that has demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism in dealing with client organisations and potential appointees for security-specific roles across all of the major business sectors”. Judges were unanimous in their praise for the leading position that SSR® holds in such a diverse global sector. In 2019 their Dubai office was voted the best security recruitment consultancy in the Middle East.

SSR® has a global presence with their latest office in the UAE joining established operations in Asia, Africa, Europe, Mexico and the USA.

SSR® have consultants dedicated in disciplines and geographical understanding recruiting in Africa, Americas, Asia, China, Europe, India, Middle East & Russia. They provide a global recruitment network for the attraction and retention of talent that will make an impact today.

Typical positions recruited include Corporate Security Management, Cyber Security, Security & Fire Systems Product Sales, Retail and Loss Prevention, Engineering & Project Management, Investigations, Audit, Compliance, Health and Safety.

The author; Peter French MBE is Managing Director of SSR® Personnel. He is an ASIS International accredited Certified Protection Professional and a Fellow of the Security Institute. A Past Master and Trustee of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals. He helped establish in 2006 the Security Benevolent Fund and undertaken to engage the security industry to look after their former employees, who through ill health and other circumstances, need assistance as their lives are disrupted through no fault of their own. With a dedicated team of Volunteers, he organises the WCoSP Spring Dance that had by 2019 raised over £500,000 for good causes and has been awarded in 2019 the City Livery Club, Root and Branch award, presented to an individual that continues to make a sustainable difference to the Livery movement and charity.