Managing your Marketability in a Competitive Jobs Market by Mike Hurst

Managing your Marketability in a Competitive Jobs Market

There are around 500,000 people employed in the UK Security Sector which, depending on what you include and how you count the numbers, is worth between £6bn and £12bn, and of that 500,000 around 300,000 + people are employed in the uniformed sector.  So it is clear that for an individual to develop a career in the sector it would be useful to be able to either differentiate themselves from others, or at least make it clear how and why they excel in their role.  The graphic below helps demonstrate the importance of the private sector’s role in keeping us all safe (approximate numbers.)

Infographic courtesy of under a Creative Commons license
Infographic courtesy of under a Creative Commons license

The Basics          

Your CV

The CV is still a vital tool in the employment process.  There are online portals, employment forms, social media profiles as well, but it still starts with a CV.

  • Keep it simple
  • The first third of the page is vital, as this is what someone will see on a computer screen.
  • Include contact details at the top, followed by a short introductory paragraph.
  • Have a sensible email address.
  • Feel free to amend your CV to best fit with the role for which you are applying.
  • “Career History”, remember, most recent job first.
  • Not too “wordy”, try to use bullet points to highlight key responsibilities and achievements.
  • Avoid: Poor grammar; Poor formatting; Spelling errors; Lying and over elaboration!
  • Be prepared to provide evidence: certificates, sales figures; references
  • Explain any gaps in your work history
  • Only include ‘proper’ hobbies. ‘Socialising with friends and family’ is not a hobby!


The Security Industry Authority, the sector’s regulator, issue licences, to enable individuals to work in front-line security.  Additionally, many people will have undergone training for Project Griffin, or in areas such as Health and Safety, Fire Safety, PREVENT etc, which can all be very useful and add to your marketability.  But what do you do if you want to really advance your career in the security profession?

Depending upon your current level of experience or previous academic record, you may want to consider a course which will cover the fundamental knowledge and skills required by someone in security management. Many universities now offer security and risk management courses, and there are many commercial training organisations offering similar, but please check that they are fully accredited at an appropriate level.

Some of the more respected organisations I am aware of are PerpetuityArc, TheSMA, ISMI and Deltar Training, but a lot of research is needed to find what best suits any one individual.   Some qualifications are linked to specific membership organisations, such as The Security Institute who have qualifications ranging from a Level 3 to a Level 7 Certificate.

For international recognition there is the International Federation for Protection Officers, who have range of certifications, and ASIS International whose CPP®, (Board Certified in Security Management) is regarded by many, as the gold standard in security management certifications.

For those who do not yet reach the entry requirements for this CPP qualification, (9 years security management experience), ASIS are launching the APP, (Board Certified in Security Management Fundamentals), which looks extremely interesting.


As mentioned above, membership of a professional security organisation, could be useful in developing a career and a network of contacts.  In addition to ASIS, IFPO and The Security Institute (SyI), mentioned previously, there is also the International Professional Security Association (IPSA).  Again, please decide which one is the best for you (I am a member of three or them) and try to get involved.  If you need some advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

There are valuable and rewarding careers to be developed in security and in future editions of TPSO, I will talk about Personal Branding, Developing a Network and Social Media, but hopefully this article has given you a few thinks to think about.

Drop me a line with any questions:

About Mike Hurst CPP MSyI FIRP

 In the last 26 years, Mike Hurst has recruited for most security industry roles, and has personally worked in nearly all sectors. He is currently a Vice Chairman of the UK Chapter of ASIS International and is involved in some of its global strategic groups.

Mike’s also a member of The Security Institute (was a Main Board Director for 6 years); the Association of Security Consultants and The International Foundation for Protection Officers, holds the ASIS CPP® Board Certification for Security Management and is a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals.