1) Weak Executive Protection Foundation
Today’s EP specialists are professionally trained. Gone are the days of hiring a big and menacing individual. If you do not have training on your resume, consider investing in your future by taking courses with one of the better schools we’ve recently highlighted at this website.
2) You’re Not Conducting Due Diligence
You say you’ve sent out 30 resumes, but have had no response? Well, have you done your part and taken the time to investigate the companies or individuals to whom you’ve sent your materials? Are you certain they are hiring? Did you carefully follow the submission directions? I recently posted an ad for an associate who needed applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree. Do you know how many resumes I received from individuals who did NOT have a degree? The ad didn’t say “Bachlor’s Degree preferred but not required” (which would mean it’s fine if you don’t have a degree). Sending resumes for a position, when you don’t have the required skills, is a waste of time and energy. It sends a message that you can’t follow directions.
3) Where’s Your Tenacity?
“Tenacity” means follow-through, the dogged determination to succeed in this field. So you sent out a resume on a hot job prospect. Assuming you are indeed qualified, and follow directions well, then most important thing to understand is that executive protection is a “stick to it” kind of profession. A lot of people want to do this kind of work, but most give up too easily. You hear stories all the time about people who submit manuscripts and are rejected-a good example is Jack Canfield, motivational speaker and creator of the “Chicken Soup For the Soul” series who says he received 144 rejections before a publisher believed in him and his idea. (By the way, the way book publishing works, you can only send out your manuscript to one publisher at a time, and then you wait as many as 6 weeks for a response! Now THAT’s tenacity!) He is now a millionaire many, many times over.
4) No Network
Many jobs in this field are filled without the need to place an advertisement. Word-of-mouth and professional friendships or personal friendships can keep the opportunities within a small network of talent. You need to figure out how to develop a network for yourself. Developing a network requires research and creativity. There is something important that networking allows, in addition to access to information. It is an opportunity to showcase your personality, your people skills, your sense of humor and intelligence. These are valuable assets to securing work in the field. Let people get to know you, beyond your resume or bio. Develop some friendships with like-minded individuals without an agenda.
5) Creativity in Your Pursuits
You’ve heard the expression “think outside the box” which means, don’t think in the same old way! There’s a great story about a car salesman who worked for Lexus. During lean times, people aren’t out shopping for cars and the dealership just wasn’t getting any customers. So, he worked out a deal with a local upscale country club, and brought 10 cars where he offered patrons the opportunity to test drive the vehicles. He not only made his quota, but automobile sales for the dealership went through the roof! Think about how you can get to the people who need your services outside of the usual “send a resume.” People have resources and potential contacts at their fingertips, but often don’t have the courage to start a dialogue or friendship with someone who could be of help.
6) Reinvent Yourself
When times are tough, and you need to work to survive, it may be a good time to reframe yourself and what you have to offer. Think about this: We’re coming into the holiday season. There are a lot of country clubs, hotels, concert venues, theaters, restaurants, clubs, and department stores that will be hosting special events which may require either executive protection or even simple security services. It may not be big money or glamorous, but you’re adding to your resume, perhaps learning or using some new skills, and perhaps networking by meeting private individuals or entertainers or executives who DO need executive protection beyond the holidays. Have your business cards on hand, you never know when a conversation with an executive at a hotel function could lead to a job! Tell him/her that you’re moonlighting doing security for holiday money but that you are a trained and qualified Executive Protection specialist. Be professional, warm but not aggressive or overly pushy about it. You need to finesse these situations.
Revamp your resume and cover letter. Freshen it up! If you’ve been using the same materials for a year, and not getting anywhere, think about spending the money to revise it. Work with a professional who can guide you in creating a stronger resume and eye-catching cover letter. Bodyguard Careers can help you
Great article and comments!
For those of you that are struggling I would say this – all it takes is ONE good job, well done and the door is open.
I served in the British “Royal Military Police”, trained and worked in Close Protection as well as doing a host of employment enhancing courses both during and after my military service.
Like many of you I did a huge amount of short-term gigs “on the circuit” ranging from a few hours to a few weeks in duration. By necessity I had to supplement that work with other jobs in security / consulting / VIP driving as I have a family to provide for.
Finding a job is a full-time job in itself and you should see it as such; give it the time it requires, be organised, be professional.
I was fortunate enough to land a Residential Security Team job for a VVIP in the UK almost 10 years ago, who is renowned the world over (by the way – I didn’t know who they were when I applied for the job). That one 6 month job has guaranteed me an interview for every job I’ve applied for since and has been an important factor in my ongoing employability.
Top notch training and an ability to work well at all levels within a client’s environment have also been key – but my point is this:
Whatever job you’re doing – do it well.
Be professional, be calm, be clear, dependable … and don’t be afraid to show a little bit of personality and affability – sometimes that will make the difference between being the first person a client will call from not getting a call.
VIPs are constantly surrounded by a thousand faceless “security people” as they go about their business around the world – how will you be remembered by your peers, team members and principals?
I’ve been almost 7 years with my current employer, during which time I continued to “cherry pick” other short term (i.e. 1-5 days) consultancy and CP work in Europe, as long as it didn’t clash with my commitment to my principal.
I’m now looking to move on and have had 3 separate job interviews already – all of which have invited me back for second interviews.
Whatever job you’re doing – do it well.
You never know what it will lead to!
The commenters are all right on the money.
I urge anyone frustrated with their lack of work to stop, go back TODAY and send out Happy New Year Messages to EVERYONE in their network. Follow up by scheduling another networking action for two to three months from now. Your Network is your Lifeline when times are slow.
Great advice by all. Great comment by Don about chemistry, however in order to build chemistry you have to get the opportunity. Build your skills and build your resume or CV. Remember the resume or CV doesn’t get you the job, it gets you the interview. You get you the job, based on what you do in the interview.
Think of a potential client like you would do advance work or prepare protective strategies against an adversary. Do your homework prior to any communication with the potential client. Your understanding of your potential client and their business may be what separates you from others.
If you are not prepared for the interview, how can you solicit confidence from the potential client about your ability to keep them safe.
Thanks guys this info is greatly needed. Being new in the business its easy to get discouraged, and yes personality is a must. Networking-mentoring for more experienced agents is welcomed also.
Great article but there are also intangibles. I work in LA and have worked directly for both celebrity and fortune 500 clients and one thing not covered above is CHEMISTRY. I know a lot of guys that are more then capable from a technical and tactical standpoint but they either lack in personality or have too MUCH personality. Some say too little and some try too hard to impress. This is one of those intangibles that most people miss. I work steadily because I have the size, skill set and most importantly the personality (and experience to know when to turn it on and off). Its a delicate balance sometimes making your client comfortable with you while not getting too comfortable with your client. These folks are trying to see if they feel comfortable not just letting you safeguard their life but letting you IN to it. The old adage ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ is applicable here in LA. So, to those that think they have a strong skill set but cant seem to find work it stime to become self critical. Dont look at your resume look at what signals you may be putting out there. Get your friends and associates to give you an honest critique…sometimes its the sizzle not the steak.
Guys, Look out side the square. China, Hong-Kong & Japan is hiring.
Easy work & good money.
very good article and thank you…tampa,fl
I clearly hear what you are saying and being in the security field for some time, i have to say that its a who you know type of thing. clearly i had the chance to work with my partner and good friend Robert B.O.B Izzard who help me into the field of EP.
we work very hard many years with Jennifer Lopez and husband i have to say if it wasnt for B.OB i probly would never have gotten to travel the globe. Even though he is in L.A with Cristina Agulera and im in Miami we still keep in contact and pass names and numbers back and forth providing work for other people in the industry.
So bottom line is if you get a one day gig or a contract, use every possable way to promote your self it works.
I now work for the ceo of EPG who was shot in 2007 by his own employee. well long story short i met him while recording jennifer lopez album in 2003 and now i have a job. So never give up pass your cards,email out, you never know who will call. and mostly make sure to get the proper license and certifications needed, it only makes you feel good and know what your doing and what your talking about. I live in Miami florida where all the most famous people and artist come to . I see it all the time, the big fat bodyguards coming though un license no training and running around with concelled weapens permit talking about there a bodyguard. ? what a joke.
when the problems happen there the first to go to jail. well good luck to all and stay safe where ever you are.
David pm sent
David R. Hernandez
This is a very good article, however I am trained, tenacious, and have gone to the best school around for this ckind of training. I have even gone as far as to send out resume after resume and interviewed very well. And still no work. I’ve been in the security business for well over 20 years and work for peanuts. Yet the fact that I have been told to wait and see and nothing happens is a testament to my lifes work. I have submitted my resumes to over 600 companies nation wide for that elusive door to open and have yet to get the chance for full time employment. I have offered my expertese as a computer technician and logistics and yet one out of 1000 jobs have come my way, at a Grammy after party. My question to all of you is WHEN IS IT TIME FOR ME TO JUST GIVE UP? In Los Angeles it is near to impossible to get a CCW unless you know someone who know’s someone or you are Law Enforcement…..E.S.I. Trained me,educated me and molded me into an EP agent with multipal talents and still work is scarce. I boggles the mind how in a land of Hollywood you can’t find a decent boudyguard job.
Just grabbed the feed… thanks for posting this.
Damn Good Advice!nuff said.
Excellent posting Hucky. As a training school and operational E.P. company we get a bird’s eye view of the industry as a whole. Another area where employment-seeking agents let themselves down is related to “Ego”. I can not begin to tell you how many (unsolicited) resumes we receive that do not begin with “Dear Sir/To whom it may concern”. If you are looking for a position, but you send a resume as an atttachment and can not be bothered to say; “hello…thanks for your time…here’s a little bit about me….I am aware that your company is one of the leaders…”, then it tells the receiver that the person is not all that bothered, or WORSE – that they are so well known and accomplished that there is no need for a cover letter.
Here is a SEXTON Golden Rule; If you are NOT going to provide a cover letter, don’t bother to send a resume. Believe it or not, we actually received a resume last year from a person whose cover letter was this opening statement; “I am all that you ever wanted in a Bodyguard and more”. Our shredder thought it was hilarious.
I totally agree with this posting and definitely all six reasons do play a big role in why many EPS are not working. I also agree with what James Devino says in his commments. Just to illustrate what has been written above – I did a security detail with someone I met doing that detail, we finished that detail, I did not see him for several weeks, a couple weeks ago he called me to ask if I wanted to work a detail at a very upscale event, which I will do of course, and I know for sure that from this event we will get more details to work both groups events and personal protection, the point I am making is that this coleague told me that the first person he thoght of about this detail was me because he liked the way I performed in the detail we first did together and we had exchange contact info and we said to each that we would contact each if work would come up and we needed assistance. Be a Professional all the time and network. You will work!!
Good post. Its insights like this that help us newbies keep learning.
â€œI am a federal agent on the verge of retirement from government service and consider Hucky to be a good friend. In this monthâ€™s publication, he brought up four critical factors that I wanted to emphasize: Tenacity; Innovation; Networking; and Re-Inventing Yourself. He provides excellent advice to those with minimal experience! For example, the Holiday Season is approaching and special events will be occurring. Retail will be hiring store detectives, security officers, and loss prevention agents.
Individuals with minimum training in security should apply as demand generally outweighs supply during this time frame. The individual may say: â€œIâ€™m not going to walk around some store looking for shoplifters.â€ My answer to this person would be is to think of the valuable experience you are gaining, information you can put on your resume. As a store detective you will learn about arrest procedures; inventory and shrinkage control; security communications, and working with a team of other security personnel.
Additionally, find the resources and time to attend college and major in criminal justice or a related field. If you cannot start at a four year school, then go for an associate degree and work from there. You will find the subjects you study are directly linked to the experience you received while serving as a store detective. Be tenacious and network with your fellow students.
More importantly, network with your instructors. Your teachers were probably law enforcement personnel of some type prior to going on to teaching. In fact, they may be teaching while still on the job in the criminal justice field. Donâ€™t be negative about your education; it will pay off and if you are tenacious enough, you will succeed and receive your degree.
I would recommend working on your education while working in some aspect of the security profession. Also, join organizations like ASIS, the American Society for Industrial Security and donâ€™t be afraid to reach out for one of their certifications: e.g. Certified Protection Professional (CPP). There is so much you can do to better market yourself; you just have to be innovative and use the internet.
While on the subject of education, if executive protection is what you long to do then in addition to an academic program, attend a quality Hucky recommended executive protection course. Remember, politics as usual change in Washington this evening, many USA Criminal Investigation Division agents will return home and many will opt to go into the private sector.
Almost all of these agents have been trained via the Army CID Protective Service School, and most CID agents have served as Military Policeman. I say this only because they represent your competition and the closer you can come to the credentials they possess, the more apt you are to out do them for a body guard job.
Finally, Huckyâ€™s point regarding the need in each of our lives at some point to re-invent ourselves is critical. What is more important, however, is to do so before it becomes absolutely necessary. If you see the signs that the executive protection program at your company will be downsized, take courses in investigations, or some other security related field. What I see within the government law enforcement community now is the need for specialized investigative skills: e.g. computer forensics; firearms instructors; and agents who specialize in Homeland Security subject matter, or white collar crime such as identity theft and other frauds.
So, take Huckyâ€™s advice; he knows the protective security field and is indeed a subject matter expert. He imparts his knowledge to you free of charge, so take that data and mold yourself into a successful security professional.â€
Thanks Leon I appreciated the feedback.
Very good article Hucky. I’l forward it on to my contacts. Keep up the excellent job. You are e true benefit to our profession.