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6 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Security Work


The 6 biggest mistakes employers say prevent success

Tactical Training has spent over 30 years in the security industry and have asked hundreds of employers what they are looking for in their security guards.

What are the most common mistakes applicants make when applying for jobs?


Learn how hundreds of unemployed persons who have completed security courses in Adelaide have had employment success using this information. Even if you haven’t worked in years, we urge you to listen to what the employers are saying, and go to your next job interview confident, excited about your future and ready to make a difference in your life.


Interviews are, without a doubt, the most stressful part of the job search process; it is also the part that counts most.

Imagine how your life could change if you could overcome the problems associated with selling yourself at a job interview?  The truth is, there are no magic wands, there are no free rides in life, and the world does not owe anyone a living. Success must come from within. The only person who can make a change in your life is you! Your willingness to take action, to persevere and to keep going must also be linked to how well you prepare yourself.


"Every opportunity has a difficulty and every difficulty has an opportunity." (J Sidlow Baxter)


A job interview and the resulting employment success that follows is based on a set of principles. If you follow the principles you are more likely to be successful.

In helping yourself to overcome the challenges associated with finding work you need to look through the eyes of the employer. The first question to ask yourself is, “Are you really prepared to do whatever it takes to give yourself the best chance of success?”

It’s not about what the business will do for you. Employers are looking for people who can contribute towards the success of their business.

How will your skills and knowledge make a difference? What can you contribute in terms of the business achieving their vision, mission and business objectives?


Mistake #1

Employers quickly dismiss resumes that look unprofessional, have spelling and formatting errors and are simply cluttered with unnecessary information.


It’s all about the first impression on paper. Have an impeccable resume.


Make sure you include the crucial information employers are looking for that are relevant to the job role, such as:

  • Qualifications (e.g. Cert 2 in Security Operations, where you did your training and what year you completed it)
  • Licenses (i.e. identify if you have a current security licence or driver’s licence)
  • Previous work history with a short summary of the roles you performed
  • Current referees

The objective of your resume is to land an interview, and the interview purpose is to sell yourself (knowledge, skills and contribution) to help you get the job. Like it or not, employers will make a judgment about your resume within the first 5 seconds.


Mistake #2

Time and time again employer groups complain to us that applicants turn up to job interviews dressed like they are going to a football match, with messy hair, shoes un-polished and clothes not pressed.


Personal presentation makes vital first impression.

Did you know that you have just 7 seconds to make a good first impression?


Security guards are a representative of their company and present the first impression to members of the public. How they present themselves is a direct reflection on the business.

Employers are looking for well dressed and well groomed applicants to represent their business, and will eliminate an applicant within the first 7 seconds of meeting them face to face, if they are not prepared to come to an interview dressed and groomed for the occasion.

If you go to a job interview ungroomed and dressed like a slob you can’t expect to be successful. Always present yourself impeccably, shoes polished, hair cut, neat and or styled. Wear a suit or other appropriate business attire when attending job interviews.


Mistake #3

Don’t expect to be successful at job interviews if you know nothing about the organisation you are applying to work for.


Know as much a possible about the vision, values and objectives of the business before you attend an interview.

Go to the interview with some knowledge about the business. Remember, it’s not what they can do for you, it’s what can you do for them. How can your skills, knowledge and work ethic help them achieve the business goals they hope to achieve?

Do some homework about the business by looking at their website, social media, read annual reports, and asking people who work there what are the core values of the business. In other words, study the business so you know what is important to them. This demonstrate to an employer that you have used your initiative and shown interest in the company.

Ask questions during the interview about employer expectations and provide responses to their questions that relate to how you can provide their service expectations.


Mistake #4

Employer groups are constantly advising us that far too often applicants turn up for a job interview looking and appearing disinterested, unmotivated, and lacking enthusiasm, and this can be seen as a lack of motivation.


Demonstrate enthusiasm, interest and commitment. Employers want motivated people.


Going into a job interview motivated and enthusiastic will creative a positive impression right from the start.

At a personal level, motivation and enthusiasm are forces that push us towards pursuing and achieving our goals. Without them, we tend to create excuses for not acting on our passions or interests.

Have you heard about the “Law of Attraction”? It is based on New Age and New Thought theories that by consistently focussing on positive/negative thoughts, we will attract the like, into our lives. In other words, you get back what you project out... you become as you think, and what you think about comes about.


“What consumes your mind, controls your life” (unknown)


So, increase your chances of success at a job interview by projecting outwardly that you are motivated, interested, committed and that you are enthusiastic. Demonstrate confidence in your own abilities and despite any set-backs, never give up!


Mistake #5

An employer’s ability to service contracts relies on staff consistently arriving for work on time. A security officer who is late jeopardises their own job and potentially company contracts. Demonstrate that you are committed to being on time as an important part of your work ethic.


Demonstrate that you are punctual and reliable. These are key values of all security employers.


If employers know you are reliable and punctual, and that your work ethic supports this, you are already establishing a positive image.

At the interview, make it known that you believe reliability and punctuality are key values that you are committed to.

NEVER, EVER BE LATE FOR AN INTERVIEW as this demonstrates a lack of commitment and respect.


Mistake #6

Employers need people who are willing to demonstrate a commitment to working a shift whenever they are called upon. The security is an industry where anything can happen and unforeseen circumstances will often see sudden changes to shifts or rosters to meet a specific demand. Being available at short notice to fill a shift will show that you are flexible and a valuable team member.

The world is full of people making excuses for the reasons why they can’t or won’t work. Employers need to provide a service and they need committed staff to achieve this objective.


Demonstrate flexibility and a willingness to work whenever required.


Knowing you are flexible, reliable and committed to working fill-in shifts will create more opportunity for success (and more shifts!). Always look at things through the eyes of the employer and how you can help them meet their obligations to service the contracts that provide your living.


“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” (Frank A Clark)


Tactical Training (Australia) Pty Ltd, is an RTO committed to providing security courses for crowd controllers and security guards in Adelaide. If you need to know more information about how to become a security guard, contact our friendly Customer Care team on 8331 1620. Our security courses include:

  • Certificate 2 in Security Operations
  • Certificate 3 in Security Operations
  • Dog handler courses for security licensing
  • Screening and aviation security courses
  • Cash in transit courses
  • Fire warden training
  • First Aid courses
  • Investigations courses
  • Security and risk management courses
  • Emergency response courses
  • Conflict management course

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