Author: Jerry Brennan
Your security management position could be eliminated or outsourced at any time. Are you prepared to begin a job search?
No matter how often you read about the strong demand for security professionals, the bottom line is that you could lose your job for any number of reasons. You need to be prepared. Even if you are completely content in your current position, you should be ready to execute an effective job search at a moment’s notice. Take steps now to make sure you have a solid strategy to tap into.
For many years SMR has been tracking the trend of security management jobs either eliminated or outsourced. Without question, those who constructed preparedness plans for their career fared the best when they found themselves without a job.
Here is what you should consider in advance that will help you build an effective job search strategy should the need arise.
Be Clear About Your Desired Profession
Many people find themselves in jobs and careers by default or happenstance. The clearer you are on the profession that you want to be in, the more effective your job search strategy will be.
- Analyze the security management profession, the types of positions and the direction that security programs are heading within different industry segments. Talk to your peers and reach out to others whom you view as leaders in your field.
- Gather information by networking with and gleaning information from non-security managers from both in and outside of your organization. They are your customers and the success of a security professional within any organization is directly related their perception of your value.
- Assess whether you are in the right profession for your interests and if there is an alignment with the current job market.
Determine Your Career Goals
What is your ideal job? Developing a clear and concise objective will help you develop a focused search plan.
- Today’s security job market is highly competitive. Organizations are looking for technically qualified candidates whom will fit with their culture. They are also looking for professionals who have a clear vision of where they are going.
- A job search is time consuming. A clear objective lets you direct your energies at the opportunities that best fit your aspirations.
Perform a Self-Assessment
A self-assessment gets you back in touch with the product you are selling: you! The self-assessment process provides the groundwork for a solid resume or CV.
- Create a list of all that you offer an organization. Identify your skills, capabilities, knowledge and areas of expertise. List of every major accomplishment and resulting impact. Once you have finished this, set it aside, wait a day or two, and then go back over everything.
- Ask colleagues and professional acquaintances for an honest assessment of your strengths. They may mention some valuable qualities that you have overlooked.
- Organize your professional qualities into general categories, such as leadership, management, organizational development and technical. These categories can be subdivided into areas that best reflect what you see in a job description or position specification for your target position.
Be Ready to Pitch
Your previous job title might get you a phone call from a recruiter, but if you can’t articulate your capabilities, your background and what you’ve accomplished, you’re not likely to get invited for an interview.
- Develop a clear, concise statement that you can use to summarize who you are and what you do. This can also be used as a summary at the top of your resume or CV. Keep your target audience in mind and speak to their needs and interests.
- Second, develop an exit statement. You’re going to be asked why you left your last position. Be prepared to explain with no hesitation.
- Next, write a one-page professional background summary. This summary can help you to develop cover letters as well as present key points in initial screening calls. Your story should be compelling and reflect continued growth in your career.
- Earlier this year SMR outlined 7 key points to consider when creating your CV. Your final step is to create your go-to resume and have it immediately available when opportunities arise.
Take these steps and you will be in a good position to react to any changes, initiated by you or otherwise, in your security management career.
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