In previous columns I have discussed individual self-assessment of your personal style and soft skills that aid in development of a career plan and can help convey your message in a resume.  You must also consider how to best convey your most relevant background.  This issue addresses the range of operational experience and expertise that are often listed in position announcements in order for you to correlate these with your business acumen.

As a security recruitment specialist, I have collected and analyzed thousands of position announcements for roles including the senior most security executive, specialty functions, regional and investigative management as well as facility/site security leaders.  These reviews, together with hundreds of hours of discussion with hiring authorities, have enabled my firm and me to compile a list of requested skills that is representative of the diversity of requirements across the security profession.

Starting with a 40,000-foot view, we have identified eight key experience categories relating to security risk and 192 program activities across all of these categories. A recent sample of 2,000 candidates identified the top three activities within each of the eight areas:

  • Administrative

            Strategic Planning

            Policy Development & Implementation

            Procedure/Guidelines Writing & Publication

  • Brand Protection

            Supply Chain Security Programs

            Services Fraud & Compliance Programs

            Anti-Counterfeiting Programs

  • Cybersecurity

            Threat, Intelligence & Vulnerability Management

            Incident & Crisis Management

            Risk & Compliance Management

  • Human Capital

            Training & Awareness Program Development

            Executive Services – Key Employee Protection

            Threats & Damage to Property / Facilities

  • Investigations

            Employee Misconduct – Compliance, Liability Ethics

            Due Diligence – Vendors, Suppliers & Customers

            Individual/Personnel Backgrounds

  • Physical

            Guard Force Management & Administration (Unarmed)

            Physical Security Program Management

            Cameras & Recording Devices

  • Regulatory

            Occupational Health & Safety Standards (OSHA)

            Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

            Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

  • Resiliency & Incident Response

            Crisis Management

            Emergency Management

            Disaster Recovery

There are a wide range of programs and processes that reside in each of the areas above, and, while the top three under each of the areas are identified here, there are additionally several hundred specific tactical processes to be found within the complete list of 192 sub-topics. It is important to note that while the top three represent the activities most frequently selected in each category by our candidate sample, these topics don’t necessarily correlate with those that are ranked at the highest level of demand from hiring authorities.

It is worth noting that a number of these activities do not necessarily sit within the security organization. Effective security risk mitigation may be best executed through influence and participation, not necessarily via ownership and control. Therefore, it is highly likely that someone within the security function should be involved at various levels regardless of where the activity resides.

Utilize the list here as a starting point to identify your operational and/or program experiences along with any gaps. It can play an integral part in your career planning strategy.