Thursday, November 15, 2012

Use Job Search Coaching and Resume Writing Services but Don’t Skip Due Diligence

Earlier this week, my phone rang and on the other end was a highly accomplish and highly articulate law enforcement professional who is struggling to enter the corporate security sector to begin his second career.  I receive these kinds of calls frequently and I’ve been working on a solution to address these individual’s needs.  The solution will come out soon through

Transitioning from a First Career to Corporate Security
The issue behind these individual’s challenge to leave FBI, Secret Service, State Department, Sheriff’s Office, ATF, ICE, Customs & Border Patrol, US Marshal’s Service, State Police, etc. is that they generally don’t have any business experience to provide a new a corporate employer.

These individuals definitely have transferrable skills but they frequently don’t understand how to package and market their skills to translate to corporate needs.
Does the fact that these people don’t have business experience mean that they can’t acquire business experience?  Absolutely not!

What I will say with certainty is that there is a steep learning curve for someone who is leaving a first career to move on to a career in corporate security.  This learning curve cannot be squeezed into one conversation.  Some first career professionals who move into a corporate career will find success right away in their new career surroundings.
Other transitioning security professionals will struggle for years to properly transition and a few here and there will never truly understand the different environment they’ve entered in a corporate security career.

Proper career coaching can help to ease this transition.

The person who reached out to me is transitioning from law enforcement to a corporate environment.  The problem is not that he isn’t succeeding in the corporate environment.  The problem is that he has sent his “professionally written” resume out to 185 different companies and he isn’t getting any interviews at all.  He doesn’t have the choice of failing or succeeding in his second career. He can’t even get an audience to talk to move into his second career.
This individual shared with me that he paid in the range of $3000 for resume writing services and the entire career transition package he paid for cost in the neighborhood or $15,000. He has spent $15,000 and has seen no Return on Investment whatsoever.   This is wrong.

My Analysis

After a substantial conversation, the law enforcement professional sent his “professional resume” for my review.  It took me 5 seconds to see why he isn’t getting the attention of anyone in a corporation.  A skilled security resume writer should know better but someone who doesn’t understand the security profession is much less likely to see the gap between when this individual’s resume communicates and what it should be communicating.
The resume is pretty and has a nice format but as I’ve written before, I think there are a thousand different formats that can be used in a resume to make a resume visually appealing.  The problem with this person’s resume and the problem with most resumes that come to me is the content and the message the resume conveys.

This law enforcement professional’s content does not translate into anything that someone in a business who has not worked in law enforcement can relate to.
Security Job Coaching

I am a certified executive coach.  My certifications and training did not teach me anything about the security profession.  Having worked with security professionals since the mid-1990s has taught me about the security profession.  Sitting between hiring officials and security professioanls every day of my life has taught me more than I can begin to write about when it comes to a corporation's expectations for the security professioanls they hire.
I’m in the process of building out a Security Job Coaching program that will address an individual’s needs when they’re moving from one security job to another or from one career to another.

I’m also building out an executive coaching program for security professionals who gainfully employed today but they’re not positioned where they really want to be positioned from a career development standpoint.  This process will produce a security career roadmap for one to follow to get from where they are to where they want to go.  This informaiton will soon reside at
Be Cautious and do Your Homework

The security profession is not one that a generalist resume writer or a generalist career coach will likely understand.  What the law enforcement professional I’ve mentioned in this article should have done is better due diligence.  If he had asked the service provider he paid $15,000 to for references, it would have been interesting to know what they would have come up with.
If you ask me for references, I can provide appropriate references.  Just recently, I put an ATF agent who is ready to move to his second career in touch with a US Marshall I worked on a resume project with a few years ago.  The US Marshall’s resume opened doors with several major oil and gas companies in Houston.  The Marshall was able to explain his own experience with me to the ATF agent on terms that both professionals can relate to.

Unless a career coach or resume writer can give you references from people you would consider to be your peers, think twice about dropping $15,000 in their bucket.
Jeff Snyder’s Security Recruiter Blog's Security Recruiter Blog