First steps in jobhunting: Creating a CV
Looking for a new job can be a daunting prospect for anyone. However, if you're coming from a career in the armed forces or police, particularly where this is the only life you've known, the challenge might seem particularly tough.
We'd recommend that the best way forward is to begin like anyone else: with the basics. And when it comes to jobhunting, that means putting together a CV.
There are plenty of resources out there that can help you with this, but as a general rule, it's recommended that a CV should be a maximum of two sides of A4 and free of details such as date of birth, gender and race.
The document should be laid out chronologically, outlining your career history starting with your most recent job, and provide a dynamic summary of your skills, experience and career ambitions.
Cliches such as 'hard-working' and 'reliable' should be eschewed in favour of phrases that explain how your skills relate to the particular job you're applying for.
For example, if you have a military history, you can showcase transferable skills such as team leadership, delegation, risk assessment, project management, communication and organisational skills.
Assistance with your CV
CVs can prove a challenge for the best of us, but this may especially be the case if you don't see writing as your strongest suit and feel you may not be accurately conveying your skills and achievements.
Indeed, you don't want an amateurish document cancelling out your hard work, so it's wise to ask someone you trust to take a look before you submit it - and ensure you highlight your training in your CV, as many recruiters on Security Cleared Jobs may come from a military or policing background.
If you can't think of anyone suitable, you might want to consider seeking the help of professionals who can go over your CV for you and make suggestions. There are many out there, but beware: some have low standards for accepting writers and so the results are likely to be poor.
Instead, look for accredited companies only. For example, here at Security Cleared Jobs, we regularly work with TopCV, a company that is known to be reliable, confidential and objective in its feedback.
They will even let you know how your CV looks on the Applicant Tracking Systems used by recruiters to provide you with that extra insight and help you get ahead in your search.
Why consider industries that require security clearance?
One thing you should not neglect to mention on your CV is any security clearance you might have gained from working in the armed forces or police. We often hear on open platforms like certain social media portals or professional networking sites that security clearance is not to be declared on your CV in case it is misused, but Security Cleared Jobs is a secure job board. We guarantee only companies that pay for our services and have been vetted by ourselves can gain access to your CV, which means you can rest assured it will not end up in the wrong hands.
Security clearance is required by the government to ensure anyone working with potentially sensitive assets does not pose a risk through their access to particular information or resources.
This doesn't just apply to those hoping for a new career in MI5 or at a nuclear plant. All kinds of industries now require some level of security clearance, from the construction sector to banking.
Consider whether you can demonstrate any of the following types of clearance:
- Developed Vetting (DV)
- Security Check (SC)
- Counter Terrorism Check (CTC)
- North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
If you can add these to your CV, then you might find yourself sailing through the vetting process.
Why security clearance is valuable
When you apply for a role that requires you to be security cleared, the employer will need to arrange the necessary checks through a government agency, the United Kingdom Security Vetting unit (UKSV).
The higher the level of clearance necessary, the more intense the background checks on factors such as criminal records, credit and security.
This is not only time-consuming, but also costly for the employer. Consider, on the other hand, someone who is already security cleared.
They can ensure the employer is able to skip all of these steps, as well as providing assurance that the individual in question is reliable, law-abiding and generally forthcoming.
What businesses wouldn't see this as an advantage right from the beginning? This is why security cleared applicants are increasingly being seen as gold dust - and why some studies have suggested they could also command a higher wage.
Making it easier to get your CV out there
Once you've completed a CV you're happy with, it's essential to start getting it in front of potential employers. Yet this too can pose a challenge. Applying for jobs is well-known for being a numbers game, but it can be difficult to ensure you're sending your résumé to a sufficient number of organisations to get noticed.
Simply churning out emails or even stuffing envelopes and posting CVs to companies you admire can result in you being lost in the slush pile.
One way you could stand out to companies actively looking for new recruits is to upload your CV here at SecurityClearedJobs.com so that our recruiters can use a Boolean search to match keywords on the jobs spec to those on your CV, or perhaps to certain skills or qualifications that may be of use but have not been specified.
We're a UK-based job board designed and marketed to attract candidates who are security cleared or who meet the security clearance criteria, and by adding your profile to our database, recruiters can match you to their jobs.
Furthermore, we specialise in jobs that require National Security Vetting, which means employers and recruiters use us to further reduce the time and cost involved in attracting the best individuals.
Get ahead of the competition with job alerts
One particularly useful feature of our website is the ability to set up job alerts. All you need to do is fill in your email address and let us know some keywords about what you're looking for, for instance, 'project manager'.
You can then add a location or radius from your own location, tick your sector and clearance level, and press the 'email me jobs like these' button.
We can then send you any jobs that are relevant to your search as soon as they arise, potentially meaning you get your CV in early and beat the competition.
To find out more information on how we work, simply view our website at www.SecurityClearedJobs.com.
As you can see, there are plenty of ideas you could use to ensure your job hunt is fruitful and that employers see how useful your career in the armed forces has made you.
Try a few of them and you might increase your chances of your CV landing on the right desk at the right time to land you that dream job. Good luck!