Directors of security are the administrative head of the department of security in organizations. They are responsible for the safety of employees, securing premises and information of the company. They have to manage and lead a big team and oversee their performances to ensure constant safety. If you are inclined to go into the security industry and wish to become a director of security, this document is a comprehensive guide for all your queries, doubts and confusions.
Here are the three trending and effective resume formats for a director of security:
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Job Duties of a Director of Security
As the head of the security department and a link between management and security teams, directors of security have to shoulder many responsibilities. They have to manage various teams such as security supervisors, managers, security engineers and analysts. Here we have listed down a few job duties and responsibilities for you:
Managing security personnel to ensure the physical safety of employees, premises or property of the employer.
Coordinating IT security team managers to ensure the safety of data and information of the organization.
Recognizing potential risks, drawing plans to minimize the risks and executing the safety plans.
Creating safety policies and guidelines for the organization, considering the state-enforced laws and safety compliances.
Drawing safety awareness program plans and executing a plan to create awareness within the company and the employees.
Conducting risk analysis and crisis drills to spread preparedness for disasters and accidents.
Monitoring security and surveillance systems and analyzing the situations to foresee any possible risk, irregular activities and data breaches.
Checking the performance records of security personnel, assessing them and negotiating with management for the interests of the security team.
Keeping an eye on changing safety policy laws by the state.
Managing relationships with various security departments of the state such as police, fire companies and cybercrime departments
Director of Security Median Salaries
As per PayScale, the median salary of a director of security is $86,396 annually. Increments highly depend on skills and experience and going through various levels of experience. Salary can increase by 6% to 10% in upcoming years.
Top Skills for Directors of Security
The director of security provides strategic leadership for all security operations and directs planning for security operations and activities throughout the company. A blend between managerial and safety responsibilities, a few of the essential skills for the role are:
- Risk and crisis management: The director of security must have an in-depth knowledge of security operations, policies and procedures. This is due to their main responsibility of overseeing the design and implementation of the risk and crisis management frameworks to protect a company’s people, brand and property. They apply safety processes and techniques to a companywide, strategic system that integrates people, technology and buildings. This plan must include, at a minimum, risk assessment, risk treatment, physical security measures and information security policies. To develop information security policies, you need a security technology strategy for access control, security command centers and monitoring facilities. Surveillance cameras, badge access systems, evacuation routes, incident response procedures and others are all examples of a physical security director’s responsibilities. On top of this, a deep understanding of federal, state and local criminal and civil laws, as well as the capacity to keep up to date on the latest changes, is expected.
- Strategic, analytical and decision-making skills: As a director of security, you’ll need to be adept at creating both strategic and tactical plans. For this, you will need excellent critical thinking, analytical and independent decision-making skills. These abilities will serve for data collection and development of safety management statistics, dealing with various difficult and perplexing scenarios, and facilitating work in difficult operational environments. Equally adept at strategy formulation and tactical execution.
- Leadership and team management: A director of security creates the safety plan, but then must lead and train others to execute it effectively. They must demonstrate the ability to influence and motivate by being exceptionally empathic, full of integrity and trustworthy. Team-building skills, collaborative and process management skills are essential to effectively manage teams and operations across different departments and levels of leadership in an organization. Security directors are in constant contact with others for routine training, practice drills and other instruction that are provided to ensure that the team is up-to-date on the newest protocols and industry best practices.
- Excellent communication skills As the director of security, you’re the leader of the entire safety operation at your company. As such, you must have excellent presentation, communication, documentation and program management abilities to transmit complex ideas in a clear manner that can be understood by all. Most directors of security roles ask that you demonstrate executive-level communication skills both verbally and written. This includes a high proficiency in using the full range of Microsoft Office products.
- Project management: As the director of security, not only do you need the ability to lead cross-functional teams, but you will also have to manage complex projects. To be successful at developing, implementing and deploying the company’s safety systems, you must excel at project management. Strong organizational skills will allow you to effectively prioritize and manage many simultaneous projects, including completing challenging projects on schedule and on budget.
- Direct physical security: Some of the responsibilities of the director of security involve direct physical security support as needed. This is usually expected on occasions when senior leadership of high-profile companies appear in events, board meetings and other public appearances. While you won’t necessarily be required to directly protect these individuals, you should still prove to have high resilience and motivation, with the ability to be flexible, adjust to change, determine a plan of action, discover appropriate solutions and/or achieve conclusions. The ability to cope well under pressure and make sound decisions isn’t only helpful in the case of having to provide direct physical security but also in the performance of your other duties.
- Security reporting: Observation and reporting are the two fundamental responsibilities of all security personnel. A security director's other crucial responsibility is to ensure that all reporting requirements are met. Keeping accurate and timely records of all security actions can aid in the discovery of flaws in a company's current work structure. In the event of a legal investigation, these reports can also be used as essential written evidence.
Educational Requirements for Directors of Security
For a high position like director of security, there are academic credentials you must meet, and some certifications that employers search for. Let's see what degrees and certification you will require as an aspiring director of security:
DegreeA bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in criminal justice, law enforcement, sociology, business, management or related fields is mandatory for most positions. However, a master’s degree in any of these fields is preferred. Alternatively, an equivalent combination of education, military, law enforcement, safety or security experience can get you the job with some employers.
On top of these expected educational requirements, applicants must have anywhere between 5-15 years of experience, depending on the level of responsibility and the size of the operation they will be managing. Your experience should be a combination of at least five years in a management or supervisory position and 10 or more years of experience in a federal Law Enforcement field, Engineering, Corporate Security, Physical Security and/or Data Center Operations.
Some universities that offer criminal justice majors are George Washington University, Washington, D.C, Michigan State University, East Lansing, University at Albany, Wright State University, Dayton and many more. These colleges have a full-time campus program for a bachelor's degree. Still, if you want to study online instead, you can choose Utica College, American National University or Florida State University. These colleges have some popular online degree programs available for law enforcement, criminology and cybersecurity as well.
- Foundations and associations: Some memberships from security foundations, alliances and associations are advantageous to be considered for a position as a director of physical security. Some prestigious ones are the ASIS Foundation, the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and the International Security Management Association (ISMA).
You may want to consider getting certified as a professional in the security industry by getting one or more of the following available certifications: Certified Protection Professional (CPP), Physical Security Professional (PSP), Professional Certified Investigator (PCI), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and ASIS Foundation’s board certification.
- For-profit educational platforms: Platforms like Coursera offer courses that can qualify you for the management side of the role by offering certifications such as the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate.
Since many directors of security roles expect you to work hand in hand with the cybersecurity director or to perform tasks in this area of expertise, you can also consider getting a certification in Cybersecurity. For more industry-specific courses you can check out Udemy’s affordable Criminology or Criminal Justice offerings as well.
Director of Security Resume-Writing Tips
It’s really difficult to create an accurate resume that can captivate the recruiter in only 5 to 7 seconds, but we are here to help you write a stellar resume to showcase your best skills and accomplishments to the employer. Take a look at these tips:
- Start with a captivating career summary. As a director of security, it is very important to highlight your experience in the relevant field. At the director level, your experience should outweigh your academics which should be properly portrayed for the recruiter. Summarize your career and prepare an action-packed professional summary that can make you stand out from other candidates, such as:
- Military experienced veteran served in the army for 10 years. Managing the security of A-Class office buildings in California for the past four years. Skilled in emergency measures, cybersecurity and have the ability to maintain composure in difficult situations.
- Optimized with the right keywords. Recruiters generally use keywords to search for potential candidates. Which makes it very important to use most of the commonly used keywords in your resume related to the security industry. A good way to do the same is to use keywords used in the job description. This gives a fair idea about what the recruiter is looking for. Some good keywords are:
- Surveillance control
- First response techniques
- Cybersecurity expert
- CCTV experience
- Report Analysis
- Emergency Management
- Write job-specific information. Talk about knowledge in the security or surveillance industry. At the director level, the recruiter must have an overview of who you are and what you have done in past positions just from your resume. They must know that you have command in the field. Do not elaborate on any experience or academics that are not relevant to the position being applied for. Be sure to not miss any relevant information which the recruiter might be looking for in your resume.
Is director of security the top-level position in the security industry?
Director is indeed the highest designation in the security industry. People generally reach this position in their late-forties to the mid-fifties in their career and it is a matter of pride for any aspirant in the security industry. The designation is also referred to as executive director of security in some companies. In other companies, vice president of security, chief security officer, global security head are considered the highest position in the security department. If the company is big enough, the director of security may have to report to the global security head if you are responsible for one single company among a group of companies under the same umbrella.
What is the career scope for ex-servicemen if one wants to be a security director?
Generally the security industry is the next step in a career for ex-servicemen. However, it has been found in most cases that veterans do not rise to the level of director of security as they generally lack the academics and knowledge of data security, cybersecurity and federal laws. Though, one should not be disheartened as these skills can be acquired during the course of employment as well which can ramp up the chances of growth.
Which companies are the biggest companies hiring for director of security?
Though hiring a director of security is not that common in the industry. However, with the transformation of the traditional 5S system to the 7S, security and safety are the new focus areas in the modern enterprise. Data being used as a weapon for any industry, securing it has become all the more important. Companies that generally thrive on data management, like the IT/ITES industry are usually looking for directors of security or people to join their security teams.