Search Tactics for the Out of Work Operator

Being out of work for a long time is every operator’s nightmare. 90% of men and women on the circuit have experienced periods with a shortage of work and it certainly isn’t a pleasant experience.

“Searching for employment is not to be taken lightly – it should all be planned like a military operation. You need to start as you mean to go on when searching for employment you should act the same way as you would when on task.”


1. Plan ahead and study the industry

First of all, plan ahead and study the industry you want to work in (CP or Marsec etc..)

What is your background? Are you former military or civilian?

What qualifications do you have and do you have the necessary qualifications to enter the CP/Marsec industry?

Study and assess your own profile. – If you have no military background do you really have enough qualifications and knowledge to target the Hostile Environment CP industry?

Keep in mind that other operators applying for HE jobs often have + 10 years military experience with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The aim is to get yourself into employment quickly, dreaming of something that isn’t going to happen will waste your time.

There are always exceptions but they are a minority and it is better sticking to realistic goals if you want to be employed fast.

Be realistic. Make sure you have the right qualifications. Most job posts give clear indications on the qualifications needed in order to apply. Sending a CV without the required qualifications is the first step towards getting a bad reputation.

Once you have realistically defined where your profile, background and qualifications can take you, you should now plan accordingly – it is much easier to search when you know what you are looking for.

2. Make Contact

Once you know what type of work you can do and where you can do it, you need to start your research. You can easily create a list of companies by using Google. A simple search term like “close protection” can bring up hundreds of results. You can target the location you would like to work in and the following often works, for example the search term “Close Protection Iraq” will help you find various companies operating in Iraq.

Create a Speadsheet

Open a word or Excel document to list every single company you come across. This is hard work but can help a lot. List the details of each company of interest, noting:

  • Company name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • History of the company
  • Name of CEO
  • Year of formation
  • Places they operate

Reach Out

Send your CV to each company, including a personalised cover letter. Reference various aspects of the company to display a level of interest and show that you conducted research before applying.

Follow Up

Follow up your initial contact a few days later with a phone call. You can also do this in reverse and call the company proactively and seek permission to send them your CV. Reference the person you spoke to by name in your follow up email so that they remember you.

Personalise Your Contact

Do not send a single generic email to every company on your list. It will be obvious to the recruiter and it displays a clear lack of respect – your CV will be ‘binned’ immediately.

Tip: Use your excel document to record the companies you have contacted, mark when you follow up, make note of their response and the date to ensure you don’t harass them emails too frequently.

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