Recently, I’ve received a lot emails about employment. A good number of our readers have asked, “What is the best way to get a job in Nightclub Security?” While there is no guaranteed path, there are a few things that one should take into consideration when trying to track the elusive Security Staff gig.
ARE YOU LEGAL?
No, no, no. I don’t mean are you legally allowed to work in the United States. I mean are you legally allowed to work in a bar? Many people are under the impression that working Security in a bar or nightclub is as easy as walking up to the door filling out an application and showing up on a weekend night. Until very recently this would be the case, no questions asked. However, there have been a major change in many States in regards to who can work and under what title. Legislation has been passed in many jurisdictions making it a requirement for anyone working in Security to be licensed and trained. Why? Well, to make sure that you have at least an idea of what you are hired to do and to run you through a background check to make sure you are who you say you are.
The first thing you should do when considering a move into any area of physical Security (meaning working the front lines and interacting with the public) is making sure that you have all of the licensing/certifications/papers necessary to do the work. Every state varies and as such you need to take the time to research your State’s licensing requirements and find out what is best for you. A Google Search under ‘Guard Card’ or ‘Guard Card Requirements (insert your State name)’ should give you a good starting point.
This first step is the most important, as many establishments WILL NOT HIRE YOU without a Guard Card or its equivalent.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
The big Catch 22 strikes hard in Security. Can’t get Security work without experience, can’t get experience without working in Security. Any job offer for Security, regardless of position is one you should take! Watch the bathroom? I’d love to! Clean vomit off the Party Bus? Absolutely! When looking for jobs, take what you can get. When looking for jobs, take what you can get. When looking for jobs, take what you can get. When looking for jobs, take what you can get.
HAVE A RESUME?
Yes, believe it or not, a resume can be helpful in the Nightclub World! I won’t go into details as to how to write a resume, but keep these things in mind:
Don’t lie about where you’ve worked – Most cities that have a thriving Nightclub scene also have a network of connections within the scene. That means that if you say you worked at X Club but did not, you’ll probably be found out.
Don’t embellish your position – If you watched the parking lot, say so. Don’t say you were Doorman. Again, you’ll get caught once they ask a couple of basic questions.
Check your spelling – No explanation needed.
So, now you have credentials and a resume. What next?
POUND THE PAVEMENT/CHECK THE LISTINGS
Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it annoying? Yes. Will it get you a job? Maybe. But Craigslist and the newspaper are obvious starting points. Lookie lookie, Craigslist even has Security and Service Industry pages!
I usually don’t suggest making phone calls to Nightclubs when seeking employment. For one, the phone is rarely answered before 12 p.m. And second, the person answering the phone probably won’t have the time or energy to listen to you asking about work. That being said, a phone call can get you some important information: the Head of Security’s name, the Manager’s name, and when they are available. Once you get these tidbits of information, polish the resume, dress nicely, and pay them a visit!
Most Nightclubs are incredibly slow if not completely dead during their first 1 – 1.5 hours of business. While there is no best time to show up, Opening is better than Last Call. When you arrive, have a brief conversation with the person in charge, preferable with the person who’s name you already know from your prior phone call. They probably setting up for the evening, but will at least acknowledge your presence, take a quick look at your resume, and maybe even ask you some questions. It is extremely important that during these few minutes you let them know how serious you are about finding employment, give them a quick rundown of your skills, and depending on your skill set/experience tell them what you are willing to do in order to get the job.
DO NOT: Brag about getting into fights, act like a tough guy/gal, tell the manager how many heads you’ve cracked, disparage other clubs, or boast about being the best Security Staffer they’ve ever met. It’s unprofessional, unbecoming, and you probably end up having your resume placed in the “circular file”
Once you turned in your resume, don’t forget to CALL BACK or make a return visit. If you turn in your resume on a weekend night, wait until Tues/Weds of the following week before calling back. This will give the Manager or Head of Security a chance to recover from the weekend and get to their paperwork. If you return to the establishment, do it the following weekend.
Bars and Nightclubs are fairly insular, closed workplaces. They aren’t the fastest to bring in people off the street to work for them, especially since there are probably friends or acquaintances within their network to whom they’d rather give the shift. But that doesn’t mean a little patience and perseverance won’t get you in the door. Keep at it and keep your head up!
Until next time…