The “fat security guard” is a pretty persistent stereotype, one that may lead you to believe that anyone can be a security guard, regardless of their physical condition.
On paper, that’s true. There’s no mandated fitness test for any security guard position in any state. However, the reality is quite a bit different. And if you want to be competitive, your physical condition is something that you’re going to have to pay attention to.
Each employer has different requirements.
The law may not have physical fitness requirements but some individual employers do. The thing is, they’re not always going to publish them.
In fact, many companies will avoid talking about it, because they don’t want to risk a lawsuit. But you can bet that those requirements are at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind when they’re ready to interview you.
This is a physical job.
A security guard protects lives, people, and property. At best this means there’s a lot of walking around involved. At worst you may find yourself in a physical altercation.
The hiring manager needs to be able to trust that you can meet all of the requirements of the job. And even if most of your time is to be spent sitting around staring at a monitor you can bet that there will be times that require you to get up and get moving in response to some threat.
This is a dangerous job.
Let’s not kid ourselves. The job isn’t necessarily full of non-stop excitement, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk. Google “security guard” on any given day and you can bring up quite a few news stories about guards getting hurt or even killed on the job.
Hiring managers want to be responsible about who they hire. They know that they are putting each candidate at risk by placing them on the job, and they want to make sure that candidates can handle it.
Who would you hire?
Imagine you’ve got two equally qualified candidates. One looks like your typical sedentary couch potato. The other one seems to be in good physical shape. Who do you hire, if you can only choose one?
Who do you want to represent your company and your agency? Who would make your clients feel safe?
Right. The fit one.
Nobody’s saying you have to be Hollywood-ripped or sport the perfect six pack. But if you want to be a competitive candidate it’s time to start drinking more water, eating healthier food, and taking some time out to exercise. You’ll feel more confident about your search, and employers will feel more confident about putting you out there. It’s a Win-Win.