I Always Get the Job Offer in Safety, Here’s How I Do It

Ever since I created Safety Geek, I’m constantly asked by safety professionals how to secure job offers. They are ask for help because they can’t land job offers even though they’ve applied and submitted their resumes to a lot of different companies. Even when they’ve had a lot of successful interviews.

It made me wonder where the gap is.

As someone who has always been offered the job after every interview, I want to help you out! I’m sharing the things I personally do, to ensure that you’ll land a safety manager job.

Submit a Personalized Resume

To land that job offer, the very first step is getting invited to the interview. To do so, you’ll first need to get past the initial screening.

Just like we’ve talked about in previous episodes, your great safety manager resume is the key to this! You’ll need to highly-personalize the resume you send to help you stand out amongst the sea of other applicants.

To personalize your resume, you’ll also need to improve your cover letter. Emphasize the things you can do for the company you’re applying for.

To be sure attention is paid to your cover letter, you’ll need to include the skills they’re looking for (things they’ve included in the job posting) in your cover letter.

Aside from that, submitting a personalized resume also includes putting in the work requested by the company. For example, they may ask you to answer specific questions or request you to do a specific task related to the job.

Practice Answering Common Interview Questions

Practice makes perfect. This might seem like a run-of-the-mill tip to land that job, but trust me, it works. Being prepared to answer the questions your potential future employer might ask, not only enables you to speak fluidly during the interview but also reflects your quality as an employee. It shows that you are prepared and have done the work needed to get that job. It means you’re very determined to join and work for the company you’re interested in.

Bring a One-Sheet and Portfolio

Usually, a one-sheet is called a one-pager document about an actor/actress applying for a role. It contains a picture of the applicant as well as various personal information.

You can also submit a one-sheet as a safety professional with the same format (with a picture and a list of personal information). Submitting a one-sheet creates quite an impact because your interviewer will be able to easily remember your face and the good feedback that they have about you. This will definitely help you stand out amongst the competition.

A portfolio is also important because it showcases the things you’ve done for other companies. When creating a portfolio, focus on the things that are relevant to the company’s procedures and how you’ve use safety processes to help the companies improve work place safety. Do make sure to remember that long and detailed portfolios are a big no-no because if there are too many details, the interviewer may feel overwhelmed and miss crucial elements.

Create Your Website

Initial interviews through virtual conferencing tools like Zoom and Teams have become one of the normal ways of communication due to the recent global health crisis. Because of this, many companies have adopted this into their processes for meetings and interviews.

If you’re being interviewed over Zoom, you’ll have no chance to show your one-sheet and portfolio. Thus, you’ll need to create a personal website that showcases all the skills that you have and the things that you’ve accomplished as a safety manager. This way, you still have an opportunity to stand out above the competition.

Cyberstalk the Company and Interviewer

Stalking might sound bad in other contexts, however, if it’s about interviews, it’s a different situation. Knowing a lot about the company that you’re applying for, as well as your interviewer will help you build that connection. Establishing that connection is essential in showing that you’re a team player – that it’s not just about you that you care about, but also the company and your potential colleagues.

Take Action

These are the top things to try to ensure that you land that job! However, in cases where it doesn’t work, maybe the competition is too stiff and you may need to consider getting more certifications and additional continuous educational courses.

You can visit my previous episodes where I talk about effective safety career planning.

The Simple Trick To Getting Job Offers in Safety Management

Safety Brye: [00:00:00] Now, I don't mean to brag and I hope I am not jinxing myself here, but I have been offered every job that I have ever been interviewed for. So if I get my foot in the door and get the interview, I know I'm gonna get offered that job. This is not because I am a rockstar safety leader, which I am, it's because I have a method for making myself stand out from the crowd.

Let me tell you a little bit about my secret, but let's keep it just between us. Let's get two of my safety friends.

Hey there, safety friends. Welcome to the Safety Geek Podcast. I'm Brye Sargent CSP and 20 year Safety Professional. After spending years training safety leaders across the globe for a large corporation and creating safety programs from the ground up over and over again, I am now sharing my

[00:01:00] processes and strategies with you. At the Safety Geek, you will learn how to manage an effective safety program that increases your management support, and employee engagement, all the while helping you elevate your position and move up in your career. If you're ready to step into the role of a safety influencer and leader, you're in the right place.

Let's get to it.

Hello. Hello. Hello, how is everybody doing today? Happy whatever day it is that you happen to be listening to this. I'm actually recording this on a Thursday. I'm late recording this. I normally record my podcast on Tuesdays, but I was not ready. But we are finishing up our series about career planning and I thought that I would just kind of give you like case study of how I actually approach job searching because a couple of years ago I actually found myself in that position again where I was

[00:02:00] like, okay, let me go look for another job and see how it goes. And literally like I was offered so many jobs, and I said, this is so funny because I'm like not breaking my streak . And my son is the same exact way he's been offered every single job that he has sat for an interview for.

Anyway, the reason why this came up is that at least five times a week I get a message from somebody in the field saying that they can't find work in safety and they want my help. Like literally they say, I have applied to hundreds of jobs. I can't even get an interview, which hopefully the episode on the resume writing will help with that.

There are stages in the interview process and the very first stage is getting that screener to call you. So that comes from your resume. So you have to make sure you have a really good resume that passes the screening process, so that way

[00:03:00] they call you. And a side note here, I do actually have a program that I'm planning for in the future to create. But that's in the works, like to teach people how to actually get hired as a safety manager. And we do have a summit coming up in July, which I'm gonna invite some experts on as well to help people with this problem. Anyway, this got me thinking because it's never been hard for me to find work in any field.

I'm not saying I apply to a hundred jobs when I get a hundred job offers. No. The ones that I actually pass the screening process and sit down for an interview for, I've always been offered the job. So what are they doing that's keeping them stuck to where they're not even getting to that stage, or if they're getting to that stage multiple times, why they're not being offered the job.

I mean, it is just a numbers game. If you look at it, you submit so many applications or so many resumes. In our profession, it would be a resume non application. But you submit your resume

[00:04:00] to, let's say, a hundred jobs, and a percentage of those will call you for screening, and a percentage of those screening calls will actually land you to an interview.

So, It could be that they have a lack of experience or their experience doesn't match what they're looking for. It could be, you know, just the competition in the field. I will tell you that whenever I go to hire a safety manager for an organization, I get hundreds of resumes, hundreds. So there is a lot of competition out there.

And it could also be that just they're not a good fit for the company that they're applying for too. So then that comes back to you need to build your skills up, your continuing education and all of that. So we you the skills that will apply to any organization. But if you're finding yourself in this situation, I do have some tips that I have always used that have helped me get those job offers.

At least in my mind, I think it's what set me apart. And maybe I didn't accept all the jobs that I've been offered. Like I've been offered jobs where the pay just

[00:05:00] wasn't there and I have a certain pay that I am willing to do work for. If you don't meet it, the answer's gonna be no. It's really nice to have that freedom to actually turn down positions, but I've always been given the offer.

So first off, the very first tip I have for you, other than having a really good resume, is one personalizing your resume to the job. So a lot of times what we do is we have one resume and that's all that we use, and that's the thing that we submit to everybody. And then what we personalize is the cover letter.

Well, the very first gate that you need to pass is through the screening process. And the screening process is gonna be looking for very specific things, and I gave you some hints on this I know before about how you look at the job posting and that will literally tell you what they're looking for. So put the things in the job posting into your resume. So that will help you get past that screener.

[00:06:00] So you have one base resume that you use, but then you take that base resume or template resume, whatever you wanna call it, and then you customize it based on that job. All right? So it does take work, but if you want the job, do the work. I mean, that's basically the reason why people will pass you by is cuz they're doing the work

to get the job. And employers can see that like you really want it and you've done the work. For example, I was recently hiring a copywriter for the safety geek, and people would send me examples of their writing, but I specifically said in the post, if you want to win extra points, write something based on one of my blog posts.

And literally out of the 150 people that applied for this position, only two people did that. So like personalizing things and really relating it to the job posting will help

[00:07:00] you get through that screening process. Number two is know your answer to common interview questions and then practice your responses so that way they come out flowing like, Hey, you know this stuff you're confident in your response.

But more importantly, you wanna reframe your responses to be how hiring you helps the organization, how you can help them achieve things that you helped other organizations achieve. So if you have a history of reducing mod rates or you have a history of reducing injury rates, or you have a history of increasing efficiencies, whatever it is that you know you're skilled at, you can say, look, this is what I did at this other organization and I looked at your organization and I can see that you have these types of hazards in your industry and I can apply the same practice to there to reduce those types of injuries. So that if you show that you've actually done some research about the organization, that

[00:08:00] helps as well. And this'll get you past the screener because what happens is the screener is gonna call you. It's generally like the HR manager, right? The HR manager does not make the hiring decision. It's the boss of the position that's gonna make the hiring decision or maybe the whole management team together.

But it's not gonna be the HR manager alone or a talent acquisition employee. So you have to get past that person and they are going to ask every single person they call the same exact questions. So if you Google common interview questions and then just practice your responses to them, but reframe them in a way that you're showing confidence that you've researched the company and that hiring you is going to benefit the company.

That's what they want to know. They don't care about you. They care about what you can do for them. So make sure you're always talking about what you could do for them. And then when you show up for the interview, that's the next stage. Once you've gotten past the screen, or you might have one interview, you might have two,

[00:09:00] whatever. When you show up for the interview, have a one sheet ready and a portfolio. So a one sheet is basically if you do a search for a speaker's one sheet, that will give you an example of what I'm talking about, cuz hardly anybody does this for a resume. But once again, I like to stand out. So if you create a one sheet that basically has your image and tells pertinent facts about yourself, like maybe your personality testing results, your hobbies, anything about your family plus your experience and why you chose the field that you did and anything like that.

Just a really quick reference sheet in color. And you hand it to them when you walk into the interview, they can pair that with your resume and then when later when they're making that decision, you're going to stand out because they actually have your image. The way I like to think about it is like in theater, in Hollywood and all of that, when they are auditioning actors, they always have their headshot and then on the back of their

[00:10:00] headshot has all the information about the actor. It's the same thing. Even though our jobs don't have anything to do about us personally, you want them to remember your face and they want you to remember you. So I'm not saying do a headshot like an actor. What I'm saying is it's a one sheet piece of paper with like your picture up in the corner.

That's all. So that ends up standing out to them a lot more and you wanna personalize it and you wanna try to connect with them. One of the things that I like to do is research the person who I'm gonna have the interview with and see if I can maybe find them on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn and see what kind of hobbies they have.

Do we have anything in common? And I try to make sure that I know that before the interview as well. I don't make anything up if I'm not interested in football. I'm not gonna talk football with the person. I could just say like, Hey, I prepare for the interview by looking at your LinkedIn page, and I see that you're a football fan. That's really cool. How

[00:11:00] did you get into it? Right? And going back to always asking them questions about themselves is always important too. So many tips. There are so many tips for me to share for you. All right, so the other thing I talked about was handing over a portfolio to them as well. I've always done this.

I've probably done this for like 25 years. I think this is what stands me out from other people. And in a portfolio is basically examples of your work. And it's great if you can have one that you can leave with them, but if you don't have that type of portfolio where instead you just have to show it to them, that's okay.

And you don't want it to be huge, like if you're leaving it with them. If somebody left me with like a booklet portfolio, I would be like, okay, they're a bit over the top. But if it was just a folder with like three or four documents in it as an example, that's really helpful. So things that you can include in your portfolio is an example policy that you've written, maybe a training that you've done, like a PowerPoint presentation with your notes as to what you did and the quiz that you

[00:12:00] created to go along with it, or something like that. If you are experienced in analytics or data and trending, you can show graphs and charts that you've created, and if you have a history of showing improvements, use those graphs and charts to show the improvements that you've made at other organizations. Obviously you wanna keep any data that you do use cleaned, right?

You wanna take out any personal information, however showing it is kind of important and in any projects that you completed. So one of the things I like to teach is that everything that you do as a project, and then those projects should have an after action review and that after action review could be

the results of the, like why we did this project, our expected results, what the results were, what did I find it was difficult, and how did we work through it? You know, those type of things. So a couple of projects in there as well. So that would be the portfolio that I hand to them, just like in a manila envelope or something like

[00:13:00] that. Like, Hey, I gathered some of my work and here it is for you. I used to do a paper newsletter. I would always throw one of those in there too. So just examples of my work to make me stand. Now I know that we have shifted from regular interviews of, you know, my time four years ago or five years ago to more virtual interviews.

And in fact, I generally like to start with virtual interviews, even like going back before Zoom was popular, right? So I do understand that most interviews today are going to end up being virtual, at least in the beginning. You can actually put your portfolio on a website, like creating your own personal website I think is an amazing idea.

I've personally never done it. I mean, I've created websites obviously, but I've never created a portfolio one, but I honestly think it is a great idea to do, to then give them a link to your portfolio and you can even email

[00:14:00] them prior to the interview. I wouldn't include this in your resume. Once your interview is set and you know who you're gonna be interviewed by, I would then email them a link to the portfolio and say, Hey, you know, we had this interview next week.

I wanted to share with you some of my work, so that way if you have any questions about it, we can talk about it during the interview. Here's a link to my portfolio. And then you can show it to him then and maybe, maybe they'll look at it, maybe they'll not. But definitely cyber stock, the person that you're interviewing with, because I think that that is one of the things is that you really have to build connection with the person that you're being interviewed by.

Now, this may not be the deciding person. This may not be your boss, that if they hired you, that you would end up being. But a lot of times it is. I've literally been in interviews with like a low level person where they actually pulled the boss in and said, this person's great. You need to come in and talk to them. So you never know.

[00:15:00] So having the ability to make connection with people quickly is important, and that's where I recommend that Dale Carnegie book of How to Win Friends and Influence People. That too many times, especially in an interview, people like to talk about themselves, their accomplishments and what they did.

Where if you wanna make connection with somebody, you actually need to ask about them. You need to talk about them. You need to talk about how you are going to help the company and why you are the best person to do this. So making that connection with them actually helps in the long run because they are going to be faced with lots of people that have lots of skills, but it's that connection that's gonna make them change their mind, like choose one person over the other.

And to end it out, I wanted to tell you, like I have interviewed hundreds of safety managers. So when I was a regional over all of my locations in the US, whenever one of those locations needed to hire somebody, I was the

[00:16:00] first interview past the screeners. So you would have the screeners. Your very first interview would be with me.

So I've interviewed hundreds and I've referred top candidates to executives, like people that really knew their stuff. They were very impressive. But what I found, is that when people start talking up their skills and how great they are and how much education they have, and how much they know about safety and all of that, that executives tend to pass them over because they're not making that connection.

They are not saying what they're gonna do for them. And the way that the executives see it is they're like, great, this person knows their stuff and they're gonna come in and tell us everything that we're doing wrong. Instead of showing that, no, you're coming in as a team player. You're coming in as a person that they're gonna have lunch with and have a good time with.

And at the same time, keep the company safe and keep them compliant. That is what executives are looking

[00:17:00] for, especially when you get into like not at the higher levels, like if you're trying to get a job like where you're not in charge of actual boots on the ground. But when you're looking at a position that is more boots on the ground, doing the work, doing the training, doing the inspections, they're looking for a team player.

They're not looking for somebody who's all educated up and is gonna tell them everything that they're doing wrong. And I will tell you, just to end it out here too, is that out of the hundreds of people that I'd interviewed as safety managers, I only had two actually show me a portfolio. Think about that.

You wanna stand yourself out from the crowd of applicants. You can bet that you're gonna pass the next level. You're gonna pass through all the different gates that are set up in the interview process, if you can actually show them your work and show them what you can do. And what's so great about a portfolio is

[00:18:00] its examples of your work, regardless if you've done it at another company. So all those people that are coming out of college, From a safety degree that can't seem to find work because they have no experience, which is something I see all the time. Creating a portfolio, showing your work where it's relevant to them, right? The type of policy that's in your work should be a policy that would apply to them.

Type of training should be something that applies to them. It's gonna make you stand out a little bit more and maybe get them to overlook that lack of experience. So I hope that you enjoyed today's episode. I love this series on career planning because I just love what we do, and I love the fact that so many people can be successful without a college degree.

That you can just have this job that landed in your lap and learn the skills that make it an amazing role for you. So if you like this stuff, make sure that you subscribe to the

[00:19:00] podcast and leave me a review. I would really appreciate it. I love reading them. And I will chat with you again soon. Bye for now.

Hey, if you're just getting started in safety or you've been at this for a while and are hitting a roadblock, then I wanna invite you to check out Safety Management Academy. This is my in-depth online course that not only teaches you the processes and strategies of an effective safety management program, but how to entwine

management support and employee participation throughout your processes. Are you ready to finally understand exactly what you should be doing and ditch that safety police hat forever? Then you have got to join me and your fellow safety scholars over at Safety Management Academy. Just go to thesafetygeek.com/sma to learn more and to get started.

[00:20:00] That's thesafetygeek.com/sma and I will see you in our next students only live session. Bye for now.

Highlights From This Episode:

  • How To Get A Job Offer In Safety
  • Essential Preparations For The Safety Job Application
  • What Factors Will Make You Stand Out From Other Applicants
  • Effective Career Planning To Achieve Safety Goals

Links Mentioned:


I have interviewed hundreds of safety managers and I have referred top candidates to executives. What I have found is that people who talk up their skills and how great they are, get passed over for the ones who show how they can help the company.

So, start creating your portfolio that will get you a job offer in safety.

Subscribe on your favorite Podcast App

Hi, I'm Brye (rhymes with sky)!  I am a self-proclaimed safety geek with two decades of general industry safety experience.  Specializing in bringing safety programs to a world-class level and building a safety culture, I have trained and coached many safety managers, just like you, on how to effectively manage workplace safety in the real world.   I would love to help you too.

Get started with my weekly newsletters: