A career in law enforcement requires a unique set of skills—one that is earned through rigorous training in the classroom and the field. When putting together your law enforcement resume, it’s important to highlight your various abilities.
Know What Higher-ups Are Looking For
An effective law enforcement resume allows the people reading it to gain a comprehensive understanding of your background and skill set in a short amount of time. According to a study conducted by TheLadders, recruiters spend an average of six seconds—that’s right, seconds—reviewing each individual resume.
While conventional wisdom suggests that higher-ups looking for police officers and security personnel will spend more time reading resumes than the average hiring manager, you can’t assume anything. As such, your skills, along with your educational background and prior experience, should be neatly and concisely listed on a single sheet of paper.
Adapt Your Resume
The skills you need vary from job to job, so it’s important to review each application carefully and do your research on the department or company that posted the job listing. This will help you emphasize your skills that relate to the duties of the position. You should tweak your law enforcement resume for just about every application you send in, and you should ensure the most important skills are listed at the top.
It’s also important to blend tactical, physical, and leadership abilities with interpersonal, intangible qualities—also referred to as “soft skills.” A significant amount of law enforcement work involves dealing with people in situations that don’t include crimes. As such, compassion, conflict management, adaptability, empathy, compassion, language skills, critical thinking, and nonverbal communication are coveted proficiencies.
Practices To Avoid
In most cases, it would be best to avoid listing a bevy of skills, as it’s difficult for people to remember more than 10 or so. Consider each job when deciding how many skills to include in your law enforcement resume. An advanced, highly technical job will require a greater number of skills than most entry-level positions. And generally, the less experience you have, the more you should emphasize skills in order to showcase your ability to fill the position.
Utilize Clear Formatting
Regarding format, it is often wise to list your skills in bullet form. Doing so makes it easy for hiring managers to quickly gain an understanding of what you have to offer.
Here’s an example of an effective skills section on a law enforcement resume:
- Field training
- Advanced firearms training
- K-9 handling training
- Conflict management training
- Recognized by superiors for empathy and compassion
- Interrogation techniques
- Hostage negotiation techniques
- Fluency in English and Spanish
- CPR and first aid certified
This section illustrates that the applicant is a well-rounded candidate, and it does so in a concise manner.
If you are serious about starting or advancing your career in law enforcement, allowing a professional to help with your resume can make the difference. At Resume Pundits, we’ve written more than 10,000 resumes and have received a 98 percent customer satisfaction rating. To become our next success story, click here to view what we have to offer.