Professional resume writing tip: Why are Police resumes challenging to write?
So, you work in law enforcement, and you need to update and write your resume. How do you go about doing this?
There are a couple of reasons why you might be updating your resume. First, you are applying for a position within your line of work, or second, you are applying for civilian jobs.
Within your occupation
You see a position within your detachment or outside in a different location and you want to apply for the role. You look at your current resume, and it’s 15 pages long. What are you supposed to do with this beast?
The first step is to create a good foundation. When we write resumes, we take a look at all the experience our client has to date and ask ourselves questions regarding the details in front of us. What do you want to know that isn’t readily obvious?
Once this has been completed, gather all of your relevant training. Go through the list and pick around 15 or fewer items that are applicable to the target role and insert it into the resume. You can include a note that provides if the interviewers wish to see your complete portfolio, you can submit as needed. This will cut down on the number of details.
Other vital points you should provide are commendations and awards, speaking engagements, and other community-related items.
If you keep your resume to about two pages or less for most roles, and perhaps three, if you are applying for a Deputy Police Chief role, Police Chief role, Deputy Commissioner, etc., then you should be fine.
Outside your occupation
Applying for civilian jobs requires a different approach. The main challenge is to take the document and streamline it to about two pages or less and scrub out all internal lingo. Make the document easy to read for people who do not work in law enforcement. Have someone look at your document and ask them to mark up all the words that they do not understand.
If you are retired and looking for another job, make the document simple, and perhaps less than two pages. We had a client who was retired from the OPP and wanted a career as a driver. His many page resume was converted into a one-page easy to read tool.
The main takeaways are to a) streamline the data and b) make it applicable for the job you are applying for.
If you have any questions or would like some additional thoughts, please contact us, and we can help explain some extra points and hopefully point you in the right direction.
Resume writing is tough, so break it down into manageable steps and tackle each one part. Good luck!