Don’t allow a lack of law enforcement experience or any type of work experience for that matter to keep you from applying for correctional officer jobs that you are looking for today.
There can be many factors to account for you resume work history and experience looking a bit on the slim side whether its due to you being a recent high school or college graduate, a current student, or recently changed careers and are seeking an entry level position; lacking relevant & describable work experience is a very common and understandable problem for many people.
Here are a few tips on how you can write up your resume for a correctional officer position regardless of your current level of experience.
The Starting Point
First and foremost, ensure that your resume gives out a great first impression. The first step in accomplishing this task is by knowing the right things as well as the wrong things to include in your resume.
The one thing that you should have no problem completing is your contact information. In this section you should include your full name, mailing address, and a good contact phone number that you can normally be reached, and an email address.
You can follow this with a resume headline or resume title, which is just a short statement or phase to quickly catch the HR manager’s attention. An example of this would be something like “Bilingual College Graduate with Experience in Criminal Justice”.
Make Your Opening Statement Count!
You should always match your opening statement, resume objective, or summary to coincide with the job in which you are applying for. Your opening statement will also go at the top of your resume and consist of about two or three sentences that show your worth as an employee to a potential employer.
Think of it as your quick and succinct statement that you would make to a hiring manager for the job you are applying for. So in this section, without having a lot of experience to rely upon, you’ll need to focus on your relevant skills and education in your statement.
To get an idea of what skills are considered relevant, try looking at the job description of the job you are seeking to apply for. While you’re at it, take a look at a couple different available job postings to get a better sense of what type of skills are expected for similar positions that you are applying for and list the skills that you feel that you have.
What to Include Under Experience?
For most entry-level correctional officer jobs, you wont need any previous experience to qualify, but that really doesn’t help your chances if the next person has more experience than you do. The best thing that you can do is to avoid having your Work Experience section of your resume looking completely empty and devoid of information and details, or worst it includes your lemonade stand job from two summers ago, that’s just not going to cut it.
So again in this section, it is recommended that you again focus and highlight your best skills that apply and are relevant to the job you are pursuing. Much like what you just did above in the opening statement, that those same key skills that you know are just what the employer are looking for and that you also know that you have, and expound on those in greater detail by listing the skill followed by 2-3 bullet point examples of how you have recently utilized those skills.
Then you can follow-up this content with your recent relevant college projects and classwork, any civic organization and volunteer work, or any other activities that you can relate to the skills and duties of a correctional officer.
No Work History? No Problem!
The truth of the matter is this, if you don’t have any work history due to a legit reason, like recent high school or college graduate and you’re just starting out in the workforce, you don’t have to be ashamed or embarrassed about it, everybody has to start somewhere at some point in order to be able to have a work history in the first place.
So if you don’t have anything to put in this section, i.e. no work experience at all of any kind, then by all means leave this section off your resume, but if you have any type of working experience, paid or unpaid lasting 3 months or more then you should include this information, with the dates and positions for these as well.
After you have a rough draft completed, check out these resume tips you should know about for more information on your correctional officer resume.