Tips For Writing A Standout Criminal Justice Resume | Generations College
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Tips For Writing A Standout Criminal Justice Resume

Friday, May 31, 2019

Perhaps you have recently graduated from college or already have a job, but are seeking a new position in the criminal justice field. Whether you’re looking for a job that starts your career or takes it to the next level, you need a resume to get your foot in the door. Here are some strategies to help you write a standout resume that will improve your chances of getting the job you want.

Types of Resumes

There are three basic ways to organize the information on a resume: 

  • Reverse chronological order — Arguably the most popular type of resume, this puts the emphasis on your most recent work or educational experience. It’s an easy way to organize your qualifications but may not be the best choice if your work experience is limited.
  • Functional — Sometimes called a skills resume, the functional resume lets you empathize professional training, education and abilities over job experience. This may be a better choice if you’re a recent graduate with little work experience.
  • Hybrid — Skills, education and work experience are arranged in reverse chronological order in a hybrid or combination resume. This offers the most flexibility for job seekers.

What to Include in Your Criminal Justice Resume

Before you write your resume, think about the type of job you are pursuing, and the skills and experience required or recommended for it. Your resume should demonstrate that you have the necessary experience, skills and training to succeed in the position, so make sure it includes them or at least highlights related skills. Keep in mind that you can always tweak your resume for different jobs — in fact, doing so is well worth your time, especially for a job you really want.

Most resumes start with an employment history, giving the dates you worked at a particular position, your job title, your employer and a brief list of job responsibilities. In addition to work experience, include your educational attainments, training programs and any certifications or licenses you hold.

If you are a recent graduate with little work experience, it’s smart to highlight your academics and relevant training and downplay your lack of real-world experience. If you have a college degree, stick to your collegiate academic history, not your high school accomplishments.

Consider the aspects of your education and background that will help set you apart from other applicants. For example, if your GPA was above a B average, include that. Have you had internships? Do you have experience with software used in the criminal justice positions? Be sure to also touch on your work background, if you have one. Even if the position wasn’t in the criminal justice field, employers like to see work experience — and some of those jobs may include skills that you’ll use in a criminal justice career.

Tips for Writing Your Criminal Justice Resume

Keep these tips in mind when writing your resume:

  • Keep it simple — Short, succinct sentences are preferred over longer, wordier ones. Aim to keep your resume to one page.
  • Include a professional objective — List your professional objective at the top of your resume; tweak it to reflect the position you’re applying for.
  • Choose a classic font — A simple, easy-to-read font like Courier, Times New Roman or Arial conveys professionalism.
  • Make your resume ATS-friendly — ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. It’s a software program designed to search for candidates with certain skills or training, so be sure you’ve included relevant keywords on your resume.

These strategies will help you create a resume that showcases your background and experience — and with any luck, leads to an interview as well.

Are you interested in a criminal justice career? Generations College offers a criminal justice program that will prepare you for a satisfying, rewarding career. Visit our site to enroll or learn more about our program.