Police Officer Resume Example

A step-by-step guide to write a great Police Officer Resume that lands you in the department of your choice. Or have Leet Resumes write your resume for you, for free.

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Written by Marc Cenedella
Leading expert on resumes
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Marc Cenedella

Marc Cenedella is a nationally recognized thought leader on careers, resume writing, job search, career management and recruiting, Marc is frequently sought out by national media organizations for his expert commentary on employment, resumes, the job search and the job market.

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Last updated on July 17, 2022
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How to Write a Police Officer Resume that Gets Interviews

Communication is one of the most important parts of being a Police Officer.

Whether it’s writing reports so they hold up in court if necessary, speaking with members of the community in moments of crisis and chaos or talking a perpetrator into handcuffs rather than fighting them into the Peerless – communication is something you rely on every day.

While you’re accustomed to writing incident reports and cataloging events succinctly, writing the history of your Police Officer career and highlighting why you’d make a great addition to the department feels like it’s out of your jurisdiction.

Luckily, you’ve landed in the right place.

In this article, we’ll show you how to write a great Police Officer resume that will land you in the department of your choice. We’ve even included a resume example for a Police Officer to refer to along the way.

At the end of this step-by-step guide, you’ll have a custom resume template that will get you more interviews and job offers.

Prefer to have someone else write your Police Officer resume?

That’s an option, too. Leet Resumes will write a custom Police Officer resume for you, and they’ll write it for free. (Tips for a job well done are always appreciated.)

How to Format a Police Officer Resume

A well-crafted resume has five sections:

  • Professional Headline
  • Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Keywords

Before you get started, there are two basic rules to help you craft the best Police Officer resume: Keep it simple

You don’t need to go so far as to write in shorthand, but your resume should keep the facts of your career first and foremost.

That means leaving out anything distracting like multiple columns, elaborate fonts or colors. Stick to the single column format of the resume example and you’ll give the recruiting officer everything they need to make a hiring decision.

Don’t use paragraphs

Aligned with rule number one, avoiding paragraphs in your resume is the most effective way to keep it simple and easy to read.

No one wants to read full sentences – let alone paragraphs – of your experience and qualifications (sorry). Instead, give it to them in lists and short phrases.

The easier your resume is to read, the more they’ll learn about you and why you’re the best officer for the job.

Having second thoughts?

It’s not too late to have Leet Resumes write your resume for free. They’ll apply the same expertise they did to this resume template and give you the advantage over the competition.

If you’re still in pursuit of writing the perfect Police Officer resume yourself, let’s get started.

Name + Contact

Start with your first and last name at the top of the page in a slightly larger font than the rest of the text. Pick a simple, professional and legible font – no need to get creative here.

Directly under your name, add your contact information: phone number, current email address and location (just your city and state are necessary).

Be sure to include an email address you check frequently and one that’s professional. If the thought of explaining the origins of your email address to your future chief makes you uncomfortable, try opting for the classic firstname.lastname approach.

Professional Headline

Think of your headline as your professional officer status. In three to five words it should sum up your career as a Police Officer so far and give your recruiter an idea of what you’ll bring to the agency.

You want to capture their attention and stand out from the other resumes, so start with a slightly flattering adjective that puts you in a positive light, such as: diligent, multilingual, accomplished or dedicated.

From there, add your level of experience and official title or rank.

For higher-ups, your rank of Corporal, Lieutenant or Captain acknowledges your experience and requires nothing else.

For technicians, officers, detectives and sheriffs, add an additional marker of your experience so your recruiter knows where to place you, like: junior, veteran, or lead.

Altogether, this might look like:

Multilingual Police Detective II

Or:

Diligent Veteran Police Officer

Professional Summary

If your resume is the full investigation into your career background, the professional summary is a field interview.

In two to four lines, you’ll highlight the key points of your resume and bait the recruiter to read the rest. As you’ll see in the resume example, these are simple lines of listed words and phrases of the following content:

In the first line, list the job titles you’re interested in for your next position. These don’t need to be titles you’ve already held, just ones you’re qualified for and are adjacent to your current rank.

Most importantly, include the exact title of the position you’re applying for.

In line two, add the skills you possess that qualify you for the position you’re targeting. If you’re applying for a specific task force, add in your relevant continuing education certs or completed special trainings.

Some other skills you want to include here might be: problem solving, criminal law, firearms, control tactics or active-killer training.

Whichever skills you choose should be specifically tailored toward the officer position you’re applying for.

Lines three and four are completely optional. In line three, list any significant achievements in your career and in line four, add your promotions, awards and additional successes.

If nothing is coming to mind for these last two lines, you’re still in the clear. Lines one and two are enough to land you the interview.

Work Experience

You know what the day-to-day is like in the field, but don’t assume your recruiter does. This section is the place to show them specifically how you contribute to the force and make a positive impact in the community.

Start by listing your previous positions with the most recent listed first. Add your exact job titles and dates of employment. (They’re going to run a background check on everything anyway, don’t give them any reasonable cause for questioning your validity.)

Under each job position, add a bullet point list of your achievements, successes and accomplishments in that role. (Refer to the resume example for a visual of this.)

This might include how you led a community program, decreased the rate of drug-related arrests or successfully negotiated high-tension conflicts.

For the most effective bullet points in your resume template, apply these elements:

1. Strong Success Verbs

These are words that imply the positive results of your actions before you report the details.

Start each bullet point with a success verb so your resume reads like a highlight reel of an officer award ceremony.

Some success verbs for your Police Officer resume might include: mentored, led, recruited, trained, advanced, or reduced.

2. Use Numbers

Numbers are specific. They can adequately highlight your value to the force to both a local municipality agent and a traditional police chief about to retire.

Numbers are also the best way to help your recruiter visualize the impact of your work. Only mentioning that you reduced crime in your patrolling neighborhood makes it possible for you to have decreased crime by 1% or 25%. The difference is significant, so don’t leave anything to chance and include as many numbers as possible.

When you think you’ve added enough, go back and double them. There’s no such thing as too many numbers to highlight your contributions as a Police Officer.

3. Add Promotions

Promotions are strong evidence of your professional success. Any recruiter knows that superiors don’t just hand out promotions, so each promotion you’ve received is worth listing on your resume.

Education

The education section of your resume doesn’t need to be long.

Simply list where you went to school, the degrees you received, your dates of attendance and any additional awards or honors.

Any extracurricular activities non-related to law enforcement, incomplete degrees you’re not currently pursuing or local POST exam results can be left out.

Keywords and Skills for a Police Officer Resume

Your keywords section is a list of skills, certifications, technologies and attributes that make you the best officer for the targeted open position.

Consider this a resume template. While little else needs changing on your resume, your keywords and summary should be adjusted to highlight different skill sets needed for each position you’re applying to.

Try to incorporate the most relevant choices from the following categories:

  • Certifications: FLETC, UPTP, FLETA Border Patrol Academy, Field Operations Academy (USBPI or DBPOPT), Local POST Certification
  • Educational Skills & Studies: Criminal Law, Constitutional Law
  • Specialist Skills: Firearms, Defense Tactics, Control Tactics, Active-Killer Training, Crisis Negotiation
  • Soft Skills: Communication, Writing Skills, Active Listening, Compassion, Empathy, Community-Oriented
  • Languages: Multilingual/Bilingual + specific languages
  • Software and Technologies: RMS, AFIS, Livescan, MDC/MDT/MCT
  • Military Veteran

Once you’ve placed the final keywords, your resume template is complete. Congrats!

Can someone else write my Police Officer Resume?

Wish someone else could create something like this resume example? You’re in luck. The experts behind this step-by-step guide will write your resume for you – and they’ll do it for free. (Tips appreciated!)

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