In every line of work, including law enforcement, it helps to have a neatly structured, well-written resume. However, a lot of people struggle with this, with many turning to law enforcement resume writing services in Denver. Law enforcement officers (LEOs) with extensive experience, for instance, may have difficulty figuring out what they should and should not include on their resume.
Certain elements may be obvious. You naturally need to include a list of key skills, along with relevant experiences and qualifications, just like on any other resume. However, other sections – like the career objective, hobbies, interests, and personal information – are more questionable and may not truly belong on your resume.
Including the wrong info could massively harm your chances of getting the job you’re going for. Fortunately, this guide is here to help, exploring some of the main things law enforcement officers should never include in their resumes.
Key Things to Leave Out of Your Law Enforcement Resume
Here are the main elements that you can avoid adding to your law enforcement resume, complete with brief explanations of why.
There was a time when resume objectives or career objectives were all the rage. Experts always recommend including them on a resume, regardless of the role or industry for which the LEO is applying. However, these days, the consensus has shifted.
Many experts now argue that objectives are unnecessary and outdated, taking up space that could be used to sell yourself in other ways. This is particularly relevant for law enforcement officers. Recruiters will be much more eager to see your skills and experiences, rather than a vague summary of your professional aspirations.
Hobbies and Interests
Another thing to exclude from your law enforcement resume is a list of hobbies and interests. While those kinds of details may be relevant for certain lines of work, they’re simply not needed when you’re applying for police officer roles.
Just like the “Career Objective,” hobby lists unnecessarily take up space on your resume. What’s more, they can give off the impression that you’re simply trying to fill that space. Recruiters may fear that you don’t have sufficient skills or experiences to share, or that you’re not particularly dedicated to your work.
Jargon and Acronyms
There’s a lot of jargon in the world of law enforcement. At times, it almost feels like officers have their own separate language, with lots of unique terms and acronyms. However, you shouldn’t assume that the person reading your resume is familiar with all of those terms.
In fact, in many cases, your resume may pass through an applicant tracking system (ATS) first of all, before even passing before human eyes. Alternatively, it might be read by a human resources professional, without much or any enforcement experience. So leave the jargon out and explain any acronyms before you use them.
As with the “Career Objective” section, you may have been taught that it’s important to include a sentence or two about references on your resume. It’s quite common to see phrases like “References available upon request” at the end of the page, for example.
Once again, this is a needless space-filler, especially for law enforcement resumes. It also makes the resume look and feel a little outdated. To avoid this, don’t bother mentioning references at all. If the employer wants any references for you, they’ll simply ask for them during the interview or at another stage of the hiring process.
There’s no need to add a photo to your resume, either. In the world of law enforcement, recruiters don’t gain anything from knowing what a candidate looks like while reading their resume. Instead, they’re much better off focusing on the candidate’s skills, achievements, and experiences.
In fact, adding a photo could put certain applicants at risk of discrimination. Even though various policies and laws exist to prevent this, there has been a history of certain agencies rejecting candidates based on factors like age, ethnicity, etc.
Protected Personal Information - Warning
We’ve already mentioned how hobbies and interests aren’t really needed on resumes. That goes for many other pieces of personal information, too. Factors like marital status or any religious or political beliefs should be left out, for example.
You should also avoid including the likes of landline phone numbers or street addresses. Even in the secure world of law enforcement, there’s always a risk of your resume falling into the wrong hands. Don’t add any information that could put you in danger of identity theft or other crimes.
Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
This goes for any resume, regardless of the role or industry involved: It’s never a good idea to submit a document that hasn’t been proofread and amended to fix any spelling or grammatical mistakes. It makes you look unprofessional and lacking in certain skills, like attention to detail.
Given that police work can often involve a lot of form-filling and note-taking, recruiters will quickly spot mistakes on your resume. And those mistakes can work against you. So, double-check every resume before sending it out, or ask a friend or colleague to look over it for you.
Some job-seekers rarely update their resumes. That’s a big mistake. You need to regularly review it and update it. That means trimming outdated content and adding details of your most recent roles and achievements.
Before sending off your resume to recruiters, take a look through it. Get rid of any outdated terms, experiences from over 10-15 years ago, or mentions of tools and programs that aren’t in use anymore. Then, bring it even more up-to-date by adding info about your latest work.
Give Your Resume an Upgrade
If it feels like you’re struggling to get any responses to your law enforcement applications, your resume could be to blame. It may be lacking key information, or you might have included details or sections that are instantly giving recruiters the wrong impression.
It’s time to make a change and a resume writing service that specializes in Law Enforcement can help. The resume specialists at Expert Resume Pros are ready and waiting to give your LEO resume a major upgrade. We can fix the formatting and curate the content to produce a document that is much more likely to help you secure the role of your dreams.