Police officer resume example

Police officer resume example

Being a police officer requires a broad set of hard and soft skills, from critical thinking and communication to the ability to generate clear, concise incident reports. You’ll also need to showcase your experience investigating crimes and explain how you maintain public safety through proactive law enforcement strategies. That might sound like a lot of information to cram into your police officer resume, but it’s all about choosing the right format and structure. Let’s explore some police officer resume examples so you know exactly which sections to include in your resume.

Key sections to include in resume

Whether you’re fresh out of the academy or have years of experience enforcing traffic laws and apprehending criminal offenders, your police officer resume will follow the same basic format.

When crafting your resume, make sure it includes the following sections.

Always begin your resume with some basic contact information, including your name, professional title, and contact details (phone number, email address, and city of residence). It should look something like this:

John Smith
Police Office
Phone: (555) 123-4567
Email: johnsmith@email.com
Tampa, FL

Next, you’ll transition into your objective or summary. 

Resume objective or summary

This introductory section should be three to four sentences. Keep it concise while highlighting your experiences, key achievements, and specific skills that make you a good fit for the role. Here’s an example:

“A dedicated and seasoned police officer with over 10 years of experience in urban law enforcement. Proven record in community policing, crime prevention, and emergency response. I am committed to maintaining public safety and excellent community relations.”

Work experience

Next, list your work history in reverse chronological order (most recent job first). For each position, include the job title, employer, location, and dates of employment. Use bullet points to describe your responsibilities and achievements, emphasizing experiences relevant to police work.

For instance:

Police Officer

Tampa Police Department, Tampa, FL — July 2012–Present

  • Led a team in community policing efforts, reducing crime rates in my assigned area by 10%
  • Conducted investigations into violent crimes, resulting in a 20% increase in case resolutions
  • Trained junior officers

When outlining your responsibilities, focus on skills and activities relevant to the position you’re applying for, even if a job you’ve held didn’t directly pertain to law enforcement. 

For instance, if you were a sales manager, mention how you managed a team, exhibited great communication skills, and met tight deadlines, as these are all soft skills that police officers need to possess.

Education

Your education section should list your highest level of completed education. If you have a degree in criminal justice or a related field, this is the place to showcase it. Include the name and location of the institution and your graduation year.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida — Graduated May 2008

This section should be short and sweet — there’s no need to dive any deeper in your police officer resume. However, you might want to include more information about your educational background in your cover letter, especially if you have limited work experience.

Hard skills

List specific hard skills relevant to law enforcement. This might include knowledge of criminal law, proficiency in firearms, emergency response, or forensic analysis. Here’s what your hard skills section should look like:

  • Firearms proficiency
  • Emergency response procedures
  • Functional knowledge of state statutes and local ordinances

Many sections of your resume will include bullet points as opposed to full sentences. The goal is to make the document skimmable so hiring managers can quickly get to know you and your background. 

Soft skills

These are personal attributes that will help you succeed as a police officer but aren’t directly linked to the job. Examples include communication, empathy, leadership, and decision-making. List them like so:

  • Effective communication
  • Strong leadership and team management
  • Crisis intervention and conflict resolution

It’s generally best to limit this section to three to five skills. Remember, your resume needs to be short and to the point.

Optional sections

There are several optional sections you can add to your resume. While you don’t have to include these sections, it’s a good idea to do so if you have limited work experience. Maintain a concise structure that primarily consists of bullet points.

If you need to give your police officer resume a boost, consider adding some or all of the following sections.

  • Certifications: List any additional certifications you’ve earned that are relevant to policing, such as first aid, crisis intervention training (CIT), etc. Don’t list your law enforcement academy here — include that in the education section. As with the other segments, use a bulleted list.
  • Languages: If you speak any other languages, let the hiring managers know about it. However, be honest about your level of proficiency, as they’ll likely test your knowledge. If you only know a handful of phrases and words, you might just want to leave this section out of your resume.
  • Hobbies and interests: While not essential, listing your hobbies can provide insight into your personality and help you connect with the hiring board. Choose hobbies that demonstrate qualities beneficial to a police officer, like fitness or community involvement.
  • Volunteer work: Include any volunteer work, particularly if it’s relevant to public service or law enforcement. This shows your dedication to the community beyond your professional role.

Tips for writing the role-specific resume

Before you type the first word on your police officer resume, browse some resume examples for inspiration. Studying examples can help you better understand how to structure and format your content. This is particularly important when writing your summary and other paragraph-style content.

Once you’ve got an idea of what to include in your police officer resume, read the job description carefully, then tailor your resume to match the requirements listed by the employer. Highlight your experiences and skills that directly align with what they’re looking for in a candidate.

Wherever possible, quantify your achievements with specific numbers or percentages. 

For example, instead of saying, “My proactive policing efforts reduced crime in my assigned work area,” say, “My proactive policing strategy reduced property crimes by 15%.” Showcasing hard data is a great way of demonstrating what you’ve accomplished and can help you stand out from other candidates.

You’ll also need to use lots of action words in your police officer resume and cover letter. Avoid passive voice and include verbs like “led,” “managed,” and “trained.” Doing so paints a picture of a proactive, take-charge officer.

It’s also smart to take advantage of cover letter templates like those found on Jobseeker. Our templates can jumpstart your writing efforts and help you nail your application. Make sure you choose a matching cover letter and resume template, as the style and format of your documents must be identical.

Finally, avoid repeating the same information on your police officer resume and cover letter. While the presentation of each document must match, the content should be somewhat unique.

Remember, these two documents are meant to complement one another. Your resume is a rundown of your experience, education, and skills, whereas your cover letter gives you an opportunity to elaborate on who you are and what makes you a great fit for the position.

Explore our police officer resume examples to learn more

The insights found here will help you create an impressive police officer resume that gets you noticed by hiring managers. However, you can’t master the art of writing a police officer resume on your first attempt. Create several drafts of your resume, have a few trusted friends read through it, and refine your content to ensure that it captures your personality and professional experience. 

Want to jumpstart your writing process? Check out Jobseeker’s police officer resume templates and let us help you make your application stand out. We also offer many other tools and resources to assist with creating a resume and cover letter so you can land that all-important interview.

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