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Advice on Resume and Cover Letter


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  • Advice on Resume and Cover Letter

    I will be starting to send out resumes to few agencies that are on my list. I know I will be cutting down my 2 page resume down to one. When I deliver these by hand to each agency, Should I wear a suit for just drop offs?

    Cover letter?
    I have here my cover letter, please give me all inputs.....


    Phone number


    City, State, Zip

    Dear Police Chief-----------:

    Desiring the opportunity to interview in person for a Police officer position with your agency, I thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

    I am pleased to present my resume to you for consideration as a Police Officer with the (Name of the agency). I possess an I.T Certification from ######and have been in the industry for the past 10yrs and also have 4 yrs of firefighting experience with the ###### Fire Department. I have passed the written police exam on 6/8/2010 with a #### and the Physical Agility exam on 7/9/2010 with# ####seconds at the ###### Academy. Having the desire to provide for the protection of citizens and guests in (name of town), I look forward to discussing this great opportunity with you at your convenience.

    As my resume will demonstrate, my educational training and work experience has been geared toward using a common sense approach with my excellent communications skills and thorough, detail-oriented style would be an asset to the force and I would like the opportunity to be interviewed for a position with the ----------------------------. As a result, I feel genuinely prepared to provide the needed level of service in a professional, courteous and complete manner and I am certain that I could put this training and experience to good use, as well as be a valuable asset to your agency.

    My greatest strengths include a strong desire to help those in needs, and to fairly and equally enforce the laws of the state as well as county and local ordinances, both professionally and fairly, for the safety of the general public.

    I am confident that I will be an asset to your agency. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss your departmental goals and how I can help you achieve them as a Police Officer. Thank you!


    Enclosure: Resume

  • #2
    Looks like a decent letter to me. I'm always in favor of less paper with resumes and letters. Less is more! If you didn't want to make an impact, you could always just mail the letter in. Go with that gut feeling and wear the suit. or at least wear a long sleeved dress shirt and slacks (assuming you're a dude).
    FBI CI 1811:
    June 2007: Applied
    July 2007: Phase I
    October 2010: Phase II
    March 2011: PFT, PSI, Polygraph, Medical
    April 2011: BI, Spouse Interview

    Critical Skills: accounting & FLEO


    • #3
      The letter is well written and I doubt that I could add anything for you.

      Definitely wear a suit. It may be an inconvenience, but you never know who you'll meet during the drop off of your resume. As I'm sure you know, first impressions count immensely. Here's an example:

      I recently went to a federal office for a work-related visit that should have taken about 15 minutes. I normally dress well, but since this was an office I had been considering putting a transfer into I decided to wear my best suit. Towards the end of my visit, one of the supervisors started asking me questions about my work and commented positively on my interviewing ability and how I presented myself. Though I had said nothing about having interest in joining his office, he point blank asked me if I had ever considered a career with his office. That of course opened a door that turned into another 2+ hours of discussion with this supervisor, and eventually the GS15 that oversaw the office. During this meeting I learned that their next vacancy was expected to be in January of 2011 and encouraged to try an internship with the office during the Fall 2010 term. Everything has come together at this point and I believe the internship will give the office a good look at me prior to the announcement. I should have a good chance at being selected for the position in January 2011. Trust me, I never expected that 15 minute visit to turn out the way it did - so I say be at your best.

      Good luck!


      • #4
        Thank you guys for the input...I def plan on the suit. I usually am well dressed as well when being in the work field. I will be spending a day going to each agency and dropping my resume personally.


        • #5
          Wear the suit, so what if your just dropping off an app. Life is funny, you may just walk into the Chief that day. I once went in a suit just to get finger printed lol.


          • #6
            If we get a resume and we're not hiring, it goes in the trash. Make sure your resume is wanted or at least will be received/reviewed by the agencies in question.


            • #7
              How can I make a resume wanted. I understand that the cover letter is the icing on the cake to a resume. But I am coming from a long history of being in the computer field and volunteer time with my Fire Dept for 4 yrs.
              Last edited by Silvermuscle; 08-10-2010, 10:40 AM.


              • #8
                Better handing a coverletter and resume with a plastic Cover or a Envelope?


                • #9
                  Don't Google "Law Enforcement Cover Letter" (which is what you did) because I've seen that same cover letter at least 7 times (minus your own entered quatifications). Just remember that if you found it on the internet, so has someone else... http://www.jobsearchhelpnow.info/cov...e_officer.html

                  I'm just saying...


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by US0083 View Post
                    Don't Google "Law Enforcement Cover Letter" (which is what you did) because I've seen that same cover letter at least 7 times (minus your own entered quatifications). Just remember that if you found it on the internet, so has someone else... http://www.jobsearchhelpnow.info/cov...e_officer.html

                    I'm just saying...
                    I appreciate for pointing that out...but what would you recommend as a cover letter. I am coming from a a different field which the cover letter is pretty basic.


                    • #11
                      My cover letters pretty much address:

                      1. Why I'm writing the letter.
                      2. What I can do for you.
                      3. Why I want to work for you.

                      Dear Chief Wiggum:

                      In response to your recent advertisement for lateral-entry po-po, I am submitting my resume for your review.

                      I understand that the Springfield Police Department is a small agency covering a large geographic area. Much of my law enforcement has been gained in similar rural environments and small communities like yours. As was mentioned in your recent CALEA review, your officers are required to "wear many hats." Working in a small law enforcement organization, I also have performed broad range of duties and accepted several collateral assignments, including certification as an emergency medical technician, RADAR instructor, and deputy chief horse stable mucker.

                      Springfield Police Department also offers several avenues for growth which I do not currently have available, and would like to pursue. I am extremely interested in your agency's traffic unit, which I believe would allow me to continue my passion for criminal interdiction, while also growing my knowledge and skills in advanced traffic investigation and traffic safety programs.

                      I sincerely appreciate your consideration for this position, and look forward to hearing from you.

                      Lovingly yours,
                      Okay, so I just made that up off the top of my head, if you couldn't tell. But my main point there is, try to make it personalized. Look on an agency's website and find it's annual reports, "vision for the future," CALEA documents, whatever you can. Make reference to those, and show how your skills fit in there. Your cover letter shouldn't be regurgitating your resume in paragraph form, but it should reemphasize your strength or major accomplishments.

                      I also have hit the point in my career where I don't care if I turn people off by saying, "I like working traffic. I want to find dope. I want to find DUIs." I want a prospective agency to know what makes me tick. If what makes me tick isn't what they're looking for, and they don't hire me, so be it. If I want to run traffic, and they hate officers that make lots of traffic stops, then I don't want to work there anyway. If you can't afford to be that selective, then maybe you shouldn't be as aggressive in pushing what you LIKE to do, but rather show what you're WILLING to do (anything and everything).

                      And again, I'm also at the point where, if I go somewhere else, it will likely be to retire from there. But even if you're not, you want to give them some indication that you will give back to the agency, see room to grow there, etc. No agency will hire someone who they think is just looking for any cop job they could find, and then they'll bail out when the next greener pasture comes along. You are an investment, and they want a return.

                      Anyway, just my opinion, which derives from having applied to a job I wanted very badly, and NOT selling myself at the interview. I was very much like your cover letter. Generic. Lots of nebulous promises about "I'll be a good asset," "I want to help people," etc. Be bold. Be assertive.

                      And show, don't tell. Anyone can say, "I am dedicated." Tell them, "I have ten years at the same company, and have frequently been praised for my willingness to stay late until the job is done." Especially if you're just trying to get into LE, and you need to show how your existing skills and MINDSET transfer over.

                      Okay, done rambling now. 0530 is NOT an appropriate wake-up time for me.


                      • #12

                        Thank you so much for your opinion and tip. It has been difficult finding either from any LEO.

                        Would it be a good idea to send a sheet with all my certifications from my Fire Dept experience along with the Cover Letter and Resume? I am trying to make my name stick with whoever looks at my paperwork
                        Last edited by Silvermuscle; 08-19-2010, 07:37 AM.


                        • #13
                          What are your certifications? How many do you have? Will they fit in a few lines on a page of your resume, or would you be turning in an "I love me" binder? Can you pick out the most "powerful" of the bunch to highlight within the body of your resume, instead of a separate sheet?

                          As I mentioned in another thread, I come from a federal background, where if you didn't write it, you didn't do it. I have a 10 page resume. If I submit that to pretty much any state, local or private sector HR person or hiring manager, it will go straight in the circular file because it's so long.

                          That said, I recently revised my resume, and I did keep my list of training and certifications on. It accounts for about one page of my new, trimmed down, three page resume. I may be pushing the limits in terms of length, but I wanted to show what I've done. Some of the training (M16/M4 rifle course, ATV operator, criminal interdiction) is more LE oriented than others (emergency services instructor, safety officer, etc.). Coming from a multi-discipline public safety position, they were all relevant at some point. For a straight LE job, not so much.

                          So why did I keep them? It shows that I:
                          • Am interested in expanding my job-related knowledge (for whatever job that may be).
                          • Am interested in obtaining additional skills which make me a stronger asset to my agency (instructor, for example).
                          • Take advantage of opportunities for personal and professional growth, rather than being complacent with having the bare minimum qualifications.

                          Some officers won't go to a training class even if you tell them, "It's free, it's during your shift, and it's at headquarters so you don't have to go anywhere." Some officers will pay out of their own pocket, take vacation days, and drive 3 hours to attend a training course, because they have a passion for their job. Which do you want to come across as? Like I said in my last post, if you're trying to make the jump into LE, you don't have a lot of job-related skills or experience to highlight. What you can play up is your MINDSET.

                          Now, having said that, I'm NOT advocating listing every little thing I've done. For example, the "annual employee fire extinguisher orientation training" doesn't get listed. (And I'm not kidding, I went to that class.)

                          Something else to consider: I don't know what kind of LE position you're going for. It sounds like patrol officer. However, if you have a lot of IT experience, and you're applying for a special agent/investigative type job, especially with an agency that handles cybercrimes and the like, you might not want to omit that stuff either. "IT Geek Super Hacker Level 5" certification might be more valuable than "Hosedragger 101."


                          • #14
                            I am going for Patrol Officer. I just finished bringing down my resume from 2 1/2 pages to 1 1/4 pages as well ( Alot of contract work in 10 yrs). There are alot of info from the IT jobs that the chief or whoever will be looking at it won't understand what the specifics are. So I just made it to the point and what the roll of my employment was.

                            In regards of certifications I have numerous certs, but I was refering to my IS100, IS200, IS300 and First Responder/CPR certs as well as my field of expertise (IT) certs. I want to show that I am willing to do whatever it takes.

                            And by the way. Simpsons fan I see..lol


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