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Question about resume...no work experience?

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  • Question about resume...no work experience?

    I'm a 23 year old young man who is finishing up my last year for a bachelors degree in criminal justice. I already have an AA, and an AS in Crime Scene Technology. I'm a member of the national criminal justice honor society..and have a fairly high GPA(3.6). So my academic career is pretty good. Also, I will be participating in an internship(at the local sheriff's office) around the time I graduate with my BA.

    My concern is that, i've spent all this time focusing entirely on my academics, but I will have no work experience when I graduate (aside from the internship I will complete in the spring). I've made my money this whole time doing work that needed to be done for family members. Like digging fences, painting rooms and other various odd jobs. I'm genuinely concerned that having no official work experience will hurt my resume and my chances of getting hired after college. Are my concerns legitimate? How do you guys feel? Any advice?

  • #2
    So get a job now. Then you will have some official work experience along with your internship.

    Its pretty odd that a 23 year old man would have never even had a part-time "real" job. Must be nice.. They will probably just think you're spoiled..haha j/k (kind of)

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    • #3
      You've never had a single job? Not even during your summer breaks? Lucky you. Well at any rate, I think it's ok. I just hope you've found your civic pride and have some volunteerism experience to put on the ol' resume. If not, I strongly suggest getting some volunteer/philanthropic experience starting now, in the fall. I would even suggest that the activity be something related to the LE environment. Working in soup kitchens, United Way agencies, anything that exposes you to a culture you're going to have to understand to be a competent LEO. Watching Training Day with Denzel is not going to prepare you for being able to empathize (not sympathize here, empathize) with the homeless, mental health cases, and extreme poverty you'll have to deal with regularly. Having experience on your resume that reflects a knowledge/experience with the various lifestyles and cultures in our society will look good.

      Good luck this year and enjoy your internship. Make the most of every minute. Check out all the different "units" besides patrol and investigations. Check out records and communications, especially. They're the backbone who supports the whole thing. See if some of the officers will let you go with them to their court days. Dig how the process goes down in court ultimately. Gives you a better understanding of how much work goes into just one arrest/citation, etc.... the big picture.

      Truly, best wishes!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Halruaa View Post
        I'm a 23 year old young man who is finishing up my last year for a bachelors degree in criminal justice. I already have an AA, and an AS in Crime Scene Technology. I'm a member of the national criminal justice honor society..and have a fairly high GPA(3.6). So my academic career is pretty good. Also, I will be participating in an internship(at the local sheriff's office) around the time I graduate with my BA.

        My concern is that, i've spent all this time focusing entirely on my academics, but I will have no work experience when I graduate (aside from the internship I will complete in the spring). I've made my money this whole time doing work that needed to be done for family members. Like digging fences, painting rooms and other various odd jobs. I'm genuinely concerned that having no official work experience will hurt my resume and my chances of getting hired after college. Are my concerns legitimate? How do you guys feel? Any advice?
        The lack of meaningful work experience could be a bar to employment with some agencies, but not all. Certainly, your classroom work has required a considerable investment in time and effort. That said, it's probably time for you to start applying. Do some research into agencies that interest you. See if you meet their basic requirments. If so, start applying. Don't limit yourself to only one agency. Regardless of your educational efforts, you'll need to test well in all phases of the hiring process. Your internship(s) can provide some valuable insights into law enforcment, but you're approaching the threshold of actually having to earn a living.

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        • #5
          I think it all depends on who you want to go to work for.

          If you are applying for a job in the private sector then yes, a lack of experience will probably hurt you. There are a ton of retired cops and ex military out the competing for private sector jobs in related law enforcement fields and they will probably beat you out, hands down.

          However, if you are applying for a civil service law enforcement position, it will probably not be as bad a problem as has been suggested. A few jobs may require a certain amount of experience in order to test for the position. If you don't have that experience, your application will be rejected and you won't be admitted to the exam. However, most law enforcement jobs require no prior experience. Instead, you are scored on the number of questions you answer correctly on the written and oral portions of the exam. Assuming you did well in your studies, don't choke up at the oral and have a good presentation, you should do ok.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            ----------------
            Last edited by alienbow; 04-19-2008, 05:32 AM.
            www.amyandwandasrants.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              Halruaa -- I was in a somewhat similar type of situation as yourself when I began applying to LE positions. Though I have held a job since I was 15, my work history was completely unrelated to LE. I sought an internship to better acquaint myself with aspects of LE, learn, and build my resume; best decision that I ever made. In my opinion, your strong GPA makes up for a lack of professional experience; whether it be in LE, retail, or whatever else. Though you may not have actual commercial employers from which references can be obtained, do include to some extent the odd jobs that you performed for relatives, neighbors, and others. These individuals can testify (at least to some extent) to the caliber of work that you did, punctuality, whether or not you cut corners, and other things of that nature.

              Personally, your ability to obtain an Associates degree, and then go on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts while maintaining a 3.6 GPA is a strong indicator of your committment to your education. This obviously takes hard work and dedication; a dedication that you will have to convey to an Agency with respect to fulfilling their mission. I worked almost everyday and some very late hours throughout my college career, and my GPA suffered because of it. Some individuals have a family, work full time, and attend classes full time all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA; that is truly amazing. Now, is one of these scenarios better than the other? Who knows! It all depends on a multitude of factors, including your personal experiences in life and what you have done to better yourself. Remember that some departments only require a High School diploma, and soon you will graduate with a four year degree thus qualifying you for a plethora of other LE jobs (including Federal positions).

              If I may suggest a few other things; look into a lot of what has already been said as it is all great advice. Experience all that you can and work as hard as you can while completing your internship, that includes showing up early and going the extra mile every single day. Also, look into getting certified in some kind of First Aid or emergency medical care. Martial Arts is another great skill to pursue in my opinion. You will learn self defense and discipline applicable to your future LE career. I was told, and I am sure that LE Officers on all levels will echo this, that no amount of education or book smarts can replace street smarts and what you learn on the job everyday as an Officer or Agent. This is the 100% truth. However, your education shows that you can a) listen b) learn and c) apply what you have learned. This counts for something. Good luck.

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              • #8
                thanks for the advice. I participated in a ride along the other day with a municipal department, i'll see if I can volunteer with them in any fashion.

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