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Why is it so hard to get an offer?

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  • Why is it so hard to get an offer?

    I am starting my associates degree last semester. My plan is during my last semester to attend a night time BLET course so I finish my degree and the course around the same time. But form what I read, people with masters & bachelors degrees are not getting accepted, so am I wasting my time with an associates? I only used marijuana 1 time and have a great driving record & credit history. Do you think I will get a job? Thank you for your help.

  • #2
    Right now your degree is less important than completing BLET. Yes, there are departments that have their own academies. So, you either need to apply to one of those or go to BLET through your community college. I am in the Raleigh area and can only list a few I am aware of that have their own academy. NC ALE will hire you and send you to a CC. Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Chapel Hill and I believe Winston Salem and Charlotte-Mech all have their own academies. The NC SHP and DENR (Wildlife) each have their own academy. Right now you should take the time to check out some of those websites and look at requirements and talk to recruiters. Each agency has different requirements and can be looking for different things each time they hire. The postings on this forum will give you some insight. Use of marijuana one time will not be an automatic disqualifier for most agencies. They are looking at their needs and the applicant pool. If that is indeed all you have in your history then you will find a job if your other qualifications meet that of an agency. If you really want to be an LEO then nothing will stop you at this point from continuing with your plan. No one can promise you will get hired but no agency will come after you if you do not even apply. Do you want to be an LEO or not? Go to the websites and read... Read on the forums here and make your decision. It is not easy and it is not meant to be. There are members here on the fourms that are working for various agencies all over NC. Provided you do not expect them to spoon feed you, you will get answers usually from those with direct experience.

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    • #3
      I am not in NC but I have extensive experience in the hiring process and perhaps I can clarify a few things for you.

      Most city/county/state civil service agencies publish a list of minimum qualifications necessary for the job. This is more of a pass/fail issue. You must meet or exceed those qualifications for admission to the testing process, but there is no extra credit for exceeding the minimum qualifications.

      In most cases, applicants are evaluated based on the number of correct answers the give to job related questions on the written exam and during the oral panel. The more correct answers you give, the higher your score. Successful applicants are then hired in the order of their score (highest first, second highest next, etc.).

      So it doesn’t matter of you have a masters or a doctorate – if the guy with a GED answers more test questions correctly than you did, he will get hired before you will. In short, it’s not how much lipstick you put on the pig – it how well you demonstrate you can actually do the job. New applicants have a hard time understanding that.

      Combine this with the fact that 300 people often apply for only five vacancies and you realize that 295 of them are going to be disappointed.

      Whenever an agency tests to fill positions they usually publish an exam announcement. Buried within the fine print of that announcement, they often tell you exactly what they will be testing you on. No one bothers to read the fine print. If you want a leg up, read the fine print and study the subject matter they say they will be testing you on.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        Today, it's a bumper crop of former military, combat veteran, or degreed applicants.

        When you examine the areas you wish to work, figure out what's needed beyond all those three. I suggest to anyone who will listen the need for second language skills. That is what, many times these days, will set you apart from the rest.
        "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

        Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

        Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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        • #5
          I disagree with Lifztooshort, at least somewhat. Right now around Charlotte, BLET alone will likely not get you a job, at least not a decent paying job. Perhaps if you have several years of responsible work experience or military, you might be competitive. One city in Mecklenburg County (about 60 officer agency) recently had a process for a single vacancy. They had over 50 applicants, over half with prior experience, for one vacancy. I was talking with a boss from a special police company a few weeks ago and they were hiring, but based on what I understood, expect to make 12 dollars an hour if you are right out of BLET with no experience. Jobs are tight now. Charlotte does hire some people with no degree/military, but as a general rule of late, those people are either older with a substantial work history, or have worked nonsworn jobs for a year or more and the department has gotten to know them, so to speak.

          I am not familiar with the job market outside of the Charlotte area, so things may be different. With a degree/military/substantial work history and an otherwise clean background, you would be a competitive applicant with many agencies. With only BLET, you may still find a job, but I believe it will be much harder. Most agencies have no shortage of qualified applicants.

          Most agencies in North Carolina do not use a civil service test. There may be a written test, but it is usually a pass/fail or minimum standard test. The agency either announces a vacancy and takes applications, or larger agencies may take applications conyinuously. At some point the hiring authority looks at all the applicants who completed the process and then decides who to hire. Even if you were the highest on the written test and agility test, if the guy behind you has a degree/military/experience, or some other qualification, you can be skipped and the next guy hired.

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          • #6
            A few other thoughts. Lifztooshort is spot on about starting to research agencies now. With Charlotte, expect the process to take about a year. Other agencies may be quicker and others longer.

            Kieth M. also has a good point about language skills. If you do not speak another language, start taking classes at college. Rosetta Stone may not make you fluent, but studying Rosetta Stone Spanish while you also go to school may very well help.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mdpalanek View Post
              I am starting my associates degree last semester. My plan is during my last semester to attend a night time BLET course so I finish my degree and the course around the same time. But form what I read, people with masters & bachelors degrees are not getting accepted, so am I wasting my time with an associates? I only used marijuana 1 time and have a great driving record & credit history. Do you think I will get a job? Thank you for your help.
              What you are reading applies to THOSE people and not necessarily you.

              As for what we think about you getting a job, any answer we post would be notional at best. We don’t know what your future holds and even if some of us are in a position to screen/hire applicants, this is not the venue where the decision is made.

              Even in less austere times law enforcement has been a very competitive field to break into. Typically only the best candidates make it through and that’s on a good day. As already noted, the published requirements are base standards and the very competitive applicants typically surpass those. Be it in the educational arena, a lack of detractors such as credit problems and the like. While you are not encumbered by the latter, this is all about marketability and viability. Continue with your degree while looking for legitimate ways to bolster your credentials; be it attaining your BLET certification, working as a PT/reserve officer or garnering critical skills such as a foreign language, sign language or the like that will set you apart from the pack.

              Lastly, while you didn’t identify what degree program you are pursuing, the general consensus is that Criminal Justice has limited utility outside of LE and the smart money is on getting a degree in something that could help pay the bills while you vie for a cop job.
              Originally posted by SSD
              It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
              Originally posted by Iowa #1603
              And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

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              • #8
                Another way of making it in is by volunteering with a municipality, or you could take a job as a detention officer for a local Sheriff's Office. Get some time in, get to know some people (hopefully the right ones) and it will make applying a lot easier. Our agency tends to hire interns and from within our jail staff.

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                • #9
                  The degree, no one can ever take from you. Finish at least your two year associates because if you don't now you never will. Then either go to BLET or like mentioned above, join a sheriffs office and become a detention officer. You will learn how to deal with individuals of all sorts in a controlled environment. Do a year or so of good work and a lot of agencies will put you through either Blet or their own academy. I went through what you are now not very long ago. I didn't finish school because I was too fired up to become a cop. Finished Blet and got a job and am currently a Deputy. Now my agency is in the process of getting nationally accredited. This means education is going to play a big role in the promotional process in the future. My point is, finish school then worry about a job. Yes they can be very hard to get but don't give up and they sure as hell won't come knockin on your door. Good luck, any questions feel free to PM me.

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                  • #10
                    RCKoutWurGLKout check yr PM

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