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What are things that I can do to stand out amongst other applicants?

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  • What are things that I can do to stand out amongst other applicants?

    Assuming I meet all of the basic education and fitness requirements.

  • #2
    Not be a criminal

    Comment


    • #3
      That's an excellent question. At a forum where many assume their inherit awesomeness entitles them to a position like an heir to a throne, you are asking what can you do to improve your standing. You, Sir, are a cool breeze.

      Let's first eliminate the very difficult tabs, i.e.- biographicals that are very unique and very few have. Let's cross off Green Beret, Navy Seal, starting quarterback at Clemson, and four-time gold Olympic boxer. No law school, no real professional experience, no friends in high places like congressmen or chiefs of police. Let's just assume you're an average Joe who has led an average life- no one recognizes you in a crowd and no one says "Holy S!" when they read your resume. So what are some things that can make you stand out but do not involve a stint in the Peace Corps or the next NASA mission?

      Here are my suggestions:

      Get in physical shape. Run, sit ups, and push ups every day. It will pay off 10X down the road.

      Volunteer at your church. Or your school. Or the local food pantry. Build some references who will say what a solid person you are.

      Get at least an Associates degree.

      Be smart about who you hang around with. And just because the mother nature is legal now in many places, it's still highly frowned upon in LE.

      Carry yourself with confidence. Speak articulately and with purpose. Be honest and respectful during daily interactions with people.


      DO NOT:

      Become a security guard. This will do nothing for you.

      Get a concealed pistol license.

      Be boastful, arrogant, glib, or act like a fool.

      Join political groups with controversial backgrounds.

      Play Pokémon Go or attend Comic Con dressed like some weird anime character.

      Convictions, in the end, they can be dangerous. But a world without them is just kind of an awful, gray, amorphous mass.

      -Bono

      Comment


      • ArmyVet
        ArmyVet commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't see any problem with someone exercising their second amendment right.

      • Ratatatat
        Ratatatat commented
        Editing a comment
        Probably varies from place to place. A hiring panel in Idaho and a hiring panel in New York may view a cpl differently...

        All I know is an applicant with a cpl often raises questions in need of context, as in ‘why does this 22 year old feel the need to carry a gun?’. Maybe there’s a legit reason, like his family owns a 24 hour diner, and he works the midnight shift. If the answer is ‘because my it’s my GD right to’, or ‘because in case anyone causes me problems’, well then...ok, next applicant.

      • GangGreen712
        GangGreen712 commented
        Editing a comment
        I got a concealed carry permit when I was 23. I carried well before I was ever in law enforcement simply because society can be dangerous no matter where you are.

        To be honest, I wouldn't want to work for a department that believed that only the government should be allowed to carry guns. "Because I have the Constitutional right to defend myself," SHOULD be a good enough reason as to why an applicant has a permit.
        Last edited by GangGreen712; 07-16-2019, 02:43 PM.

      • Saluki89
        Saluki89 commented
        Editing a comment
        I see your point ratatat. Truth be told the amount of times I carried my pistol concealed gradually decreased over time after I got my CCL as the hassle outweighed the glamour. Then I got my badge and now I carry it every day I'm off duty for obvious reasons. I also happen to work part time at a FFL and every CCL class we hold there's at least one kid who falls into the "in case someone causes me trouble" category and I know they are a massive liability to themselves and the world around them now that they can carry. The state needs to increase the training required to carry a gun as a civilian. Yes it's your right to protect yourself but carrying a gun is an immense responsibility that many people underestimate.

    • #4
      Try to get an idea of the area that you want to work, find out what foreign languages are spoken and learn one. An often neglected one is American Sign Language.
      For the most part, what Ratatat wrote.
      Proof read and then have someone else proof read anything that you submit. Typos, misspelled words are very much something that are easy to avoid.
      Show stability in employment.
      Don't rack up a lot of debt. Student loans are a given, but otherwise don't show an ugly credit history.
      Be very careful what you post on social media. If you wouldn't say it in front of your Mother, don't put it in writing.
      (Unless of course you are a psycho, racist Nazi and then post away, we don't want you )
      I wish you luck.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post

        Carry yourself with confidence. Speak articulately and with purpose. Be honest and respectful during daily interactions with people.



        #1 answer

        You are going to be competing against other candidates that will have the same or similar qualifications / attributes that you do. (along with a lot of others that won't make the grade anyway)

        Your AA / BA / MA won't stand out
        Your spotless record won't stand out
        Your Maxing out the PT won't stand out
        Your references won't stand out


        YOU are going to have to sell yourself. Learn public speaking & practice it a lot.

        Be confident when you are in the interview process. Be Articulate during ALL stages of the hiring process. Handle your body / mind/ surroundings with what is called "Command Presence". .......(that doesn't mean COCKINESS---it means being confident in your bearing )

        The interview process is what kills a lot of prospects in LE............it is a weed out point and if the panels sees you struggling with questions or sees you lacking something in your presence...........you can be cut easily at that point .

        Other than that.............re read Ratatatat's answer a couple more times

        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

        Comment


        • Ratatatat
          Ratatatat commented
          Editing a comment
          True story: I’ve seen people with barely any post-high school educations and menial job experience beat out guys with degrees and a few years LE experience for jobs at coveted departments. Why? One reason: they simply presented themselves better during the oral interview. How people carry themselves and communicate is HUGE. I also submit such traits are largely unlearnable; either you have *it*, or you don’t....

      • #6
        To echo some of the above thoughts, interviewees are mostly a sea of sameness. Candidates who stand out in a positive manner present themselves as professionals, and provide thoughtful and articulate answers to questions. There is a fine line between confident and cocky.

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by just joe View Post
          To echo some of the above thoughts, interviewees are mostly a sea of sameness. Candidates who stand out in a positive manner present themselves as professionals, and provide thoughtful and articulate answers to questions. There is a fine line between confident and cocky.
          Exactly...confident, not arrogant. You can maintain confidence while still expressing humbleness and your willingness to learn. Deferring to those with knowledge and experience and having a desire to learn is VITAL in a new officer.
          "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
          -Friedrich Nietzsche

          Comment


          • #8
            A lot of good advice in this thread.

            I would also add that it is important that you as a person are squared-away. Excessive drinking (especially in public), domestic problems, and other disarray in your personal life, would not be good.

            And in this day and age, social media can tank your chances. People tend to hemorrhage things through their social media footprint, that would not be helpful in getting a job in law enforcement. I don't even have a Facebook.

            Comment


            • #9
              Being bilingual is a perk for many agencies. Spanish is useful almost anywhere but so is Russian, Mandarin, or any other language.

              Comment


              • #10
                I always cringe when this questions is asked.

                As part of the hiring process, the agencies you are applying with will administer written and oral exams that measure you ability to perform the duties of the position you are seeking. Applicants are usually hired in the order of their score (highest score first, next highest score second, etc.)

                Now, go back and read that first sentence - the test measures your ability to perform the duties of the position you are seeking.

                the reality is, you either have it within you to do the job, or you don't. I've seen applicants who have a Masters degree, yet they have no business being in this field. At the same time, I've seen high school dropouts with a GED who have been around the block a few dozen times and who've done an incredible job as a cop, supervisor and manager. Again, you either have it or your don't as determined by the testing process. Beyond that, putting lipstick on a pig won't help that much.

                Next comes the background. There is no weighing of good against bad. Ten positives don't make up for one negative. If there is something in your personal history that meets that agency's criteria for disqualification then you are out. Again, putting lipstick on a pig doesn't help.

                Score high on the testing process, make sue there is no disqualifying incidents in your personal history and you should be good to go.
                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                  I always cringe when this questions is asked.

                  As part of the hiring process, the agencies you are applying with will administer written and oral exams that measure you ability to perform the duties of the position you are seeking. Applicants are usually hired in the order of their score (highest score first, next highest score second, etc.)

                  Now, go back and read that first sentence - the test measures your ability to perform the duties of the position you are seeking.

                  the reality is, you either have it within you to do the job, or you don't. I've seen applicants who have a Masters degree, yet they have no business being in this field. At the same time, I've seen high school dropouts with a GED who have been around the block a few dozen times and who've done an incredible job as a cop, supervisor and manager. Again, you either have it or your don't as determined by the testing process. Beyond that, putting lipstick on a pig won't help that much.

                  Next comes the background. There is no weighing of good against bad. Ten positives don't make up for one negative. If there is something in your personal history that meets that agency's criteria for disqualification then you are out. Again, putting lipstick on a pig doesn't help.

                  Score high on the testing process, make sue there is no disqualifying incidents in your personal history and you should be good to go.

                  Really solid explanation of the process.

                  BUT: I submit there are personal attributes which can make a difference between getting the job, or not getting the job. Subjective attributes, which can vary from beholder to beholder....

                  For example: Two candidates, one position. Both have the same civil service test score, both pass the physical tests, both have clean backgrounds, both have college degrees.

                  This question comes up during the oral interview: What activities were you involved with during college?

                  Candidate 1: I worked 30 hours a to cover tuition and expenses. One year as a clerk at grocery store. One year as a janitor at an adult video store. One year as a dishwasher at a diner. One year as a popcorn sweeper at a movie theater. All were minimum wage jobs, but I would not have graduated if not for those jobs.

                  Candidate 2: I joined Sigma Nu my freshman year. Most of my time aside from class or studying was spent on fraternity activities. I was the rush coordinator my sophomore year. I was the fraternity president my junior year. I was the liason to the Panhellenic Council my senior year, where we coordinated all social functions for the greek system for the year.

                  Now.... let me ask you this... all things being equal, who stands out???

                  Answer: it depends....

                  If the selector values hard work, determination, and problem solving skills, then Candidate #1 stands out. Candidate #2 is viewed as a glamour boy, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who spent his college years on a frolic with a bunch of dudes named 'Biff' and 'Tad.'

                  Conversely...

                  If the selector was in a fraternity, then Candidate #2 stands out, because he demonstrated organizational skills, leadership ability, and team building capacity, all of which are important in LE. Candidate #1 is viewed as someone who squandered his college experience; instead of joining an organization steeped in tradition and public service (just like LE), he spent four years with a mop in one hand, sponge in the other....

                  I offer up there are a whole slew of subjective factors which can influence hiring decisions, everything from physical characteristics ("that is one big lip mole for one of our officers to have") to which college football team they root for....


                  Last edited by Ratatatat; 07-17-2019, 07:58 AM.
                  Convictions, in the end, they can be dangerous. But a world without them is just kind of an awful, gray, amorphous mass.

                  -Bono

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                    I always cringe when this questions is asked.

                    As part of the hiring process, the agencies you are applying with will administer written and oral exams that measure you ability to perform the duties of the position you are seeking. Applicants are usually hired in the order of their score (highest score first, next highest score second, etc.)

                    Now, go back and read that first sentence - the test measures your ability to perform the duties of the position you are seeking.

                    the reality is, you either have it within you to do the job, or you don't. I've seen applicants who have a Masters degree, yet they have no business being in this field. At the same time, I've seen high school dropouts with a GED who have been around the block a few dozen times and who've done an incredible job as a cop, supervisor and manager. Again, you either have it or your don't as determined by the testing process. Beyond that, putting lipstick on a pig won't help that much.

                    Next comes the background. There is no weighing of good against bad. Ten positives don't make up for one negative. If there is something in your personal history that meets that agency's criteria for disqualification then you are out. Again, putting lipstick on a pig doesn't help.

                    Score high on the testing process, make sue there is no disqualifying incidents in your personal history and you should be good to go.
                    All of the above is (or at least should be) true for a civil service agency.

                    However, when applying for an at-will agency it's a whole different ballgame. My department, for example, will initially create a list based on written test scores (administered after pass/fail physical ability testing). From that we move on to oral boards to narrow the field. Beyond that, we will use any non-discriminatory criteria to make our final selections (obviously pending backgrounds, medical, psych). There's no "rule of three" or "rule of five" or anything of that sort. If we wanted to hire candidate #40 on the list (based on written and oral test scores) for one opening, we could. It often comes down to "being a good fit" for our particular department. Someone might test high and have all the makings of an excellent cop, but they might be better suited for a different agency. It's not a perfect (or even "fair") system...but it's worked well for our agency and the candidates we hire.

                    Comment

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