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  • Should I start applying?

    I was recently discharged from the army. I've been considering LE since before I left the army, and I'm just now realizing how competitive the hiring is. Here's the rundown of my resume;

    •Three years army infantry, honorable discharge
    •Associates degree from technical college
    •Stable work history going back to age 17 (now 25)

    Here's the bad stuff;

    •Expired Registration ticket this year(wasn't my car)
    •1 speeding ticket 4 years ago
    •Expired Registration/seat belt tickets 7 years ago
    •Marijuana citation at age 16
    •Used Marijuana about 25 times, last time age 19
    •Currently in Default on student loan
    •Credit otherwise also bad

    I figure my criminal history is quite petty and shouldn't be much of a hang up. I'm more concerned about my defaulted loan. My plan is to transfer to NG and pay it off through their loan repayment program.

    So here's my question: Am I hirable right now or should I clean up my credit before I start applying?
    Last edited by Trombogon; 01-08-2020, 11:48 PM.

  • #2
    There's nothing particularly "stand-out" about you, but also nothing that's a hard DQ. The honorable discharge will get you points in most civil service testing and the Associate's degree is pretty common among applicants. However, your bad credit will probably hurt you in some (most) departments, and you really don't have anything on the "good" side to counter-balance it.

    On the opposite side, many departments are having problems filling positions right now. Based just on what you've posted and the current climate in LE hiring, I'd say you have a chance getting your foot in the door if you find the right department, but expect some "thanks but no thanks" letters along the way. Whatever you decide, start working on your credit NOW so it doesn't continue to hamstring you in the future.
    "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

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    • #3
      MJ twenty five times is far from experimental use, many will have issues. Some depts only go back five years.

      Loan default will be pretty hard as will bad credit, as you broke your word to repay money that you were loaned.

      Get the loan and credit cleaned up and apply.

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      • #4
        Does the Dept. of Education consider your degree to be from a college, or a trade school? The reason I ask is because people with "degrees" from the likes of ITT Tech don't actually have any college credits, which is important if an agency requires some college credits in order to apply. I think you are a tough sell because it is easy to pass you up for candidates who don't have your credit issues, but I would not give up hope. I tentatively disagree with NolaT regarding the MJ use, but it may be a regional thing. Around here it is more about when you last used instead of how much you have used.

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        • #5
          You can get your student loan out of default by requesting a deferment. I'd do that, it isn't that big of a deal but it's easy to fix so why not do it, the rest isn't really a show stopper. Cleaning up your credit would be nice, there's a lot you can do fairly easily. Again, probably not a show stopper but doing what you can always helps. There are many free credit counseling organizations that can show you what to do. That's good as you move forward in life anyway: when it comes time to have family, buy a house, etc you don't want to be there and THEN try to fix your credit.

          Go to school on your GI Bill or get a job to show you're doing something and not just sitting around... it can take a couple years sometimes to get picked up... so show that you're spending your time productively.

          I don't think MJ use before your military service, with none during or since, is a deal killer.
          Last edited by tanksoldier; 01-09-2020, 01:34 PM.
          "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

          "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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          • #6
            25X pot smoking used to be an applicant killer. Not so much these days....

            I'm in one of the states where the skrunk is now legal. It's everywhere.... I smell it all the time eminating from cars when I'm on the highways.

            I wonder, as American society is rapidly changing regarding marihuana use, if the day will come where departments mirror Canadian police policies (smoke away, just don't use on duty days.....)
            Chance favors the prepared mind.

            -Louis Pasteur

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            • #7
              Originally posted by just joe View Post
              Does the Dept. of Education consider your degree to be from a college, or a trade school? The reason I ask is because people with "degrees" from the likes of ITT Tech don't actually have any college credits, which is important if an agency requires some college credits in order to apply. I think you are a tough sell because it is easy to pass you up for candidates who don't have your credit issues, but I would not give up hope. I tentatively disagree with NolaT regarding the MJ use, but it may be a regional thing. Around here it is more about when you last used instead of how much you have used.
              You're probably right about it not being considered college credits, it was one of those "for profit, credits unlikely to transfer" schools, and it went out of business while I was serving.

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              • #8
                My agency would hire you except that you have a credit issue. State says we can't take anyone who owes money to someone, otherwise you'd be alright.

                If you're in the South, check into some of those smaller agencies with less than ten people, they are more lenient on things and it will at least get you certified, working, and you can fix your other issues during the two years (in my state) you owe back to the agency that sent you to the academy. Pay usually isn't the best at those places but it is a foot in the door, and you actually get to experience quite a lot and work a variety of different cases when you're working at an agency that may not have any detectives or other specialized units.

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                • #9
                  Marijuana use is not considered experimental by my agency standards. Federal Law enforcement still recognizes marijuana as illegal at the federal level. Some agencies will DQ.

                  Defaulting on student loans and bad credit are also speed bumps as some agencies issue government cards and you need to have excellent credit and zero defaulting issues to be issued one.

                  Be prepared to be told no a lot and be prepared to move if you really want the job. Big agencies and federal will probably say “no thanks” but smaller hard to fill departments may take the chance.

                  Stay out of trouble and keep applying, you might luck out.

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                  • #10
                    I think solely on the fact that you have served this nation honorable, and have been discharged on the same terms is a good selling point.

                    Marijuana use, and its perception of use per applicant, is dependent on the department/agency's political views/stance. I think it refines itself down to the interview of the applicant, during the hiring process, and how they articulate the "25x" they've used it. But, an applicant should note, Marijuana is still defined as a control substances in most states. I would suggest to take precaution from this point of view, when applying to such agencies in that state.

                    Credit debt, loans, etc, are more or less "red flag" areas that most LEO agencies view the applicant as financially not responsible, and/or sound. This makes most agencies uncomfortable, basically they see this more of a liable then something "fixable" on the applicants end.

                    Any other questions feel free to ask.

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