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  • How many tries did it take?

    I recently applied with my local agency. I got successfully through backgrounds, but was not selected as one of the final 5 candidates they are sending to the next academy. I was told I may have a shot at the academy beginning in January. Before that, I had applied with a university police department and had a chief's interview... again, was not selected as a final candidate. I want this, and I am trying hard to get it. I understand that sometimes these things are just luck of the draw depending on who is in your group of applicants.

    I am not sore over not getting chosen, but maybe slightly disheartened. I am sure I will get it eventually.

    My question is: how many tries did it take you to get hired?
    and at what point have you applied too many times?
    Last edited by MTtoPNW; 08-04-2019, 05:30 PM.

  • #2
    Wealthy suburb of the city I'm from: no
    Other wealthy suburb of the city I'm from: no
    City I am from: removed myself from roster for personal reasons
    DEA: get some experience and reapply, no
    Small SO an hr from where I went to college: current employer

    Probably 1.5 - 2 years for me to get hired from time of first application to swearing in - networking got me my current job tbh.

    Sounds like they want to hire you in January? A buddy of mine who is currently a firefighter in my city was in a similar situation. Didn't get hired one round and heard through the grapevine that next round he will be hired if he interviews again. This was a year ago and he is on duty as we speak.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MTtoPNW View Post
      My question is: how many tries did it take you to get hired?

      We've had this discussion before, and apparently my experience was unusual- I got hired by the first agency I applied to back in '91, and then I got hired by the first agency I applied to in '06.

      and at what point have you applied too many times?


      I'm not able to answer that question.

      Comment


      • #4
        It is sounding like I am on a hiring list for January, bearing nothing extreme happens.

        And in all honesty - I am not heart broken over not getting to go this time. There is a bright side to this in the fact that I can prepare physically a bit more and get my life in order before having to go away for three months.

        Granted, I have only applied to be a police officer twice, once with two different agencies. I just don't ever want to come off as desperate...

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        • #5
          Im currently in the process myself , ive applied with probably 10-12 agencies to broaden my chances ive been to one oral board and I am headed to another in august and one mofe after that . I have tested 3 times each time improving my score to better my chances . Ive decided to take a break for 5-6 months if I am not hired on somewhere. I dont know when I will stop. Maybe if I discover another career path but for now this is my passion and im happy for you brother , go get it !

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          • #6
            I hate when people say getting hired is "luck of the draw." there's no luck involved. you are either the prepared and viable applicant or you are not. sometimes you are right for one agency and not right for the other, but there is no luck at all. keep up a good work record, go do as much volunteer work as possible, further your education. and if you still believe in "luck" just remember... luck favors the prepared.

            Comment


            • MTtoPNW
              MTtoPNW commented
              Editing a comment
              Luck of the draw in that those particular individuals applied at the same time you did - as in chance that you were all in the same boat together.

            • Aidokea
              Aidokea commented
              Editing a comment
              MTtoPNW, that's not "luck", and you're not "all in the same boat together" with other applicants- each applicant is a unique individual- they are all different. Some of them might be what we're looking for, and most of them probably aren't what we're looking for.

          • #7
            It's been my experience, if they didn't select me the first time around then it's wasn't a good fit for me. Had nothing but problems with those employers (LE and civilian jobs) that I did except offers from the second time around. Others have had different experiences though.



            Just keep applying to other departments until someone hires you! The hiring list is just a maybe. Budgets may change, hiring freezes happen, someone with more experience may apply between now and then and bump you off the list etc.

            However if there's something in your background then you may want to consider other employment.

            Comment


            • MTtoPNW
              MTtoPNW commented
              Editing a comment
              I feel my background is pretty decent given some of the unsavory characters in the world.
              I am not perfect by any means - I have done stupid things in the past, but can fortunately own up to them. Not too concerned about my background - I think if anything it shows that I grew up over the last ten years.

              And - I really don't think the department "dislikes" me per se. In this particular grouping, they only had 5 spots available at the academy and were able to hire 6. They hired a lateral as #6, and sent the top 5. The remaining 5 who passed backgrounds are on a hiring list for the next available academy.

            • westside popo
              westside popo commented
              Editing a comment
              But you still weren't their first choice. If they hire you next time around fine. In the meantime it would be in your best interest to keep applying at other departments until one gives you a pay check.

          • #8
            Originally posted by MTtoPNW View Post
            I recently applied with my local agency. I got successfully through backgrounds, but was not selected as one of the final 5 candidates they are sending to the next academy. I was told I may have a shot at the academy beginning in January. Before that, I had applied with a university police department and had a chief's interview... again, was not selected as a final candidate. I want this, and I am trying hard to get it. I understand that sometimes these things are just luck of the draw depending on who is in your group of applicants.

            I am not sore over not getting chosen, but maybe slightly disheartened. I am sure I will get it eventually.

            My question is: how many tries did it take you to get hired?
            and at what point have you applied too many times?
            I have a clean background and good credentials. Over the course of just under two years, I applied to six different agencies within my state, all of them saying no. After "No" #6, I looked into other agencies out of state that I wouldnt mind living in because I wanted the job and I was willing to go to it. Finally got hired after applying to a 7th agency (seventh time's the charm?). If you're a good candidate with a clean background it all comes down to how bad you want the job and if youre willing to move for it, because there's plenty of places hurting for cops. People with less than great backgrounds can't afford to be picky if they want the job.

            As far as the point of applying too many times, its all up to you. I have friends who applied to the same agency 8 times before getting hired, and others who applied to 40+ agencies before getting hired. Some on this forum dont suggest the "shotgun" method of applying, I personally don't understand why, don't know until you try.
            Last edited by COMoparfan392; 08-05-2019, 02:27 PM.
            "In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."- Theodore Roosevelt

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by MTtoPNW View Post
              I recently applied with my local agency. I got successfully through backgrounds, but was not selected as one of the final 5 candidates they are sending to the next academy. I was told I may have a shot at the academy beginning in January. Before that, I had applied with a university police department and had a chief's interview... again, was not selected as a final candidate. I want this, and I am trying hard to get it. I understand that sometimes these things are just luck of the draw depending on who is in your group of applicants.

              I am not sore over not getting chosen, but maybe slightly disheartened. I am sure I will get it eventually.

              My question is: how many tries did it take you to get hired?
              and at what point have you applied too many times?

              I kind of marvel at posts like these when the come up. Let's take a step back and look at this -

              A position come vacant and 50 people apply for it. Because you can't fit 50 people into one position, only one is selected and the other 49 are disappointed. That's it. There is no great mystery. You just keep trying until you become the anointed one.

              Chiefs usually have the discretion to go with any of the top few scorers on the list. After an interview, they usually go for the applicant they feel would best fit in with their organization. Sometimes they pick right, sometimes they pick an applicant who turns out to be a blithering idiot. Those who are not selected go back on the list and and eligible for consideration when the next vacancy comes up. That is an honorable outcome as when other agencies ask, you can say you are on the list.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #10
                It took me roughly 3 years from when I first started trying to when I finally got hired. I applied to over 25+ places, I have a 4 year degree, prior professional work experience and I’m bilingual.

                It can can take some time but don’t give up.

                Comment


                • Aidokea
                  Aidokea commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yikes- that's amazing. Did you show up in your pajamas for 24 interviews?

              • #11
                6-7 times before getting hired.
                Didn't have much luck with the smaller departments. Had tremendous luck with the bigger agencies in CA but still very competitive. This is with prior military and Federal LE experience.
                If this field is something you really want to do, keep trying is my advice for all.

                Comment


                • #12
                  What state are you applying in ?

                  In North Carolina, particulary the Charlotte and surrounding areas, there are plenty of openings. It amazes me how how hard it is for a qualified applicant to get into LE in some parts of the country.
                  John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

                  Comment


                  • Aidokea
                    Aidokea commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The reason there are plenty of openings (and I can assure you it's a nationwide problem), is because of how hard it is to find qualified applicants.

                  • Calitown
                    Calitown commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, hard to find qualified applicants and normally it'll always be harder for applicants to get into high paying agencies (Most agencies in CA.) Some of the people I knew at my unit ended up getting hired out of state, and got hired quick.

                • #13
                  Mine is probably an unusual story.

                  I was offered a position by the first department I applied to, a metropolitan PD with about 500 officers. There were over 1000 applicants for 25 academy spots. I turned it down, because I decided it wasn't right for my situation at that time of my life.

                  Over 10 years later, I still had the bug and decided to take another run at it. By this time I had a pretty good feel for most of the police agencies in my area. I chose the 1 that I felt would be the best fit. I prepared by interviewing people that worked for the department and did quite a bit of research on what I thought they were looking for. I applied and got bounced after the Round 1 oral interview. I was disappointed, because several members of the department I personally knew felt I was exactly what they were looking for.

                  They opened another process a short time later and I immediately re-applied. I interviewed more people with the department and did more research. I studied the questions they'd asked in my previous oral interview (which I had the foresight to write down right afterward). I again didn't make it past Round 1. That gutted me, and that's when the first self-doubt started to creep in. I thought maybe it wasn't meant to be. Luckily, my wife convinced me not to give up.

                  So next, I hedged my bets. In addition to re-applying to my #1 choice, I also applied to #2 (the one that offered me a position all those years ago) & #3. For #1, I stepped up my prep. I reached out to the agency's recruiting staff, which got me a meeting with the administrator in charge of the process. This gave me an opportunity to ask for suggestions on improving myself. Shortly thereafter, another member of the recruiting staff reached out to me and offered me a 'practice interview'. I basically went through the same oral interview, but received a critique afterward. I used that information to adjust how I answered the real oral interview questions...and I passed.

                  The end result of this 2.5-yearlong process: I was hired by #1, offered a spot by #2 (which I declined...again -- sorry, guys), and placed on a hiring list by #3 (withdrawn upon my start at #1).

                  Post-hiring, I spoke to the folks involved in the hiring process about my situation. They said on my first 2 attempts, I was extraordinarily close to the cut-off -- literally a few extra points would have passed me on. Seeing me continue to apply and then reach out for help in making myself a better candidate is what convinced them to offer me the practice interview.

                  The TL;DR: Find out what you need to make yourself one of the best candidates, and then honestly portray yourself with that in mind.

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