Correctional Officer Resume Examples

Updated July 30, 2021

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for correctional officers will decline 7% between 2019 and 2029. The number of correctional officer positions will drop from 442,000 to 408,900, or by 33,100 jobs. This reduction is largely due to budget cuts and a predicted decline in prison populations.

With fewer openings for correctional officers, you can expect to face greater competition when applying for positions. One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is by ensuring you have a strong resume. Below there are downloadable examples of correctional officer resumes for entry-level applicants and those with experience. You can also find tips on how to write a stronger resume and match it to a specific job description.

Downloadable Resume Examples

No Experience

Example #1 No Experience

2-3 years

Example #2 2-3 Years

5-10 Years

Example #3 5-10 Years

10+ Years

Example #4 10+ Years

Correctional Officer Resume Examples

Years of Experience
  • No Experience 0
  • 2-3 Years 2-3
  • 5-10 Years 5-10
  • 10+ Years 10+

Gregory Pollard
(232) 323-2323
[email protected]
123 Main Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Profile

Detail-oriented, good judgment, and superb negotiation skills were my most noteworthy attributes highlighted by my instructors and the overseers of my internship. I understand the importance of de-escalation and the power of strong communication skills in this field. I’ve proven myself repeatedly in the classroom and am ready to take on the challenges in front of me in the field in a real-world setting. I should mention that I have a willingness to learn from those around me and further improve my skills.

Key Skills

  • Remains calm under pressure
  • Understands proper restraint techniques
  • Possesses superior observational skills
  • Has excellent critical thinking skills
  • Has a likable disposition
  • Knows the proper procedures and documentation required

Education

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Corrections
WESTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY, Silver City, NM, June 2019 – April 2021

Completed coursework related to the following:

  • Criminology
  • Statistics
  • Corrections law
  • Forensic science
  • Death crime scene investigation

Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
SANTA FE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Santa Fe, NM, September 2017 – June 2019

Completed certifications and coursework related to the following:

  • Criminal law
  • Forensic science
  • Criminal profiling

Professional Experience

Criminal Justice Intern, Western New Mexico University, Silver City, NM
April 2021 – June 2021

  • Completed a three-month intensive criminal justice internship
  • Learned firsthand what happens in the world of policing
  • Shadowed several officers during real calls and cases
  • Learned how to complete the correct documentation
  • Explored the different roles within the criminal justice system

Certifications

  • CPR/First Aid Certification, SAVE A LIFE, Santa Fe, NM, June 2020

LaShay R. Dawson
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]
555 E Tenth Avenue, Moorhead, MN 56561

Profile

Dedicated, observant Correctional Officer with a year of experience supervising young offenders and encouraging positive behavior. Adept at gaining the respect and compliance of residents and diffusing volatile situations. Skilled at gang intervention and youth counseling. Committed to integrity and ensuring the safety of incarcerated persons and staff members.

Key Skills

  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Restraint techniques
  • Excellent surveillance skills
  • Critical thinking, active listening, and decision-making skills
  • Physical stamina

Education

High School Diploma
IVAN SAND COMMUNITY SCHOOL, Elk River, MN, 2018

Correctional Officer Certificate
MINNESOTA STATE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE, Moorhead, MN, September 2018 – May 2020

Coursework completed:

  • Criminology
  • Law Enforcement Behavioral Science
  • Physical Control Tactics for Corrections
  • Interpersonal Communication

Professional Experience

Trainee – Correctional Officer, Minnesota State Government, Moorhead, MN
May 2020 – Present

  • Collaborating with co-workers to plan, organize, and supervise the daily activities of 150+ inmates
  • Supervising and teaching offenders in the institution’s vegetable garden
  • Utilizing early intervention tactics with disruptive inmates
  • Enforcing security procedures and reporting breaches or unusual occurrences immediately
  • Acting as a residential counselor and mentor for juvenile residents

Security Guard, GardaWorld, Moorhead, MN
August 2018 – April 2020

  • Provided authoritative presence to deter criminal activity
  • Observed and reported activities at assigned sites
  • Read and composed written and online safety reports
  • Responded quickly to potentially troublesome situations

Gary Moreno
(135) 531-1357
[email protected]
132 Main Road, Tucson, AZ 87654

Profile

Diligent and hardworking correctional officer with 6+ years’ experience supervising inmates and ensuring security in Arizona’s correctional facilities. Calm and assertive interpersonal style with a talent for building respectful relationships with inmates and leveraging communication skills to maintain a peaceful, low-conflict environment. Excellent knowledge of prison health and safety protocols with an excellent track record for detecting contraband.

Professional Experience

Correctional Officer, Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry, Tucson, AZ
September 2018 – Present

  • Complete end-of-shift and incident reports and share them with the appropriate department, meeting 100% of submission deadlines in 2020
  • Inspect cells and communal living areas against scrupulous hygiene and safety standards, reporting hazards to senior leadership
  • Leverage de-escalation techniques to resolve conflicts, collaboratively reducing the need for forceful intervention by 34% over two years
  • Monitor the facility’s security through regular patrols and video surveillance, noticing and rectifying 99.5% of potential breaches

Correctional Officer, Pima County Sheriff’s Department Corrections Bureau, Tucson, AZ
July 2014 – September 2018

  • Investigated grievance reports submitted by inmates, successfully resolving 87% within the target timeframe without the need for escalation
  • Used force and restraint devices appropriately in high-risk situations, receiving praise 4x during performance reviews for sound judgment
  • Conducted evacuation drills and maintained safety and control during an emergency incident in June 2018
  • Worked collaboratively to monitor visitors and checked for forbidden items, improving the contraband detection rate by 34% over three years

Education

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, Tucson, AZ, September 2010 – June 2014

Key Skills

  • Conflict resolution
  • Health and safety
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Teamwork
  • Reports and record-keeping

Sam Klein
(123) 324-4823
[email protected]
7th Street, Portland, Colorado

Profile

Experienced correctional officer with 20+ years’ experience using exceptional communication skills to manage inmates and liaise with colleagues and wardens. A broad understanding of criminal psychology and body language enables me to pre-empt dangerous situations and locate contraband and its sources. Fine-tuned eye for detail, not shy of working long hours but always alert and ready to handle an emergency.

Professional Experience

Senior Corrections, Officer Colorado State Penitentiary, Canon City, CO
September 2009 – Present

  • Oversee the high-security wing, which includes 80+ violent inmates, ensuring safe movement to and from meals, recreation and work
  • Carry out daily security checks according to a procedure I implemented personally, which has seen a 25% reduction in contraband and a 30% decrease in inmate-on-inmate violence
  • Write daily reports to document prisoner behavior, identify vulnerable individuals and manage referrals for mental health treatment. Suicide attempts and self-harm incidents have fallen by 10% in the past 10 years.

Englewood Federal Corrections Institution, Littleton, CO
August 2001 – September 2009

  • Supervised inmates during exercise, transportation and visits
  • Monitored prisoners dormitories and de-escalated inappropriate activity, which led to a 15% decrease in minor violent incidents
  • Fingerprinted inmates, verified warrants and conducted regular searches for contraband

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Psychology
UNIVERSITY OF DENVER, Denver, CO, September 2007 – June 2001

Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Negotiation
  • De-escalation
  • Law enforcement equipment
  • Storage of hazardous equipment
  • Quick to act
  • Respecting cultural differences
  • Security software
  • Screening
  • Firearms
  • Teamwork and cooperation
  • Self-defense and security protocols

Common Key Skills and Action Verbs for Correctional Officer Resumes

Most hiring managers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to analyze applications and select the ones that mention a minimum number of keywords. If your resume doesn’t include the relevant phrases and terms, there’s a good chance it won’t even get into the hands of a hiring manager. Identifying and including these key skills and action verbs in your resume is the best way of getting it in front of a hiring manager’s eyes.

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Conducting patrol duties Control inmates using authorized restraint and physical control procedures
Decision-making Documenting inmate behavior
Locating contraband Maintaining a calm demeanor and building trust
Maintaining order Negotiating with inmates
Physical strength and stamina Problem-solving
Resilience for working long hours and interacting with people who have behavioral disorders Supervising prison visits
Action Verbs
Communicate Comply
Contribute Control
Counsel De-escalate
Develop Discover
Enforce Intervene
Judge Manage
Monitor Negotiate
Oversee Reduce
Safely Supervise

Tips for Writing a Better Correctional Officer Resume

Demonstrate your aptitude at conflict resolution

As a correctional officer, you need to be resilient, calm, and adept at de-escalating conflict. Effective officers get to know the inmates under their charge well enough to spot signs in their body language and speech that indicate a potential argument or fight might happen. If you have the negotiation and people skills or experience to prevent conflict before it becomes a major issue, be sure to mention it in your resume. Include quantifiable examples, such as a reduction in violent incidents.

Example #1

Good


Over 10 years in the role, my ability to resolve conflict before escalation contributed to a 15% decrease in prisoners victimized by violence.

Bad


I worked hard to stop prisoners from fighting with each other.

Example #2

Good


I used my exceptional communication skills to develop a strong sense of trust with the inmates under my charge, which led to a 23% increase in the reporting of violent incidents.

Bad


I built a good relationship with inmates so they felt able to speak to me about their problems.

Quantify your experience as a correctional officer on your resume

When outlining your experience in your resume, it’s important to include information that’s quantifiable. Vague statements that aren’t backed up by statistics aren’t as convincing as claims that are supported by hard data. Hiring managers generally will be more impressed if they can tell you’re career-minded and goal-oriented enough to assess your own performance based on key performance indicators.

Example #1

Good


The number of serious assaults were reduced by 8% during my tenure at Baker Correctional Institution.

Bad


I helped reduce the number of serious assaults while at Baker Correctional Institution.

Example #2

Good


Helped to plan and implement confidential one-on-one weekly counseling sessions with at-risk prisoners, which led to a 7% decline in suicide attempts and actual suicides.

Bad


I was kinder to the inmates than other officers, so they felt comfortable talking to me, which might have contributed to a reduction in suicide rates.

How to Align Your Resume With the Job Description

Hiring managers usually have a clear idea of the type of person they’re looking for in a correctional officer. The job description tells you pretty much everything you need to know about what the institution you’re applying to expects from a candidate. To stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your aptitude for the role, mirror the skills and experience detailed in the job description.

If you’re not sure which skills and experience to highlight first, look for any words or phrases that are mentioned more than once, and pay close attention to the skills listed near the top of the list. Compare your resume directly to the job description and include specific examples of how your experience meets the key requirements.

Example Correctional Officer Job Description


Angola, the largest maximum-security prison in the United States, seeks a resilient, highly motivated individual to enforce rules and oversee day-to-day routines within the facility. In addition to custodial duties, candidates must be able to balance compassion and understanding with an authoritative presence to maintain positive working relationships with inmates.

Responsibilities:

  • Keep count of inmates under your charge and maintain order
  • Conduct patrol duties and contraband searchesand supervise prison visits
  • Patiently manage, control and supervise inmates securely, safely, and lawfully
  • Use negotiation skills to de-escalate potentially dangerous incidents
  • Document inmate behavior and personality
  • Comply with rules and regulations at all times
  • Offer counsel to prisoners and refer them for professional help if required
  • Identify sources of traffic for contraband
  • Employ authorized restraint and physical control procedures where appropriate

Qualifications:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Basic Correctional Peace Officer Level Two certification preferred
  • Resilience and physical strength for working long hours
  • Ability to maintain a calm demeanor under pressure
  • Interest in psychology preferred
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Exceptional judgment skills

According to the job description, the hiring manager is looking for the following skills and experience:

  • Verbal communication
  • Counseling
  • Problem-solving
  • Decisiveness
  • Resilience
  • Judgment
  • Calm demeanor
  • Compliance
  • Stamina  
  • Physical strength
  • Patience
  • Negotiation skills
  • Alertness

Once you’ve highlighted the keywords in the job description, work them into your resume to demonstrate your suitability for the role:

Correctional Officer Work Experience Example


Correctional Officer, Louisiana State Penitentiary

June 2001 – March 2021

  • Monitored and supervised the safe and secure movement of over 300 inmates in the dining hall, yard, and visitors hall
  • Reduced injuries by 20% between 2001 and 2021 through contraband searches
  • Conducted daily patrols
  • Identified the largest traffic source for contraband and ensured this pipeline was discontinued
  • Documented daily behavior and contributed to personality reports for more than 50 inmates
  • Used good judgement and negotiation skills to de-escalate conflicts and maintain order
  • Supervised prison visits
  • Offered counsel to prisoners, contributing to a 24% reduction in recidivism