How To Write a Law Enforcement Resume

To write a good law enforcement resume, you’ll need to show how you excel at promoting public safety and order. The tips and examples below will help you capture this skill on your resume so it gets you interviews for your next law enforcement job.

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level
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1. Summarize your law enforcement qualifications in a dynamic profile

Your resume profile should catch hiring managers’ attention by giving the key reasons they can rely on you to help maintain public safety. Maybe you have experience protecting and engaging with a similar community for many years. Or perhaps you’ve outperformed other officers in your department by an impressive margin. Also, consider naming your top knowledge areas – for example, your unusually strong grasp of surveillance technology or traffic laws. These are great assets to feature in your profile if they overlap with your target law enforcement job.

Entry-Level Profile Example


Dedicated criminal justice graduate with experience as a security specialist preventing and recovering store losses. Recognized for working with team members to build and maintain a safe, secure environment. Skilled at using video surveillance footage to help gather and evaluate evidence. Thrive in fast-paced and challenging work settings.

Mid-Career Profile Example


Community-oriented police officer with over five years of advancement and experience. Calm and decisive in high-pressure situations; as a patrolman, resolved conflicts on the street 15% more often than the department average. Bilingual: Fluent in English and Spanish.

2. Add your law enforcement experience with compelling examples

With the experience section, show you’re well-qualified for law enforcement by giving examples of your success in protecting the general public. Under each law enforcement job in your recent work history, describe how you made a positive impact and what you were praised for most by your superiors. For instance, maybe you used your fluency in a foreign language to build better community relations. Or perhaps you closed many cases or co-developed a program that reduced crime by a certain percentage. By adding detailed examples like these, you’ll give hiring managers a sense of the value you’d generate in their open law enforcement position.

Experience Example


Police Officer, Tampa South Police Department, Tampa, FL | January 2020 to present

  • Patrol a large (15-square-mile) suburban area on foot and by car
  • Respond to about 60 calls per month about traffic incidents and alleged robbery, domestic violence, homicide, and other criminal activity

 

Highlights:

  • Named “Rookie of the Year” in 2020 and earned multiple commendations for heroism and public safety
  • Used Spanish fluency to improve relations between police and the local Hispanic community

3. List any education and certifications relevant to law enforcement

Use the Education and Certifications sections to show your law enforcement work has a strong knowledge base. Give basic details on the highest degree you’ve earned, along with any coursework, majors, or minors in criminal justice. Also, consider naming the training academy you attended as part of your preliminary work experience.

Below are templates and examples to help you format your education and certification details. Note that optional template items appear in [brackets].

Education

Template

  • Degree Name — [Major, Minor], School Name, City, ST | [Year]
  • [#.# GPA] | [academic honors or awards]

Example

  • Associate of Arts — Law Enforcement, Tampa Community College, Tampa, FL | 2017

Certification

Template

  • Certification Name or Title, [Awarding Organization] | [Year]

Example

  • First Aid and CPR, American Red Cross | 2017

4. Outline your most useful law enforcement skills and proficiencies

Add a “key skills” section to show employers how you keep people safe and property secure. These can range from direct crime prevention to more general duties like reporting or community relations – just make sure each one overlaps with your target law enforcement job. Below are some common skills and keywords to consider for your resume:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Collision investigation procedures Community relations
Complex problem-solving Conflict management and resolution
Crime prevention Criminal investigation
Cross-department collaboration Emergency management
Evidence gathering and analysis Interview and interrogation methods
Regulatory compliance Reporting and documentation
Search and seizure Security operations
Team leadership Time management
Undercover operations  

How To Pick the Best Law Enforcement Resume Template

As with most vocations, law enforcement professionals should use a resume template that’s clear and straightforward. Opt for a visual design that lets the hiring manager quickly review your best career details. Select a traditional resume font, and avoid any template with an overly colorful or elaborate design.

Law Enforcement Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level

Derrick Johnson
(123) 456-7890 | [email protected] | Tampa, FL 12345 | www.linkedin.com/example

Profile

Community-oriented police officer with over five years of advancement and experience. Calm and decisive in high-pressure situations; as a patrolman, resolved conflicts on the street 15% more often than department average. Bilingual: Fluent in English and Spanish.

Key Skills

  • Collision investigation procedures
  • Community relations
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Conflict management and resolution
  • Crime prevention
  • Cross-department collaboration
  • Emergency management
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Reporting and documentation
  • Time management

Professional Experience

Police Officer, Tampa South Police Department, Tampa, FL | January 2020 to present

  • Patrol a large (15-square-mile) suburban area on foot and by car
  • Respond to about 60 calls per month about traffic incidents and alleged robbery, domestic violence, homicide, and other criminal activity

Highlights:

  • Named “Rookie of the Year” in 2020 and earned multiple commendations for heroism and public safety
  • Used Spanish fluency to improve relations between police and the local Hispanic community

Police Cadet, Tampa North Police Department, Tampa, FL | January 2018 to December 2019

  • Helped senior officers respond to reports of criminal activity and traffic incidents in a large downtown area
  • Engaged with citizens to build open communication and a strong presence in the region

Education

Associate of Arts — Law Enforcement, Tampa Community College, Tampa, FL | 2017

Police Academy Training, Tampa Police Academy, Tampa, FL | 2017

Certifications

First Aid and CPR, American Red Cross | 2017

Language 

Fluency in Spanish

Frequently Asked Questions: Law Enforcement Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for law enforcement resumes? -

For law enforcement workers, the best resume verbs will show how you’ve enhanced safety and security – for example, “monitored,” “protected,” or “investigated.” But there are various others you might use to describe your duties and contributions in this field. The following list can help you find the right mix of action verbs for your law enforcement resume:

Action Verbs
Adapted Analyzed
Apprehended Assisted
Communicated Conducted
Consulted Created
De-escalated Detained
Enforced Established
Evaluated Gathered
Improved Interrogated
Interviewed Investigated
Issued Led
Maintained Managed
Mediated Monitored
Obtained Organized
Patrolled Prepared
Protected Redirected
Researched Resolved
Responded Searched
Secured Served
Strengthened Supervised
Testified Trained
How do you align your law enforcement resume with a job posting?-

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that jobs for police and detectives will increase by about 3% between 2021 and 2031.

You can get more interviews in this field if you tailor your resume for each application. Start by looking at the job post text and highlighting words or phrases that are repeated, emphasized, or otherwise seem important. Compare these highlighted phrases against the language you’re using in your resume, particularly the profile and key skills sections. Then look for ways to align your resume language with the job post while not copying phrases or misrepresenting your background.

For example, if the hiring agency wants someone with a strong collaborative streak, you may want to call out that aspect of your experience with a profile line as simple as “Thrive in collaborative work settings.” Or, say, the police force or organization engages with many non-English speaking partners and community members. You can highlight your foreign language skills both in your profile and as a separate section farther down the document. With adjustments like these, you can make your resume more relevant to each new job opportunity.

What is the best law enforcement resume format? -

In nearly all cases, use a Combination (or Hybrid) resume because it’s easiest for hiring managers to learn about your pertinent skills and experience. It’s also simplest for you to modify based on your job goals.

With the Combination format, you highlight your most relevant skills and experience in your Experience or Work History section and an intro section. (This combination of work history and intro content is where the format gets its name.) Your resume intro should include a profile summary and key skills section, but you may also add a Career Highlights or Awards section.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume

To increase your chances of an interview, write and submit a strong cover letter. The key to an effective letter is customizing it based on each job opening. Read our law enforcement cover letter guide to learn how. For other related examples, see our police officer and security officer cover letter guides.

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